Christian BurnsNovember 8th, 2013
It might not be entirely truthful to say Christian was born to be a star, but it isn’t that far off. His dad, Tony Burns, was part of the band The Signs, who came up in Liverpool at the same time as The Beatles. Signed to Decca Records, they had a bit of a following in the UK, but Tony chose the family path over the rock star path, and settled down. Passing along his love for music to his youngest son, Christian took note. “I always remember the house being engulfed with music as a child, Me and my Dad built a makeshift studio at the bottom of our garden with a four-track tape machine. I was always in there. I was fascinated by the whole process of making music.”
Musically inclined, Christian quickly picked up the guitar, getting tips from dad. Around the age of fourteen, Christian realized he could not only sing, but sing well. He played in a few school-age bands, and in his early 20s found some like-minded friends and formed BB Mak. The three singer/songwriters went on to sell 3 million records worldwide, tour all over the world, appear on countless National television shows, and see their first smash single, “Back Here,” reach #1 on the American radio charts, #1 in Japan, and win accolades such as SONG OF THE YEAR from ASCAP and PRS’ Most Played Song of the Year.
When BBMak decided to go their separate ways, Christian had some time to think about what he wanted to do next. “I knew I wanted to continue to make music. I was in Los Angeles working in the studio when I heard what was then a demo on Indie 103, “Somebody Told Me” by The Killers. I was completely hooked on the sound, and the use of synthesizers in a rock song.”
Going back home, Christian found himself experimenting with synths a lot, incorporating it in to the rock music he’d been making with a collective he started called The Bleach Works. One of the world’s biggest DJs, Tiësto, happened upon Christian’s MySpace page and asked to do a re-mix of one of the tracks he’d posted. Astutely, Christian declined but offered to write a song with Tiësto. “He sent me a backing track and in minutes I was able to write a song.” That song, “In the Dark,” Lead single off of the Grammy nominated Elements of Life album, got 5 million youtube hits and resulted in Christian joining Tiësto on a massive world tour, exposing him to other top DJs.
Meeting BT while on tour in Budapest with Tiësto led to more work, with Christian co – writing “Suddenly” the lead track off of BT’s Grammy nominated These Hopeful Machines, as well as the #1 dance track “The Emergency” and “Forget Me” off the same album. As doors continued to open, Christian teamed up with Armin van Buuren, the #1 ranked DJ in the world, and together they wrote “This Light Between Us,” featured on Armin’s Mirage album. Their partnership was such a success, and the song such a smash for the DJ hitting the #1 spot in multiple countries, that Armin invited Christian on tour with him in 2010 through 2011. Somewhere between all the touring, Christian found time to write and perform “Love and Motion” from Benny Benassi’s Rock n’ Rave album and has plans to do more work with Armin van Buuren, Paul van Dyke, Tiësto and BT in the coming year. It’s a genre he feels extremely comfortable with. “For dance music, I hear the beat and feel it. I find there’s more “space” in dance tracks. You can play around more with dance tracks, and for me, there’s more opportunity to be creative. Melodically you can do a lot of cool things as well. I love the drama. When I team up with a DJ on a dance track, I often don’t know where the song is going to take me.”
While it seems like it could be an enormous transition to go from rock stardom to one of the most in-demand singer/songwriters in Dance music, it was seamless for Christian, who not only had the experience of performing in front of large audiences, but an appreciation for how readily the dance community has embraced him. “I’ve been getting a fantastic response from all the live shows, and love on Twitter and Facebook. When you do a show with a DJ, everyone is there for a good time, and every show is electric. There is a true sense of community and a passion for the genre of music. I feel really fortunate to be a part of it.” Currently, Christian is recording his debut solo album for Armada Music, collaborating with artists such as Armin van Buuren, BT, Paul van Dyke and more and is working on his band All Hail the Silence’s first album with BT.