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In the 10th edition on Beats: The Next Generation we’re bringing you an incredible gem from the U.K.! At only 18 years old, Toronto Is Broken has been the name on everyone’s lips as the new young talent to watch out for. He was even just recently signed with Calgary’s own, Supreme Hustle! As always, if you or someone you know should be featured on Beats: The Next Generation, please holla at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Name: Christian Hoffmann (Toronto Is Broken)
Current City: Hinckley (Leicestershire, U.K.)
Style: Drum ‘n bass, 140 Jungle Breaks and garage
Hi, my name is Toronto Is Broken (Christian Hoffmann), and I’m addicted to popcorn.
What the first track that got your heart pumping?
I think the first EDM track that really caught my attention had to be the Spor remix of Stompox by the Qemists. Up until then I was creating really left-wing IDM music, and discovering that track began my journey into more dance floor friendly types of IDM and began my fanatic love for drum ‘n bass.
Describe your first experience with electronic music?
Up until I was about 14 I thought all dance/electronic music is the same, THUD THUD THUD BLEEP BLEEP *cue Scooter-esque vocals*. But then I brought Enter Shikari’s debut album Take To The Skies on a whim as I noticed it was at #4 in the U.K. album charts, and I briefly heard a few of their tracks earlier and I thought they were alright. Then I got hooked and made the transition to cut down on my diet of hardcore rock and metal to pretty much pure electronic music. I recently got to meet them a store signing for their latest album, and I got to tell them how they’ve pretty much changed my life, it was amazing.
What’s your favourite part of the industry?
For me it has to be meeting or speaking to loads of notable people in the EDM scene, and having people out there doing the hard work of pushing and managing your music, leaving you with just having to make and play the music. Its great to see how quickly my fan base has grown too since my first commercial release, (Dance Of The Night / I Can’t Be Real) on Haunted Audio Recordings back in December 2011.
Who gave you your first gig?
The first time I ever played to an audience was at one of my mate’s birthday’s about two years ago, but my first ‘proper’ gig had to be last summer at Klub Metro in Bialystok, Poland. It was crazy, I can’t remember what I played but people were climbing onto the strange and going crazy, and my track A Little More which is out now on Atomic Zoo, went down like a house on fire packed out with loads of flammable chemicals inside. I think it’s the first time I’ve ever played a track the whole way through from start to end in a mix without mixing into something else midway though.
When did you start producing tracks? And what software do you use to create?
It was probably about four years ago I started experimenting with Fruity Loops 8 and creating weird glitchy IDM music and ambient stuff. It was in 2010 I switched to Ableton Live 7 and haven’t changed since. Handling audio is a dream.
Which one are you most proud of?
Probably April 9th that features Jenni Potts on vocals is currently my biggest track to date, and there’s also Spirit Song 2012 that was released on Sub Slayers and received airplay on BBC Radio 1, being played live on air by none other than Sub Focus himself!
What’s the biggest challenge to you when it comes to making it as a DJ/Producer?
When you first start out the hardest part for me was getting known, as I was rubbish at promotion. However now, I think it’s always trying to better myself with each release, and I have great support from Jay Cunning who runs Sub Slayers, who’s now working as my manager as I’m joining the label exclusively for the next couple of years. Also, the guys at Atomic Zoo and Supreme Hustle (Mike Slim Pickings and Dylan Kennedy) are great guys too.
What’s your fav ‘pump you up’ track?
It has to be the Metrik remix of “Diabla” by Funk D’Void. That drop always sends shivers up my spine when it drops! But I’ve also recently fallen in love with the new Fred V & Grafix track “Just A Thought” that features Reija Lee on vocals. Also the High Rankin remix of “Bad Girls” by Jay Cunning and One Sinner, on Sub Slayers is just pure filth!
What was your first piece of equipment?
I brought one of those Korg Kaossilators a few years back. It was so much fun, but got boring after 10 minutes. I eventually sold it as I never used it. That was my first piece of dedicated music hardware, but the oldest thing I own that I use for music production has to be my trusty Windows desktop.
Who do you look up to?
The guys I’m loving at the moment are Metrik, ShockOne, Phetsta, Ad Gannon, Gold, Fred V & Grafix and the highlight for this year will have to be Sub Focus’ new album due out later this year!
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully busy gigging here there and everywhere, with plenty more releases under my belt and perhaps releasing or working on an album. But no one can tell yet. I also expect Sub Slayers to blow up soon, there’s so many amazing things Jay has in the pipeline for 2012, and they’re the perfect label for me.
What can people look most forward to when you spin?
Double drops, high energy first pumping and lost on genre-crossing from drum ‘n bass, to breakbeat, to garage and even some Moombahton down at 100 bpm.
How have you grown the most since you first started out?
I have a lot more knowledge now about the scenes, I know what’s hot at the moment and what isn’t. Also my production is improving dramatically at an exponential rate, I now feel comfortable dropping my tunes alongside tracks from the big players in the scene.
Who’s your biggest fan?
Bonnie Wright. I can’t set up a Tumblr account for myself as she’s named hers after Toronto Is Broken.
What’s your fav ‘pump you up’ track?
It has to be the Metrik remix of Diabla by Funk D’Void. That drop always sends shivers up my spine when it drops! But I’ve also recently fallen in love with the new Fred V & Grafix track Just A Thought that features Reija Lee on vocals.
Who is the artist you would like to work with most and why?
