Category Archives: Christopher Norman

Christopher Norman releases his debut EP entitled simply “EP1” on Pok Pok Records on April 26th 2011.

‘EP1’ is the pop-oriented vocal debut from producer/performer Christopher Norman. During years of work as an established dance producer and DJ, he slowly developed his other talents as a performer and a songwriter and incorporating them into his productions. His background in techno lends a lush sense of space and a unique perspective, while his keen ear for hooks gives his songs a catchy pop sensibility. ‘EP1’ and its three companions to follow later this year are primed to establish Christopher as one of music’s freshest new voices. The result is a stunning selection of blissed-out, harmonious tracks that appeal to fans across the board. This unconventional approach to music making is what sets Norman apart. Quirky, warm and highly original, each track brings a breath of fresh air.
Christopher Norman is an American music producer, performer, and songwriter living in Ann Arbor, MI. He is perhaps best known for his electronic dance productions under the pseudonym Retrobyte, particularly his remix of “Light The Skies” by trance group Cerf, Mitiska, and Jaren. He first came to prominence in 2006 when dance DJs Gabriel & Dresden announced his first single “Going Down” as their “find of the year” at that year’s Winter Music Conference in Miami.

He has remixed for the likes of Katy Perry, Uberzone, Gareth Emery, and Gabriel & Dresden (with which he netted two #1 remixes on the Billboard Dance Club Play Chart), and made appearances on labels like Armada, Cuurve, Black Hole, and Baroque. His remix of “Pills & Champagne” by Discount Rhinos held the top spot on Beatport’s Minimal chart for almost two months. He has collaborated extensively with Detroit-based DJ and Producer Anthony Attalla, with whom he started the Incorrect Music label and released the techno album ‘Prime’ in 2009.

During his time as a dance producer and DJ, Christopher has been developing himself as multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, incorporating those elements into his productions with increasing frequency. He is currently working on a series of pop-oriented vocal EPs, the first of which, ‘EP1’, is slated for release in late April 2011.

CHRISTOPHER NORMAN: NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES
Friday May 6th – Christopher Norman – EP1 Release Party:
Workantile Exchange, 118 S Main St, Ann Arbor, MI. 7pm-9pm.

To listen to the Christopher Norman EP please visit:
http://soundcloud.com/misternorman/sets/ep1-1/s-t36bR

For more information on Christopher Norman please visit:
http://www.twitter.com/misternorman
http://www.myspace.com/christophernormanmusic
http://www.soundcloud.com/misternorman

Interview: Christopher Norman (Retrobyte) on life, success and Gareth Emery remix

Christopher Norman has spent the last three years under the pseudo name “Retrobyte”, offering roles as singer, songwriter and producer. 

During that time, Chris has had the rare opportunity of being protégé to Gabriel and Dresden and working with many other well established artists and labels.

This interview with the esteemed musician on music, life, and his recipe for success, marks the latest release on Curvve Recordings with his remix of Gareth Emery’s ‘More Than Anything.’

How did you come up with the name “Retrobyte”?
I hate to disappoint, but there’s really not a cool story to go along with it—it just popped in my head back when I was in high school and I let it stick. 

I’m making the slow (and painful) transition back to my real name and I’m starting to wish I didn’t have an alias in the first place!

Were you involved in any music classes in high school?
I started doing piano when I was 6 or 7, and that led to playing in band in school. 

I also went to an arts high school for two years and did piano there as well.

Who were your biggest musical influences?
Growing up I listened to a lot of Michael Jackson and Queen, and my parents both loved folkier stuff too. 

In recent history some big influences have been Jamie Lidell, Basement Jaxx, Ozgur Can, Feist, Gabriel & Dresden (of course), Robyn’s new record is fantastic…just too many to list!

What was it like working with Gabriel and Dresden? Was there any one thing that you learned from them that you feel is most important?

Working with them was a dream come true. 

I guess the most invaluable thing I’ve gotten from them is direction and knowledge in the industry—it’s really difficult to know if you’re going in the right direction, and they remain a great compass to this day. 

What advice would you give someone who is starting out at producing?

As trite as it sounds, keep at it and don’t get frustrated if your productions don’t immediately sound like hits—it takes a while to get up to snuff. 

And don’t let anybody tell you that you need a specific piece of kit or software—try things out and see what works for YOU, then go from there.

Do you experiment with different sounds?
A lot of people don’t know that dance music is actually a small part of what I do musically. 

I play guitar, I sing, I write.  I’ve been working on loads of non-dance stuff—now it’s just a matter of what I’m going to do with it! 

I’ve actually been really getting into dubstep lately and have been trying my hand at that—it’s proven to be a pretty interesting learning experience.

I do use an 808 tom at LEAST once in every track though.  See if you can find ‘em!

When you first heard “more than anything” was there anything in particular that excited you about the song?

When Gareth first came to me and asked me to take a listen, the very first thing I noticed was the vocal—I’m a sucker for a good, catchy male vocal. 

His material is also always incredibly well-produced, so that got my attention off the bat as well.

How did you originally envision yourself remixing it? Did you have a particular sound in mind? Or does it just come as go?

As anyone who has been in my studio in the past year knows, this song took me AGES to remix. 

I tried every single genre and went through my entire bag of tricks and nothing clicked. 

I must have gone through at least 10 different versions before I got to one that actually worked. 

This is probably the longest I’ve ever spent on a remix. 

From when I got the remix pack to when I turned it in, it was probably about eight months.

Is there anything that you feel sets this remix apart from your other productions?

This is definitely on the progressive / trance side of the tracks on my resume—usually I try to avoid that word and style like the plague but this one needed to be a bit more anthem-ish. 

It kind of brought that out in me.

Which of your songs or remixes have given you the greatest satisfaction and why?

I did a remix of Jose Amnesia & Jennifer Rene’s song ‘Wouldn’t Change a Thing’ last year, that’s probably one of my favorite ones to date. 

I put a lot of love into that mix—did backup vocals and played guitar and everything—and it’s one of the few productions I’ve done that I (for lack of a better term) just wouldn’t change a thing on.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Aside from music making, schooling, and the day job, I do a lot of cooking and baking. 

I’d eventually like to start a home mail order business for my baked goods and write a cookbook.

What are you currently working on now? Any upcoming gigs or projects?

I’m actually finishing my degree in the fall, so until I graduate I’m just focusing on production and songwriting. 

I’ll play a gig here and there, but no traveling or intense schedules. 

I’m doing a lot of production work with my good friend and fellow DJ Anthony Attalla, and we have a lot of stuff filtering out in the next couple of months. 

I have a few tricks up my sleeve, too, so stay tuned!

Is there anything else that you would like to mention?
My first original track (in over a year), ‘Otherside’ with Topher Jones, comes out July 14th on Black Hole. 

We’ve got some great remixes on the project (Patrik Bjorkman’s beats the original, I think) so check them out when they come out. 

I also just finished a cover of Martin Gore’s ‘Compulsion’ and posted it up for free download on my MySpace page: myspace.com/retrobyte

Katy Perry – I Kissed A Girl (Norman & Attalla Remix)

Check out Christopher Norman’s MySpace for more cool remixes including Compulsion, Otherside, More Than Anything, Wouldn’t Change A Thing & Light The Skies.

Katy’s “I Kissed A Girl” lyrics:-

This was never the way I planned
Not my intention
I got so brave, drink in hand
Lost my discretion
It’s not what, I’m used to
Just wanna try you on
I’m curious for you
Caught my attention

I kissed a girl and I liked it
The taste of her cherry chap stick
I kissed a girl just to try it
I hope my boyfriend don’t mind it
It felt so wrong
It felt so right
Don’t mean I’m in love tonight
I kissed a girl and I liked it
I liked it

No, I don’t even know your name
It doesn’t matter
You’re my experimental game
Just human nature
It’s not what, good girls do
Not how they should behave
My head gets so confused
Hard to obey

I kissed a girl and I liked it
The taste of her cherry chap stick
I kissed a girl just to try it
I hope my boyfriend don’t mind it
It felt so wrong
It felt so right
Don’t mean I’m in love tonight
I kissed a girl and I liked it
I liked it

Us girls we are so magical
Soft skin, red lips, so kissable
Hard to resist so touchable
Too good to deny it
Ain’t no big deal, it’s innocent

I kissed a girl and I liked it
The taste of her cherry chap stick
I kissed a girl just to try it
I hope my boyfriend don’t mind it
It felt so wrong
It felt so right
Don’t mean I’m in love tonight
I kissed a girl and I liked it
I liked it

I Kissed A Girl

Price: $0.89
  • Original Release Date: June 17, 2008
  • Format: MP3, 256 kbps

Katy Perry – I Kissed A Girl (Norman & Attalla Vocal Mix Preview)

Christopher Norman AKA Retrobyte AKA Chris (I still don’t like the new long name; BTW, he mentioned on his MySpace he’ll be using this name from now on.) has just informed me that he put up his latest remix of Katy Perry’s “I Kissed A Girl (Norman & Attalla Vocal Mix)” on his MySpace. And, of course, I’m flattered by the whole thing. Imagine getting the email from your favorite DJ. It was like having a cyber-orgasm.

Katy’s lesbian-experimental “I Kissed A Girl” is now topping the BILLBOARD HOT DIGITAL SONGS – TOP 50 for the second week. I bet it came out at the right time where every big city had Pride Parade. I was in Toronto this year, and it was awesome. All the big DJs from NYC such as Hector Fonseca, Tony Moran and Peter Rauhofer were there including Tiesto promoting his new release album “In Search Of Sunrise 7: Asia.” It was the best Pride ever!

Here’s a 4:46 preview (Should I really call it preview? Ah, what the hell.) of this remix. Take a listen.

Katy’s “I Kissed A Girl” lyrics:-

This was never the way I planned
Not my intention
I got so brave, drink in hand
Lost my discretion
It’s not what, I’m used to
Just wanna try you on
I’m curious for you
Caught my attention

I kissed a girl and I liked it
The taste of her cherry chap stick
I kissed a girl just to try it
I hope my boyfriend don’t mind it
It felt so wrong
It felt so right
Don’t mean I’m in love tonight
I kissed a girl and I liked it
I liked it

No, I don’t even know your name
It doesn’t matter
You’re my experimental game
Just human nature
It’s not what, good girls do
Not how they should behave
My head gets so confused
Hard to obey

I kissed a girl and I liked it
The taste of her cherry chap stick
I kissed a girl just to try it
I hope my boyfriend don’t mind it
It felt so wrong
It felt so right
Don’t mean I’m in love tonight
I kissed a girl and I liked it
I liked it

Us girls we are so magical
Soft skin, red lips, so kissable
Hard to resist so touchable
Too good to deny it
Ain’t no big deal, it’s innocent

I kissed a girl and I liked it
The taste of her cherry chap stick
I kissed a girl just to try it
I hope my boyfriend don’t mind it
It felt so wrong
It felt so right
Don’t mean I’m in love tonight
I kissed a girl and I liked it
I liked it

Soon I’ll be able to write my own song. I’ll go “I sucked a cock, and I swallowed it. The taste of urine and fructose. I hope my boyfriend don’t mind it.” Oh girl, it’s been confirmed you will never get HIV from swallowing, so keep sucking it dry. Shite, I’m off topic again. Check out his remix. I love the drum. It’s cool and catchy. Chris rules again!

I Kissed A Girl

Price: $0.89
  • Original Release Date: June 17, 2008
  • Format: MP3, 256 kbps

Christopher Norman & Topher Jones – Otherside

Pulling me under
Get inside my skin
Eating me up
Struggle to let it in
You never know
What you might be missing
The rest I get from the thought of you

Do you wanna see the other side of me?
Do you really wanna see the other side of me?

I’m pulling me under
Loosing touch with reality
Can’t tell the difference anymore
Between the truth and what I see
It’s breaking me down
On my knees I pray
All the good I see in you
It’s starting to slip away
Away, away
Starting to slip away
Away, away

Do you wanna see the other side of me?
Do you really wanna see the other side of me?

Do you wanna see the other side of me?
Do you really wanna see the other side of me?
Do you wanna see the other side of me?
Do you really wanna see the other side of me?

It’s breaking me down
On my knees I pray
All the good I see in you
It’s starting to slip away
Away, away
Starting to slip away
Away, away
Starting to slip away
Away, away
Starting to slip away
Away, away
Starting to slip away

Starting to slip away

Christopher Norman Feat. 3pm – Turn On The Lights (Acappella) + Gabriel & Dresden with Scarlett Etienne – Eleven

Toolroom Knights Vol. 2 Mixed By Gabriel & Dresden CD2
01 – Christopher Norman Feat. 3pm – Turn On The Lights (Acappella)
02 – Gabriel & Dresden with Scarlett Etienne – Eleven

Gabriel & Dresden’s Toolroom Knights released on October 23, 2007. Order now!