Chris Urban tackles many elements of the local music industry-dancer, DJ, music producer-you name it, he’s doing it. When he’s not spinning beats at hot spot Le’tage on Saturday nights or dancing his heart out at Koresh dance studios, you can also find him cooking up grooves as one third of the production team, Roxoff, where he mixes it up local DJs Drootrax and Arun Deejay. Judging by how last year he destroyed a city block spinning at Outfest and also those beats he provides at his new monthly Roxoff dance party at Voyeur, we would say this guy is well on his way to greater music heights. Behind the headphones, Chris is a very chill, down to earth guy, so Mixtape couldn’t wait to kick back and sip some music tea with him. Dive into our groovin’ gabfest below.
PM-Hey Chris, thanks so much for taking time out of your crazy schedule to have a little chat with me. First, tell me a little on how you got started in being both a dancer and a DJ.
CU-I started hip-hop dance when I was 12 years old. A pretty girlfriend of mine at the time was like come take hip-hop class…so I did and the rest was history, I fell in love! I stopped playing baseball immediately and pursued dancing! I danced through out high school at multiple schools and even danced at Sesame Place as my first gig. After high school, I went to the University Of The Arts to further my dance education and while living in Center City, I emerged myself in the hospitality/night life scene to make money while being a starving artist which led to me working at a few big night clubs. Through networking and hard work, I made the right connections and was taken under the wings of DJ Nick Montone ,who showed me my technique and gave me the knowledge to be the DJ I am today.
PM-Do you remember the first song you ever spun?
CU-I started DJing happy hours at Public House in Logan Square (the new City Tap House) in 2005, so I played to a slightly older crowd. We jammed the best of the classics and I think my first track was Chubb Rock- “Treat Em Right”. It’s a goodie to sing and dance to!
PM-How about the first song you ever danced to?
CU-My first dance performance was at a hip-hop recital dance to Monica’s “The First Night”. What a jam that was and boy, has my dancing come a long way!! (laughs)
PM-What’s your favorite dance routine that you’ve ever done?
CU– I’ve had the opportunity to work with Rihanna’s choreographer Luam, and she put together this sick piece to Busta Rhymes… It was so good!!
PM-Okay, so I’m sure you’ve read by now that both Janet and Missy are expected to have albums out any day now. Which album are you most looking forward to?
CU-Missy hands down. I love Janet to death, but I grew up on Missy and Timbaland and they changed me as a performer, DJ and dancer. They make magic and I’m so excited to hear what they have in store for us!!
PM-Speaking of Missy and Timbaland, you know they used to produce beats for our girl, Aaliyah. If you had to pick just 3 of your favorite Aaliyah joints, what would they be?
CU– Only 3!? That’s so hard, they’re all so good! I would say, “One In A Million” “Try Again” , and “Hot Like Fire”
PM-Shout out for me one artist who you think needs more love right now.
CU-One artist who needs some more love would be GTA. These Miami based DJ/Producers are dropping them club bangers that will make anyone lose their shit on the dance floor! (Catch them on THIS banger with Martin Solveig right here.)
PM-Lastly, name one album that you can’t live without.
CU-Justin Timberlake’s “Justified” and “Future Sex/Lovesounds” Both!