It's never too late for an artist to reinvent themselves. Miley Cyrus went from the cover of Disney DVD's to the cover of High Times in her first quarter century. Skream went from sending slow-skanking ravers into drug induced depths with dubstep to sending them straight up to house and disco heaven. Giorgio Moroder decided at damn near 80 years old to DJ alongside people a quarter his age.
Scottish DJ and producer Chris Lake spent the last decade growing into one of the biggest names in festival-aimed, CO2 backed big-room. Now in 2015, he's flying a very different flag, one that reps the nation of house music.
Listen to MIXED BY Chris Lake above.
"I was on a very long tour in Asia and had a unbelievable amount of alone time," begins Lake from the VICE HQ in Brooklyn. "I ended up back in Scotland and started writing loads of ideas, making house music again. I felt this connection to the music and this sound that I had forgot I had."
Lake has brought this new house-centric sound to a variety of North American venues like LA's Avalon and Chicago's Spybar as part of his aptly named Origins tour. While Lake describes himself as a reserved Brit, his enthusiasm brims as he describes the excitement his newfound sound has provided him. "It's this little bit extra to everything I do," he says. "I love it."
February of this year saw the Ultra Record's release of Lake's "Chest," a cheeky, rumbling house number that in many ways is Lake's reintroduction to a new community of fans, as well as a bucket of cold water in the face to his longtime devotees - a sign, perhaps, that this is "Chris Lake 2.0," and you better get with it.
For those longtime fans that have followed the artist since his formidable 2000s years, they'll probably peg Lake's new sound as a move back towards his roots, to tracks like "Carry Me Away," a house production that rose to the top of the Billboard Hot Dance Charts in 2009. Lake accredits his original foray away from house, towards more big-room territories, to trends in the industry: "I've gone backwards to go forwards, and even though to some respects its like going back to an old sound, it all feels really new to me. When I released some of these house records a few years ago, they really weren't popular and I ended up changing my sound a bit when I came to America-it was very much influenced by festivals," he says.
Not afraid to toy with cynicism, Lake even jokes about how his friends back home in Scotland reminded him about how he used to produce during the earlier acts of his career. "They're all miserable and negative," he says. "'Everything's shit, it's all been done before, fuck you,' they say. Success? They don't like that."
But beyond the wisecracking mates, and personal restlessness, why exactly has Chris Lake grown tired of the sound that made him a star? "There's a lot of formula playing out in the big-room scene, and that's not just in music, but in being an artist. There's this blueprint being followed by so many artists as a path to success, which is really just a path to greater finances, not just for them but for their team. It's making a lot of acts and music feel very sterile and unique, it's boring and people are starting to see through it."
While Lake is certainly aware that many of his opinions, are currently being mirrored by the entire dance music industry at large, as more mainstream leaning sounds are swiftly being pushed to the back row by deep-house, future house, an allotment of more underground-leaning styles, he claims his decisions are all the result of how he feels, not not just want he's seeing and hearing elsewhere. "I know the records are changing and in Europe there's been a move towards a deep house sound-but that will, and is, moving on already. I'm just doing my own thing and that's what i'm really happy about. I haven't been able to do for a long time."
As you can hear in Lake's MIXED BY streaming above, his new sound is driven by a cheeky brand of house that doesn't take itself too seriously, a sound that probably will still be able to latch on to his more fist-pump-ready demographic of fans. That being said, he still isn't afraid to engage with some of the more approachable sounds of the mainstream. His mix is chock full of creative edits of tracks by Prince ("remixing [Prince] was probably a bad idea-he doesn't like people to mess with his music," he says), Mark Ronson, and Chris Isaac. As Lake stressed time and time again, it's clear the artist is having fun, in a creative way, like never before.
"That's the best thing I ever did, I made loads of fuck ups. That's the biggest shame-I don't think many people, once the success starts, allow themselves to do that."
"Money has influenced a lot of creativity," he says.
Grab your copy of "Chest" on Beatport.
MIXED BY CHRIS LAKE - TRACKLIST:
Chris Lake - The Music
Bazu - 50 Below Zero (John Acquaviva & Olivier Giacomotto Remix)
Aaron Snapes - On It (Jay Robinson Remix)
Justin Martin & Ardalan feat. Party Patty - Function
Simion - Give You Love (The Piano) (Dario D'attis Remix)
Christian Nielsen - Need That Something
Roger Sanchez - My Roots (Technasia Remix)
Chris Lake - Chest
Friend Within, GotSome, The Get Along Gang - Bassline (Friend Within Remix)
Prince - FUNKNROLL (Chris Lake Edit)
Wax Motif - Since I Left You
Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars - Uptown Funk (Chris Lake Edit)
The Deepshakerz - Touch Me (Marco Lys Remix)
Funkin Matt - Orbit
MNEK - The Music (Chris Lake Edit)