Cristina Lazic: I hope this is just the beginning of a long journey

Today we are pleased to welcome our next guest, Cristina Lazic!

Italian native Cristina Lazic started playing the piano when she was six. Despite her fairly recent experience as a DJ and producer, in only four years Cristina was able to perform at iconic clubs and festivals like The Egg in London, Opium Dublin, Plastic in Milan and Love Fest in Serbia and catch the attention of Pioneer DJ Italy, who has chosen Cristina as an ambassador and example for aspiring female DJs.

Cristina's talent has also been spotted by top renowned labels like Crosstown Rebels' sub-label Rebellion, Bondage Music and Creature Records, who have released Cristina's tunes. Her particular selection of music and music acumen have also brought Cristina to be featured on renowned international radios, like Ibiza Global (where Cristina hosts a monthly radio show), Pure Ibiza and Data Transmission.

We talked to Cristina about her new EP called "Burning" out now on Rebellion and other projects. Find out more below!
Hi Cristina, thanks for talking to us today. How are you doing?
— Hi there, great to speak to you! I am doing well, a bit worried about the current situation and feeling sorry for people in Ukraine. But overall doing well, currently in Milan with my family.
— You were born and raised in Italy, lived in London and are now back in Milan. How are you enjoying living there? Do you have any tips for people who visit the city?
— I was born in Milan, moved to London in my twenties and I am now back in Milan. When I moved back I saw that as my hometown, also thanks to international events like Expo, had literally bloomed: Milan is now offering a very broad and diverse music scene, with a lot of local organizations, like Take it Easy, Rollover and Burro Studio presenting very researched and interesting music. If you happen to be in Milano, you'll obviously have to visit the central Duomo square and have an espresso coffee or cappuccino standing at the bar, enjoy walks in the Brera district and just look around for beauty: everything in Milan is about fashion and design, you'll see everyone very well dressed and amazing design stores. Milan also has a great location, as it's just 30 mins away from Como and the lakes, and less than 2 hrs drive from amazing places like Liguria and Portofino, or the Alps. It's a city you can enjoy any day, walking around, but also from which you can escape for daily or weekend trips.
What sparked your interest in dance music? Have you always been musical?
— I have always had a strong passion for music. My grandma used to be a classical piano teacher, and she transmitted this passion to me. I used to spend hours and hours next to her playing, always by ear as I always refused to learn to read scores. I grew up composing music in my teen years and, in general, I have always been a strong electronic music lover, and raver in general, since when I was pretty young. I also met my husband thanks to electronic music! So yes, this is something I have always been passionate about - I would not even be able to recall when it was that I got into dance music.
We're chatting today as you have a forthcoming EP titled Burning forthcoming on Rebellion. Can you tell us a bit about the release?
— Of course, "Burning" is my very first EP and I am thankful to Damian Lazarus for believing in me and my music for that! It consists of three tracks: the lead track "Burning"; "Jazzy Feeling" and "Mirror". The EP is quite diverse and will accompany people in a variety of situations - from introspective journeys in moments of reflection, to social gatherings with friends and all the way to the dance floor. All tracks contain a mix of minimal sounds with groovy bass, with female / male catchy vocals. In Mirror I was inspired to include a guitar tone after listening to the great track "Taff" by Leonidas and Traumer; Jazzy Feeling is the result of an effort to combine minimal with funk and jazz music. Finally, with the lead track Burning I wanted to obtain a happy dance floor sound to make people dance, including unexpected elements.
This is your second release for the Crosstown Rebels Sub label. What do you like about the label and what is your relationship like with Damian Lazarus?
— Back in July last year, upon advice from a friend who had listened to my demos I reached out to Damian and sent him my music. I would never expect an answer, but actually Damian got in touch with positive feedback. Since then, we have been building some good collaborations: at first, as you mention he included my track Leap Year in a VA which was released in October 2021, called Souls Vol 2. Leap Year performed quite well, it got into top 4 in the minimal charts on Beatport! The next step has been this EP, which will be followed by some gigs. I just have a strong admiration for Damian: he is one of the most successful DJs in the world, yet he is so humble and he is also well known for being very empowering and allowing new talents to emerge. I have been working very hard in the last year, and I think that somehow the universe has conspired to make this connection happen, and I hope this is just the beginning of a long journey.
What's your creative process like when in the studio? Do you have any favorite pieces of equipment?
— I have made a little basic studio at home. I normally produce using Ableton Live 11, a Push, a sound card, a keyboard and a variety of digital plugins (usually from Arturia, iZotope and Rob Papen). When necessary I go to a proper studio out of Milan, where I can use more professional equipment like Genelec speakers. I am generally a big fan of midi, I like to create melodies for instruments (I love to include guitar and piano sounds) on my own, rather than using loop samples. My creative inspiration is at its best when I am in nature; I often travel to the seaside or the Alps to throw some initial track ideas out when there.
You also work for Google, can you tell us about your job role there and how you manage to juggle both jobs alongside being a mother?
— Google is well known for taking care of its employees and their wellbeing. This also means allowing them to pursue their own passions; I have always openly talked at work about my passion for music, and in fact I have also often played at Google and YouTube events as a dj. The flexibility we are given by Google means that we are obviously expected to perform well, but if we do so we can also organize our time for our own wellbeing - and to me, that means dedicating time to family and music. I am generally very organized, so I schedule my day in a way that would allow me to do everything: I wake up and bring my daughter to school, then start my work day with b2b calls till late afternoon. I normally spend evenings with my daughter till she goes to sleep. After she goes to sleep, I start with my second job: music. Whether it's about producing, digging, practicing, recording or anything else related to music, I invest all of my free time in music. In fact I rest very little, and I never have time to watch Netflix or chill on the sofa… but music is a strong passion, so I don't mind. It's actually my "me time".
With things going back to normal now, where can we expect to see you over the next coming months?
— Closer to summer you'll see me play in Canada, Ibiza and Serbia. More gigs to be announced soon, I am excited that things are finally and slowly getting back to normal!
It's been a pleasure, thank you!
— You too :)