Music is a serious business for Andre Crom. He actually started off as a music journalist, so DJ Mag immediately asks him if he gave it up as a bad job?
“In the beginning it was my dream job, it was a great introduction into the scene,” he says. “I interviewed a lot of my heroes and made many contacts that helped me later on.” A request for more responsibility within the company he worked for was declined, leading to him leaving and getting a job as a DJ booker in the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany. “This was where I really learned DJing and made loads more contacts which later helped me start my label,” he tells us.
The turning point in his DJ career came with his move to Berlin, a switch that soon allowed him to pursue his dream full-time. His label OFF Recordings — started in 2008 and now up to 70 releases — has become one of the biggest deep house labels in the world, and it's grown exponentially with his DJ career.
OFF has released music by Pleasurekraft, Teenage Mutants, Darius Syrossian, Robosonic, Sharam Jey, Round Table Knights and many more, as well as some of his collaborations with the late Martin Dawson whose untimely death still affects Andre. “I know a lot of people think it came from a rock 'n' roll lifestyle, but his closer friends know that he was a very conscious and healthy person,” he says. “It was incredibly sad, but also very moving to see how many friends of his from all over the world came to his burial to show their love.” When DJ Mag asks him what he thinks of Tiësto launching his own 'Deep House' radio show recently and calling it music for 'after the party', he responds positively.
“I think it's great when a huge commercial name like him promotes cooler music,” he says. “This can lead his fans to get into some more mature music as they grow up, and strengthen the underground. I also appreciate him working with music that does not only serve the purpose to move the big crowds and earn him big fees, I take it as a sign that he still has some love for the music.”
Stating that he himself won't play any faster than 124bpm — “music faster than that loses its groove for me” — he sees only positivity for himself and his label in the near future. “The biggest joy in producing or playing music is making people happy; you get so much love in return, this is what keeps us people who create the music going.”