Right on time for his new EP “Civil War“ we sat down with Kronos and chatted about old aliases, new music, weed & the god of time. We dug in the archives, talked about the past but also about upcoming things as well as his mini-album that will soon be released on Scantraxx’ sister label A2 Records. Get ready, as this Italian Stallion is coming out with a diverse EP that will shake the scene!
Hardstyle Mag: Let’s start off here… DJ Kronos! Who is DJ Kronos!?
Kronos: Dj Kronos is an Italian guy born in 1991 Palestrina, a city close to Rome. A pretty normal guy with quite a history tough. I now live in the Netherlands since one and half year and of course I’ve been in love with Hardstyle since years. I listen to Hardstyle since about 10 years: I started of in something like 2005 and just got dragged in, you know? My first ever Hardstyle track was “Do You Know This One“ by Tatanka. That was my first Hardstyle track and after hearing that – I was just in love. From that day on I was listening to Hardstyle every fucking day. Two or three years later I started producing, in something like 2008/2009 – and my first EP came out in 2010.
Hardstyle Mag: Yeah! Were you not producing under a different name back then?
Kronos: Yes! I was Jajox. I was working with Activator, and was working alongside him on on Activa Records. I met him in a club and we started talking about producing. Producing and Hardstyle were just what I wanted to do back then. I was so in love with music back then that I was missing from school quite a lot.
Hardstyle Mag: Oh, really?
Kronos: Yeah. I was so obsessed that I used to tell my mum I was going to school, then I slept in my car and then I just went back home to produce again, haha! The last three years of my school were basically like that and I was just at home producing, making kick and more producing!
Hardstyle Mag: So how did you go from Activa Records to Italian Hardstyle and Unite Records?
Kronos: I started releasing my records on Activa in something like 2011 or so. After two years or so, there was a day on which Activator just called me and told me “Yo man, I just talked to Zatox and maybe it’s a good idea if you went to his label“. For me that was a dream come true. He was one of my favorite producers, and still is! so in 2012 I started sending my tracks to his label. I kept sending my demos to Zatox for one year – I just kept sending, and sending and sending. He wanted me to improve and then finally after one year he told me that I would be releasing them on Italian Hardstyle. A bit later he told me that he would be starting Unite Records and again – I was on. We started it [referring to Unite] all together, we were seven or eight people: Atom [now Pherato], Zatox, The R3belz, and so on!
Hardstyle Mag: But there was also a collaboration with Tatanka in between, right?
Kronos: Yes indeed! That was fun!
Hardstyle Mag: So after that was the point when you got in touch with A2 Records!
Hardstyle Mag: So tell us a little bit more about your first track on A2 Records – „AHAH“ with Malua.
Kronos: Last year around August or July, Malua messaged me on Facebook and asked if we could collab. I said, that would be great! It was also quite fitting as we were supposed to be playing together a few weeks later at Kings Of Hardstyle in Nijmegen last year. So we met up at my place and she said “Hey, I maybe have an idea!“ So she showed me the movie “Training Day“ with Denzel Washington. There’s this scene in the movie where the guy he played was smoking weed and laughing. Something like that and it was so funny that we decided the just sample it. The rhythm of his laugh inspired the entire track. And just in two or three days the track was done! Full inspiration! We tested the track at Kings Of Hardstyle and it was perfect! I’m really proud of it!
Hardstyle Mag: So how did the Mini-Album come together afterwards?
Kronos: So, well, I had quite some tracks already – like two or three. So in September, October I decided, maybe I can make some more tracks and release something even bigger – a Mini-Album. After two or three years of just releasing EPs I just thought the time was right to make something a little more special like this. I barely released anything in 2016, so I wanted a new start: with new tracks and an impact!
Hardstyle Mag: The „Civil War“ Mini-Album! So, can you tell us more about it? What can we expect from you and your masterpiece?
Kronos: So there’s eight tracks on it. Collaborations also, but mainly my own tracks. The first track on it is “Civil War“, which is also the title track. Every track on the EP has a meaning to me. I had different feelings I wanted to put into each track, so it’s quite diverse.
Hardstyle Mag: So what meaning has the title track, „Civil War“ to you?
Kronos: I was not really in a good position in my life when I made it. I just didn’t feel good. My career wasn’t going too well and overall I wasn’t feeling to good. This record is about my own “Civil War“ against everyone. That’s the reason I made it, I just needed to get these feelings out and express myself. “This is not a fight, this is Civil War!“, that’s what I wanted to say. “No Pain, No Gain“, also has a similar meaning. And of course it all also fitted very well to my character – personal and my Kronos alias! It’s kind of a challenge or a bit like in a movie, you know. In Hardstyle, of course, we are all a big family, but each one of us is also having these stage personas that all want to go their own directions. So this theme of “Civil War“ was somewhat fitting.
Hardstyle Mag: So can you tell us more about the other tracks on the album?