Vocal wise it would have to be Origa who’s responsible for the vocal work in my tracks Into My Eyes and Spirit Song. It would be good to get some original stuff from her, but I don’t think she’s active anymore as a performing musician. Collaboration wise I’m not sure, Metrik’s taken some interest in my work and we’re planning to get something going together in the future, so that maybe something interesting.
I’d just love to play at a summer festival like Creamfields or Glade, in the baking heat on and open outdoor stage and getting thousands moving in unison. That’d be crazy.
One word to describe my style would be …
People would be shocked to know ____________ (about me)
That I have really, really, really stretchy face and that if I flap my cheeks fast enough I can sound like a fish.
What’s your ‘guilty pleasure’ track?
The Saturdays – All Fired Up. I love the Saturdays too much, I even did a cheeky bootleg of their track Notorious that you can download for free from my SoundCloud.
If you’re not spinning or producing, where would I find you?
Either at my girlfriend’s house as we live together and my studio is at my parent’s house.
Of all the tracks in your collection, which one is your ‘go to’?
Bad Tripby Ad Gannon. Love that tune ever since he sent me a dub of it last year. Good to see it’s finally been released on Regal Records just recently. There’s also a few bangers in the Sub Slayers back catalogue that are essential in my sets too. Jungle Rain by Schema, Tear It Up by Sanxion and the Gold remix of Warrior Charge by King Yoof that’ll be out on Sub Slayers on May 4.
One thing I couldn’t live without is _______________
Either my my studio or my girlfriend, it’s a tough one haha.
What’s your description of a great producer?
Someone that’s always pushing boundaries and doesn’t just restrict themselves to one tempo. Also someone that’s not afraid to go commercial and create catchy, accessible track, but can also switch back to the dance floor bangers too!
What’s your description of a DJ?
Someone who plays out their own and other people’s music seamlessly one into another. It doesn’t really matter what they’re using be it Vinyl, Serato, Ableton (like myself), CD decks or a laptop and DJ controller, as long as the crowd’s having a good time.
How do you think you will stand out in the EDM scene?
Hopefully as one of the artists with the most variety. I think it’s great that I produce so many different styles, its brings in a wider audience and keeps them guessing!
What advice would you give to any other up and coming DJs/producers?
Don’t be shy! Send you tunes everywhere, get guest mixes on internet radio stations and get on as many things as you can.
What’s in store next for Toronto Is Broken?
Firstly, I have a forthcoming release on Cue Recordings that’ll also be my first 12″ vinyl release. I’ve also just finished my next release for Sub Slayers that’ll be out mid-summer. It’s entitled The Inner Circle EP, which is the follow up to my Move It EP. The label did a fantastic job releasing it – it scored a nine out of 10 in the U.K. DJ Mag and got massive support from Sub Focus, The Crystal Method, Metrik and even Paul Oakenfold!
Also check out Sub Slayers!
[AZR086] – A Little More – EP – BUY HERE
[SHR002] – April 9th (Feat. Jenni Potts) *#12 Beatport Drum & Bass charts* - BUY HERE
[SLAYER013] – Move It – EP *9/10 in DJ Mag* – BUY HERE
[HAR129] – Dance Of The Night / I Can’t Be Real – BUY HERE
Here’s the MIX
TORONTO IS BROKEN – Spirit Song 2012 (Sub Slayers)
>>>THE PRODIGY – Omen (NOISIA Remix) (Take Me To The Hospital)
FOAMO – Wardance (Skint)
WILLOW SMITH – I Whip My Hair (NOTION Remix)
REDLIGHT – Stupid (ft. Roses Gabor) (Digital Soundboy)
OLLIE MACFARLANE – Peculiar (TORONTO IS BROKEN Remix) (Dual Signal)
>>>EMALKAY – Crusader (Dub Police)
THE PRODIGY – Your Love (TORONTO IS BROKEN Re-Fix)
KONDRASHOV – Answer (TORONTO IS BROKEN Remix) (Downbeat Dub)
HIGH CONTRAST – If We Ever (TORONTO IS BROKEN Re-Fix)
FRED V & GRAFIX – Just A Thought (ft. Reija Lee) (Viper)
FUNK D’VOID – Diabla (METRIK Remix) (Soma)
FENECH SOLER – Demons (TRIPPCORE Remix)
IG88 – Seahorse Paternity Test (ft. Jenni Potts) (TORONTO IS BROKEN Remix) (Nueva Forma Dub)
TORONTO IS BROKEN – April 9th (ft. Jenni Potts) (Supreme Hustle)
CHIRSTOPH MAITLAND & TOBY EMERSON – Fall Silently (ft. Veela) (TORONTO IS BROKEN Remix) (Atomic Zoo)
FAST FOOT – Show Freak (DIRTY TALK Remix) (Atomic Zoo)
TORONTO IS BROKEN – April 9th (ft. Jenni Potts) (RAVAGER Remix) (Atomic Zoo)
EWUN – Screw Up (THE UPBEATS Remix) (Lifted)
AD GANNON – Bad Trip (Regal)
DIRTYPHONICS - Vandals (AudioPorn)
PORTER ROBINSON – Unison (KNIFE PARTY Remix) (Owsla)
NERO – Must Be The Feeling (DELTA HEAVY Remix) (MTA)
DANI DEAHL – Diplo Hates You (2DEADBEATZ Moombahton Remix) (Atomic Zoo)