Christian Rich’s night-time playlist

Two men in suits sat at a table

The Berlin-based producer duo, whose latest Berghain-inspired single with Vic Mensa drops today, shares a playlist of tracks for every evening mood

As told to Jess Kelham-Hohler    Above image: Christian Rich   Friday 18 September, 2020   Short read

Where does the name ‘Christian Rich’ come from?
‘It’s a fashion name we made 15 years ago. And we decided to use it for music about 10 years ago. We enjoy designing and fashion in general. The name came from thinking of a brand outside of music.’

How would you describe your sound?
‘Our sound is very melodic. Early fans will tell you we love major seven jazz chords, church chords. These days, those melodic sounds are there, but heavier drums are there now. We prefer hip-hop for our sound, and dip into electronic, house and pop as needed. We convey stories with our tracks to give the audience space to wonder.’

What do you look for in a collaborator? How does the creative process work when you’re helping an artist develop their sound?
‘We look for musicality in the artist on several levels. Does the artist appreciate music culture, the different genres of music? From there, we are able to shape what will make sense for the artist. Artists should be open when working on new songs. A hit could derive from a space unknown. The creative process begins with an open beat or melodies crafted on a piano or guitar. Once the basic loop or idea is there, the full song flushes out.’

You’ve pushed for getting feature credits when you’ve produced tracks for artists. Why is this important? 
‘We’ve always done that. We ask for it because we are artists as well, and usually give away our hits (so to say). Attitudes towards producers are changing slowly in the US. In the UK, they have always been appreciated as artists, and America is starting to understand that now.’

How did this collaboration with Vic Mensa come about? 
‘This is our fourth collaboration with him. We are all from Chicago and he is solid. We like working together and have done it for more than seven years now. This song originally started in 2019 when he featured on our track “Shibuya”. He heard the beat when we flew him to Berlin and he began writing then. We revisited the idea during lockdown and got it finished a few months ago.’

How would you describe your new single?
‘“Night Riders” is a slow, sexy trap song. It was originally called “Berghain”, because its story is about an experience that began at Berghain [the club] in Berlin. With all that is going on, it’s important to think of that person who makes you get butterflies inside and taking night rides to see them.’

This has been a crazy year – how have you stayed creatively inspired and motivated?
‘We’ve been reading a lot of articles and books to stay informed, but also to expand our thoughts. Creatively, working with other artists has been wonderful – just to have that human touch. We also started a children’s book series called And Then We Learned At Home to help parents with home-schooling. Giving back knowledge in that way keeps us motivated, and solidarity with artists and entrepreneurs is refreshing.’ 

What do you have coming up?
‘Some new productions for other artists are on the way from us. We also have more Christian Rich singles and an album, too.’ 

Tell us about this playlist.
‘It’s inspired by the different moods at night. You might feel sexy, anxious or just relaxed. We chose songs that motivate us, but also sound beautiful melodically. The moods go from R&B and hip-hop to electronic and house – “Night Riders” itself is a hybrid of some of these genres.’
Interested in becoming a member?