There are no upcoming gigs for Citizenn.
Taking his name from a passing visual reference in the Manga film Akira, Citizenn originally arrived via releases on MadTech, the label owned by New Jersey house don Kerri Chandler. Within a year, after singles on Waze & Odyssey’s Street Tracks, as well as on the label extension of Love Fever, his favourite underground party, Citizenn had been named DJ Magazine’s Breakthrough DJ of 2013. He was only just getting started.
Growing up in Nottingham, Blake went to university in London. He dabbled in fashion and marketing and later achieved some success as a video director for the likes of Aluna George and Little Boots. Musically, he’d started out as a drummer but, a self-confessed control freak, he soon progressed to computer-based composing.
“I wanted to be in full control of the music I was making, rather than being the rhythm behind it,” he explains. “If I’m not being creative, I feel lost.”
Working alone allowed him to fully unleash this creativity and he also began putting on his own night, Glastique, at Bungalow 8 and the Dalston Superstore, the initial platform and showcase for his DJ skills. The music policy was “mostly acid, new jack swing and old house joints… basically nothing post-‘95”. It was a very loose blueprint for the R&B-tinted smooth sci-fi house that is now his core interest.