We’re not going to lie; this Dada Life tour has A LOT in store. Serious cases of missed-show regret will be real in the following weeks, and we hope you’re not one of them. Setting the tone for the madness to ensue, DJ Cristian Baca and supreme leader Kim Jong Untz are on deck to let the freaks out to play. SIMshows recently caught up with rising local Cristian Baca, and we have to say- this interview is long overdue!
SIM: Take us back a bit; when did you first begin to get involved in the local music scene?
Cristian: I started getting involved with the music scene during my Freshmen year of college in 2012. I had just turned 18, and I was finally able to attend the clubs [in the Twin Cities]. My first nightclub experience was also my first EDM show. Bingo Players and Lucky Date played at Epic that night.
SIM: What events or thought processes led you to pick up DJing?
Cristian: Growing up in a Latinx family, I would always listen to everything from Cumbia to 70’s Disco. My family was also huge on Trance. My uncle would play Paul Oakenfold and Tiesto records on his sound system, which he also would use to DJ family parties. Seeing him play music that made people dance and have a good time really kicked off my desire to DJ.
SIM: And how long have you been DJing for?
Cristian: I’ve been an active DJ since 2012 (5 years). I started messing around with DJing when I was in 5th grade [and had downloaded] Virtual DJ. However, it wasn’t until 2011 when I began to really dive into it.
SIM: Besides DJing, do you produce any music, or create remixes for your sets?
Cristian: I’ve created edits for my sets, but I currently don’t produce any of my own music. It is definitely the next step I plan on taking on this journey.
SIM: What is your preferred equipment of choice to perform on? Do you have experience with other DJ consoles?
Cristian: My preferred equipment of choice will have to be 2 CDJs and a DJM 900 mixer. I have a Traktor Kontrol S4 at home, but I’ve been thinking about investing in some turntables.
SIM: Your name is starting to become much more visible! What other gigs have you DJ’d for?
Cristian: I’ve opened for Audien (twice), Hardwell, Henry Fong, Haywyre, and Elephante, as well as various other side stage gigs at Skyway and Myth. I have also done several open format sets at Union.
SIM: How hard is it as an up-and-coming local to get booked to DJ shows?
Cristian: It really depends on the artist. It’s definitely a competitive field, and it can be difficult to get booked if you don’t know who to reach out to. My advise is always to go to shows and get familiar with the scene before reaching out for a gig.
SIM: Besides DJing, what other music interests do you have within the Twin Cities music scene?
Cristian: Whenever I am not attending electronic music shows or DJing, I love attending shows or club nights outside the scene to refresh my ears. I love to dance, so I like to get my Latin dance on every once in awhile. Otherwise, I love to go wherever my friends want to go. It keeps things exciting for me.
SIM: Looking forward, are you DJing just for fun, or are you hoping to make a career out of this one day?
Cristian: I would definitely like to be able to make this a career someday. It won’t be easy, but I’m excited to see where this path leads to.
SIM: As a local, what set reputation do you want to carry, and how have you focused on channeling this in the past year?
Cristian: I would like to be known for making people have a great time, the time of their lives if possible. Lately, I’ve played sets based on reading the crowd completely, and it has given me better results than planning an entire set from start to finish.
SIM: What has been one of your most challenging DJ sets to play, and what DJ set has surprised you the most?
Cristian: My most challenging set would have to be my set for the Global Dance Festival DJ Contest at the Nether Bar back in 2013. It was my first gig in Downtown, and I felt like my nerves got the best of me that night. The set that really surprised me took place at the Hardwell show last September. I felt like I was on a roll that night. The week after that show, I had a couple stop me at the State Fair asking for a picture with me because they really enjoyed my set. One of my favorites for sure.
SIM: Looking back on your growth, what has DJing taught you about the local industry?
Cristian: DJing has definitely taught me a lot about the music industry and the different components behind putting together shows. It has also helped me with my networking skills and how to build genuine relationships.
We’d like to thank Cristian for taking the time this week to sit down with us; we hope to catch more of him soon on another edition of #OnTheRadar. Make sure to catch his set tonight at Dada Life; we’ve got a feeling it’s going to be bananas. Tickets are still on sale, buy yours here.
Looking to keep up with Cristian? Follow him on his adventures below: