Crissy Criss blazed a trail through Drum & Bass that many of his counterparts have been unable to match. A DJ, producer and a label owner, his seminal ten-year BBC Radio 1 show put him on the map, but his DJ skills and releases which followed have enabled him to stay ahead of the game. After becoming a weekly Drum & Bass tastemaker, as well as one of dance music’s most notable figures on the decks and on the radio airwaves, he’s gone on to feature across these stations although this time, with his own sounds. From his imprint ‘War on Silence’, featuring BBC Radio 1 playlisted records like ‘Real’, his profile has exploded, making him a truly multi-faceted artist.
After being influenced to take up DJing by his stepfather Kenny Ken in the early 90’s, Crissy’s career started in 1995 at the tender age of nine. It was whilst on the road that his DJing skills found international recognition and he was soon appearing on legendary, underground pirate radio station Kool FM at age eleven. Attention was increasingly drawn to the young DJ, leading to his own show on BBC Radio 1 in 2004, then onto the renowned BBC Radio 1Xtra in 2007. During his time at the BBC, Crissy helped shine the light on record labels and the careers of Netsky, Camo & Krooked, Wilkinson, Flux Pavillion, Doctor P, FuntCase, Metrik, Mind Vortex, Fred V & Grafix, SPY, Rene LaVice, Dimension and more, most of whom went on to become iconic names.
As well as servicing the underground, the 1Xtra show also attracted many mainstream accolades, including a Sony Radio Award nomination for his ‘Story of the Amen Break’ Radio Documentary. Keeping the BBC’s flagship urban station on the pulse of underground music, Crissy led 1Xtra to 3 Best Radio Station awards at the prestigious Drum&Bass Awards in 2008, 2009, 2013, also securing himself the top Best Radio Show category 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. Using his undeniable mixing talent and respected position, Crissy Criss has become an ambassador for D&B – representing the genre at numerous 1Xtra Live gigs alongside the likes of Alicia Keys, Disclosure, Chase & Status and more.
Since this point his ascent has been unstoppable; with multiple LPs, a record label and an illustrious career as a DJ, Crissy Criss has broken boundaries. His skills in the studio and behind the decks have made him a formidable force – classing him as one of the most technically gifted DJs in the scene and solidifying his position as an top international DnB artist, smashing festivals and club crowds worldwide.
‘Real’ has been one of the markers for Crissy’s success. A collaboration alongside trap duo WiDE AWAKE, it was also awarded a place amongst MTV Music Video’s playlist additions. Released on ‘War on Silence’, named after his label, it drew for the scene’s ground breaking names, including Teddy Killerz, Upgrade, TC, Funtcase, Malux, Erb n Dub, Killer Hertz, Heist, Inja and Carasel. With weekly, continued plays all year round on BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra and Kiss Fresh for every single unleashed through the album, figures like Mistajam, Annie Mac, Greg James, Maya Jama and Rene LaVice all showed their support. ‘Real’ even peaked at number two on the Radio 1 Dance Chart and became BBC Radio 1’s ‘Track of the Weekend’, breaking down the borders between underground and mainstream.
Whether its remixes for the likes of TC, Drumsound & Bassline Smith, Flux Pavillion, DJ Snake, Teddy Killerz and The Prototypes, or his effective approach to being a label owner, DJ and producer, Crissy Criss has mastered an array of talents. He is a jack of all trades and this translates into his incredible output, something which has gained his respect throughout every corner of dance music, as well as further afield. He has a discography encompassing D&B, Dubstep, House, HipHop and a UK Top 40 co-produced track with Shy FX for ‘Yasmin – On My Own’.
With more set to come, there’s no such thing as Crissy Criss’ ‘biggest year’. This is still a work in progress, an intimidating prospect even for the most hardened music professional, but one Crissy Criss takes in his stride.