Growing up with Belgium’s rich history of Electronic, Charlotte de Witte discovered Electro and Techno in her teens and was soon captivated by the hypnotic sounds she heard in the clubs around Ghent. By the age of 17, she had already made her debut behind the decks and her aggressive Techno sets soon caught the ears of some of Belgium’s biggest promoters, earning her prime sets at festivals such as Pukkelpop, I Love Techno, Dour and Tomorrowland. Her latest EP on OFF Recordings, “Trip EP”, established herself as a serious talent in the studio as well as behind the decks. We had the chance to ask several questions to one of the biggest techno feminine rising star in Europe.
Charlotte, in one year you went from talented local artist to an international DJ, what happened to make you come to this stage?
It’s true that lately, things are really exploding! It’s hard to point the finger on just one thing. I guess it’s more of a combination of different factors. Hosting my own radio show, my own concept “KNTXT” at Fuse, releasing the right tracks on the right labels and being lucky enough to play sets in countries are all over the world.
Everything happened very quickly, how do you manage this quick rise in the Techno field?
To me, it’s all still very manageable. It’s getting quite hectic at times but things didn’t go beyond my control so far.
You’re about to release your new EP ‘Closer’ on Mary Go Wild. What story does your new EP tell?
I don’t think there necessarily a story behind it but I do think you can truly see an evolution if you compare this EP with the previous ones. It’s one of my best work so far and I’m extremely looking forward to finally put it out there. The vocals come from Keith Brumberg, a poet in the family, which gives it all a very personal touch. To me, it gives the entire EP more meaning.
What about your Fuse residency? Are you managing the whole line-up for each party you played at Fuse? Is it difficult and stressful to make something unique each time?
The line up is something I always discuss together with the guys from Fuse. I usually make some suggestions about who I’d love to invite at KNTXT and they make the offers. I’ve been fortunate that all the KNTXT nights so far have been successful. We had one less edition in September in Fuse because there was a heat wave in Belgium and people didn’t want to melt inside a club. I truly enjoy hosting these parties and getting to know the invited artists better.
You released a lot of solo music, if you had to choose someone to collaborate, who would be your first choice?
I’d go for a vocal artist like Lera Lynn.
Are there any collaborations plans? New solo projects that you are working on?
There definitely is more music coming soon! I can’t tell much more about it at this stage, but I’m very excited about it.
Do you like what you’re doing? (we assume it’s a YES…) How do you see yourself in the future?
No, I hate it. I hate traveling the world by playing music, it’s awful. Haha no, of course I love it. It’s one of the greatest gifts to be able to do what you love every day and make a living out of it. I always wanted to travel, ever since I was a kid. Playing in different countries has brought me to so many places already. I got to experience their culture, try their food and I’ve made so many friends all over the world. It’s honestly wonderful to be able to do all of this.
You are very present and active on social media. We can observe that you answer and comment your fans’ posts, it’s really suprising to see that closeness from artists that have become a “public figure”. How do you manage that? Is it important for you to keep that closeness?
Well, it actually really depends but I try to be as responsive as possible. I really appreciate the fact that people leave comments on my posts and are showing support so it only makes sense to give some attention back. I try to be a reachable person, I’m a human being like anyone else walking on this planet so I’d hate it if I would start behaving better than someone else.
© Renaud Salmon
You recently met the King and Queen of Belgium because of Tomorrowland. What was that like, was it weird to meet a royal couple due to techno?
It was a true honor meeting them. Not a lot of people can say that they have, so it was a very unique experience. I didn’t have the impression they knew much about the type of music I play, but I also doesn’t matter. You could see that they were speechless looking at the Tomorrowland mainstage. They had stars in their eyes, which was a beautiful moment.
Imagine that the Air Max’s vanished for ever, what would be the other pair that you would choose (Converse not allowed)?
Haha, what a question! I’d be walking around barefoot!
Tell us something you never forget to bring during your travels (apart from everything music related)?
Food! I remember being totally blown away by the Turkish cuisine. So very fresh and tasteful. Or when I was touring in Seoul, South Korea, I walked into this restaurant close to my hotel and ate tonkatsu for the first time. I loved it! I’d go back just to have the same dish all over again. Or even a not too long ago, when I was in Barcelona, the promotor took me to a wonderful tapas place. Haute cuisine tapas. Soooo delicious.
A hard life memory?
What I did learn this year is that you really have to take care of your body. You can’t just get drunk at every gig and not pay a price. I got more responsible, but I’m having just as much fun with or without alcohol. It’s honestly not the rock & roll part that makes it all worthwhile, but the crowd and their energy. The atmosphere.
Photo credit : FIlle Roelants