Christopher McCrory could be one of the most difficult people to unravel. He is a mixture of extraversion and mystery that makes him outgoing and remote all at the same time, but a frantic life and the will to find freedom through music, have made this kind of modern Jim Stark a key figure in the English club culture. Under the alter ego of Psychosis, shocking for someone with a sinisterly angelical appearance, this DJ, model, photographer, fashion designer, with a limitless list o incredible talents, has conquered the night by turning his music into a weapon to combat the sorrows threatening the world. A world that seems much cooler and exciting under Christopher’s influence while we enjoy what he wants to offer: a long and exciting journey into the night.
You’ve developed most of your career in London, but you grew up in Murcia and Alicante, in Spain. What have these cities meant to you? How did moving to London affect your creativity and work?
Moving from England and growing up in Spain from a young age has definitely been such a staple to my growth and who I am today. Being able to witness and experience another culture or way of life can open your eyes and give you a further understanding of what life offers. outside of your bubble. Also, spending my teen years in Pacha and Murcia definitely had its impact! My best friend and I would tear it up every weekend, drive around on my moped causing havoc. We would ditch school, go to the beach and drink the peach schnapps that I would steal from my parents! Dumb shit.
As for London, London is full of talent and has many emerging artists so it really was a great place for me to grow, scope out the industry and more importantly figure out where I was going. When I arrived in London it was me and my camera. I had no idea what I was doing or anything about the creative industry and felt well out of my depths because up until this point, I had been taking photos of my friends, vomiting at festivals, partying or simply doing daft shit. I had no idea how people made a living from it all – but I knew that I needed to figure it out if I wanted to pursue a career in the arts and not go back to working in my dad's pub or become an alcoholic.
London offers so many creative opportunities, this opened up avenues I never knew existed for me to explore such as PR for fashion, marketing, direction and creative production. Over the years, I was able to work within various roles, expanding my knowledge, enabling me to figure out the ins and outs of the creative industry. This has now naturally given me a broader vision and understanding when approaching any project.
You have built a reputation in the London club scene, how do you remember your beginnings in the city?
I’ve lived in and out of London for 10 years now and I’ve had some great times here. Although, when I first arrived in London I was 17, I was a bit naive to some of the darkness that looms within the industry. My first experience in London wasn’t the best, I had been modelling and attending castings in London and I had regularly experienced awkward and uncomfortable encounters with seedy photographers and stylists that worked within the fashion industry.
Not much has changed... I guess that's why I decided to produce music and take a step behind the camera instead of in front. Despite that minor rain cloud, London was a great place to experience as a young creative. There’s so much to do and so many people to connect with especially if you plan on taking on the arts as a career.
How would you describe your connection with the English techno scene?
I guess I have always had that need for speed and techno syncs perfectly. I like how entrancing the beat can be. In my house as a child, I grew up on trance, techno and euphoria, as my dad grew up having a huge interest in electronic music, nightlife and grew up in Austria where they love their electronic dance music. It is somewhat embedded in me.
It is inevitable to wonder about the differences you have perceived between the Spanish and the English music scenes.
The two scenes are different in ways. Reggaeton plays a big part in Spanish music culture and I love the sass and sexiness that it brings to a track. The energy and warmth you get with the Spanish nightlife are incomparable to the English rave scene as we don’t and can't take to the beach, pool or club to get our fill. Also, Spain caters a lot more to nightlife and the music scene in a sense. In England, we can hit the odd club or we put on our own events in desolated and abandoned spaces, dance in muddy fields or outside in the rain to some hardcore stomps.
I guess that's the beauty of it all and part of the experience too. Coming together and finding somewhere to let go of all inhibitions and expectations, to connect with like-minded people that are here to host and celebrate their love for music.
You define some of the music you create as ‘dirty techno,’ can you expand on that? What does the concept mean or entail?
Some of the songs I produce are for the club and some are to sit back and experience. The dirty techno is definitely for the club! I wanted to bring the sass and sexiness from Spanish and Latin music to the mostly masculine-dominated techno scene. I wanted my tracks to hit hard with a side of fuego. I aim to create music that encourages empowerment to an all-inclusive reality to humanity. The beat is mostly bassy, intense and invites you to let go and live your full fantasy. I want this music to empower people and give them some strength to push through and let loose.
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As a DJ, you call yourself Psychosis, a shape-shifting creature that finds himself in different minds and bodies. Could we say that you understand music as a way to create a mental connection with your listeners?
