This student spotlight introduces you to Christian Cespedes, aka 28mm. Christian graduated from ICON in 2017 and is on the cusp of becoming a force in the world of house and techno.
Watching members of the collective flourish in the music industry is one of the most rewarding aspects of being a part of ICON.
Christian Cespedes is a rising star who produces melodic house and techno under the title 28mm. Since graduating from ICON in 2017, this aspiring artist has found real success in the teeming Los Angeles music scene. From numerous official releases to high-profile gigs, his original brand of soul-infused dance music is making its mark in the sonic landscape of the next decade.
28mm achieved all these accolades through a unique sense of taste, but more importantly, through an unwavering work ethic. Since graduating from ICON, Christian has never stopped making music, building connections, and honing his sound. And 2020 is shaping up to be a big year for him. We’re thrilled to see where he goes!
We spoke to 28mm about his recent success with various labels, including his strategy for getting tracks signed. He also shares thoughts on DJing, the inspiration for his sound, and his plans for 2020.
1. You’ve had music released on numerous labels, including Astralwerks, Understated Recordings, Subdrive, and more. What advice would you give music producers who want to land releases?
The best advice I can give is to make music continually. Be like a machine and pump out as much music as you can without worrying about what labels will sign it. When it does come time to send a demo out, keep sending it to different labels until one bites. This can take weeks, months, or years before landing a signing. Even if a track gets rejected repeatedly, that doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t good. Also, if you genuinely believe in your music, fans will feed off of that and support you 100%.
2. Your music is dark and brooding with heavy synths and deep grooves. What inspired you to pursue this sound?
A lot of my inspiration comes from artists like Eekkoo and Dirty South. I’ve been a big fan for years in how they’re able to produce these dark soundscapes driven by heavy grooves. Eekkoo was also the first artist I’ve ever seen live when he opened for Deadmau5 in NY back in 2014. I absolutely fell in love with the production and DJing from that night.
3. You’ve mentioned in the past that one of your favorite things about producing is playing your tracks live. How does it feel when you get a great reaction from an original track? How important do you think DJing is in today’s dance music culture?
I’ll always be a music producer first and a DJ second. So, whenever I play out a new track and see the crowd getting into it, I get butterflies. It’s honestly the best feeling in the world, making it hard not to give this big smile.
Also, DJing definitely has its importance in the scene today. DJs are tastemakers, and having other DJs play your track means you’re doing something right.
4. 2019 is nearly over. What goals do you have for 2020 and beyond?
2020 will probably be my busiest year, at least I hope it is! I recently became a resident at Sound Nightclub in Hollywood, so more shows throughout the year. I’ve also got about an album’s worth of music at the ready, which dials this new sound I’ve been transitioning in. I can’t wait for the world to hear.