Kronos: Every track just has a different story. So for instance “Amnesia“. I made “Amnesia“ because Amnesia haze is my favorite weed strain, haha! So I sat down to produce and I just had found this cool vocal about it. And then there’s “Time“, another track I made. The people I sent promos to loved this one the most. It just has a different atmosphere. I was sitting underneath the Christmas tree at home in Italy and had made the melody it on my laptop. Every track is just different, haha! I just do not want to repeat myself in my music, but at the same time stay true to myself. I just do what I fucking want. And yeah then there’s also a collaboration with Outbreak on it. JP [Outbreak], is just like a brother from another mother to me. Every time we talk it just feels like we know each other since forever, you know? “Drum“ is the rougher track we made together recently, I think the Dutch people will really love this one! I also made a track with X-Pander, “Lone Workers“. Me and Valentin [X-Pander], wanted to collaborate since two years and now we finally did it. It’s just really diverse! And everyone just likes a different track from my Mini Album. Some people like “Time“ the most, then for instance Crypsis told me he really loves “Amnesia“.
“I just do not want to repeat myself in my music, but at the same time stay true to myself. I just do what I fucking want.” – Kronos
Hardstyle Mag: So How was working together with A2 Records then?
Kronos: It was a really different experience from what I was used to at Unite. Back then I used to do my own template videos for my channel with Final Cut and so on. This time there were a lot of people involved and I could focus 100% on my music, which was amazing. That’s what I wanted, just make music! I didn’t have to stress about things like making these videos or stress about release dates and these kind of things. When I talked to A2 Records, they were really happy with what I did. We decided to release everything in May. I just had to send them my music & press picture. It was perfect, I was just in love with working like that!
Hardstyle Mag: In the beginning of this interview you also told me that you just moved to the Netherlands! How is it as an Italian artist to live in the Netherlands? Any cultural or other differences?
Kronos: Yeah, well. Of course there are cultural differences, like different attitudes and such. But you have that everywhere. At the beginning it was pretty hard for me though, at the beginning even my English was very bad. I had to do everything myself, get registered, get a social security number, register at the chamber of commerce, things like that – all with no Dutch and bad English knowledge, haha! You can imagine how difficult that was. After that – it was actually a pretty cool country! I even have really cool neighbors, who do not complain about my music, haha! One of my neighbors, an old lady, even greets me every day and really likes me. But concerning food it’s pretty hard sometimes – I used to bring so much food from Italy all the time. I mean you can buy all the good stuff here, but it’s just too expensive. And then there’s of course the difference in weather. It’s just crazy.
Hardstyle Mag: So what is your favorite food item from Italy then?
Kronos: I’m all about Barilla & Garofalo!
Hardstyle Mag: So where the Name ‚Kronos‘ come from?
Kronos: So, I was Jajox, right? And then I joined Zatox’ label and he was telling me that the name was a bit too similar to his own. Some had to change that. I had some ideas here and there but couldn’t really decide. And then him and Nikkita helped me with finding a new name. Two weeks before the Loudness 2012 lineup release, I still didn’t have a new name, you know! So then Nikkita said “What do you think about ‘Kronos‘?“ and I said “Hm! It’s not bad!“ Kronos is the god of time, so, if you listen to “Time“ on my album – it’s just about that. The quote is from Harry Potter. Dumbledore says “Mysterious thing, Time. Powerful, and when meddled with, dangerous.“ and then the track continues with a quote about the god of time – Kronos. Maybe it’s a bit egocentric – but I like it! (laughs)
Hardstyle Mag: So what memorable gigs did you have recently?
Kronos: Actually, last year I had one of my best gigs with Fatality. I have a pretty good relationship with them [the organisation] and they are just getting bigger and bigger. This year I will be playing there with Malua. I also really like High Energy Events and what they do. I played Megabase with Outbreak just recently and that was insane. And then of course the obvious ones like Intents, Defqon.1 and so on were really amazing too!
Hardstyle Mag: And the upcoming gigs? Where can we check out the new mini-album played by you?
Kronos: Be sure to not miss me at Fatality Outdoor and Dance Valley! And of course there’s some more coming up, but I can’t really say already…!
Hardstyle Mag: So what are the plans for the future?
Kronos: I think next year and the year after will be insane. That will be my time. 2018 & 2019 are really going to be huge for me. I didn’t just stop making music because I finished an album. I just made a new track with Outbreak, that I’m absolutely in love with and then a new collar with Zatox as well. And of course the remix for Ran-D. Melodic, rough – I do what I want!
Hardstyle Mag: Want to give a shout-out to your fans?
Kronos: Of course! Thank you all for being with me when I was at my worst and standing with me when I was at my best. Not just the fans, but also the people around me. Fans, friends, family – everyone who stood close to me: Thank you so much for your support. The next year will be insane, I owe you that!
Kronos Mini-Album will be released on 31st of May 2017 & previews will be online every week on A2 Records & Kronos’ social media! Some of them are already online, so don’t miss out! Thanks again to Kronos for the amazing interview!
Image Credit: Megabase, Scantraxx