For sure. Psychosis has many voices and aims to take you on a journey. I want to give the listener something to get up and dance for. The recent album Revelations highlights the times and trials that we're currently facing and have been facing for a while – as a piece it’s really quite conceptual. It’s a call to arms as it is time to rise and be the positive change that is urgently in need. With moments of euphoria and a hard-hitting beat, there’s no doubting it is the kind of music that you can’t help but clench fists and stamp feet to. The albums I’m working on are more conceptualistic whereas some of my singles are simply created to let loose and wild out to.
During your first steps, you mixed tracks with vocal samples from great icons of reality TV shows such as Tiffany Pollard and Paris Hilton, why this taste for these 2000s queens?
Personally, these women have been some of the most influential women that I have come across in my time whilst watching reality TV. Paris Hilton is my favourite and has given me so many lols over the years. Tiffany Pollard is simply a straight-up icon and regardless of her somewhat harsh humour, I think she empowered people to really appreciate their worth and ultimately take shit from no one. Women like this inspire me daily. Growing up at my grandmas with five girls really taught me how powerful and strong a female can be regardless of their appearance. This is something that I respect and admire I suppose and want to incorporate in my work as they are a source of inspiration to me.
Has confinement been an accomplice or an enemy at the time you were developing your latest work, Revelations?
If anything, it has worked out well as it has given me the time to push forward with projects that I had been thinking about for some time. For example, the album Revelations was defiantly made out of some frustration with the world and what has been taking place. I had been sitting on some tracks for some time and wanted to expand on the idea so I started producing a lot more. As London goes into a second lockdown I’m slowly figuring out the second album – so there is a silver lining.
After years of nightlife, music, clubs and partying, what revelations have you had living such a hectic life? Can the people around you keep up with you or is it the techno road a lonely one?
To be honest, I have a handful of people I hold close to my heart and they don’t need to keep up as we are infinitely connected. As you grow up you learn that most roads can be lonely however you also need to keep in mind that the people you surround yourself with can in either lift you or suppress you. Saying that if someone truly cares about you they will be with you in spirit and lift you until the end.
In Revelations, there are references to the supernatural world, especially in the Xenoglossy theme, does Chris believe in the paranormal?
Yes, from an early age, I have always been very susceptible to the energy around me. I previously predicted my friend's pregnancy twice within dreams and have envisioned things that later came to reality. So, yes, of course!
Revelations is also inspired by your anguished youth, can you tell us more about that time of your life?
You could write a book about the dramas within my family and upbringing. From deaths, arrests, moving to eight schools, my mum running away with my dad's co-worker and all whilst being gay and the only heir to a Catholic family – I guess I was left with a lot to question and protest. It’s been fun so far!
Do you want this project to be a weapon to fight the evil that looms over our world? What monsters can be defeated with your techno? Is Psychosis’ music a hymn of revolution?
(Laughs) Certainly. I want my music to empower and encourage people to get up, act up and wake up. Music to empower the good and to weaken the evil. Dance that demon away!
In addition to music, you have worked as a model and you even design clothes, what is your relationship to the world of fashion?
From a young age, I loved everything creative including fashion, I remember watching the fashion week shows on my mums bed and ordering her to wear dresses that I chose from her colour co-ordinated wardrobe that I organised and colour co-ordinated. I grew up with five girls so, you either played with a Barbie or you played on your own – naturally I would be wrestling my cousins for the most glam outfits.
20 odd years later and here I am. I run a creative studio in London that focuses on branding, have cast and directed fashion shows in London, New York and have been the creative director of content for luxury brands and retailers. I really do have a passion for fashion, as the Bratz would say. During my time at Selfridges, I worked on a project called Project Earth which was todo with eco-friendly production and environmental awareness. This is what influenced me to start recycling and redesigning the clothing that I already had in my wardrobe, as well as my friends. Some of these pieces have been worn by music artists and have been featured in some major publications. I’d like to encourage people to do the same, use what you have, buy from second-hand stores and be creative with it. Be your own designer!
As someone who doesn't stop, how do you think your life will be when you grow old? Do you see yourself still involved in the techno scene?
I’ll still be on the scene and I’ll probably own the club. I’ll still be doing ten things at once and living every day like its my last. I aim to work on video gaming in the future so I’ll probably have to take a couple of weekends off. I’ve been working with a games designer recently on the audio for their latest project Inhalant which is really exciting! It's is a PS1 styled game based on the 21st Century rave scene, it focuses on the youth’s accelerating nightlife and psychedelic trips from rave music’s spirituality. The game is curated by the talented Nina Wong, a current BA Fine Arts student at Central Saint Martins. I can’t wait to see it all come together! It’s exciting!
For you, music is the language of the universe, what playlist would this chaotic 2020 be? Could you tell us some songs you’d include?
I have created a playlist that perfectly encapsulates the year!