Upon the news that Crookers would be returning to Chicago to play at Spybar on April 11th, we connected with the artist to have him answer some questions for EDM Chicago and premiere his new track, Strokin\’.

John C: Thank you for taking this interview, Phra. Can you briefly describe your introduction to electronic music and when you decided you wanted to become an artist yourself?

Phra: I started DJing when I was 11 years old – mostly playing Hip Hop and Rnb at the time. When I turned 18 I started working in a house club in Italy playing B sides (what people used to call Electronic Bossa Nova). After that I decided to mash up all of these influences in to a genre (house, rap, bossa nova etc.) and Crookers was born. In terms of production, I started to produce rap beats when I was 13 and House beats at 18. I decided this is what I wanted to do after I played my first gig when I was 13 – paid with 2 piadinas and a Coca Cola.

John C: What impact did your early hip hop influence have on the direction of your music?

Phra: I\’m still a rap fanatic so it\’s still is my main influence.

John C: One of your most successful track releases has been the remix of Day ’n’ Night with Kid Cudi. At the time, did you expect the track to become as successful as it did?

Phra: Absolutely not​ – I\’m very blessed.

John C: Along side Day ’n’ Night being featured in the Midnight Club Series, Crookers tracks have also been featured in other video games such as the Grand Theft Auto Series. As an artist who performs primarily within the club scene, what was the experience of seeing your music cross into new mediums like and did it have an influence on the direction of your music?

Phra: It\’s been an amazing, super fun experience. A lot of people consider Crookers music to be quite video game-ey – I get it because of how I use the synth in my tracks, but it hasn\’t had an explicit influence on the direction of my music.

John C: As an artist that has experienced an incredible amount of success, you have had the opportunity to play all over the world. Throughout your many gigs, has one venue stuck out to you as a favorite venue to perform at?

Phra: My 31st birthday secret show was pretty special. I played with a bunch of my friends in my house – it was a magical atmosphere.

John C: Recently, you premiered the track “I Just Can’t” featuring Jeremih. How was working with Jeremiah for this collaboration and do you see a potential for future collaborations?

Phra: It was a pleasure working with Jeremih on this track. I\’d love to sit in the studio with him and make more music for sure.

John C: Having worked with and remixed for many different artists, is there one artists that you would like to collaborate with but have not yet had the opportunity to?

Phra: One… it\’s impossible to choose! Dilla.

John C: What can Crookers fans look forward to in the future?

Phra: Sixteen Chapel is sick and my show is sick too, so buy the album or come to one of my shows and get a free kiss from me.

John C: Thank you for taking the interview.

Give a listen to Phra\’s newest release, Crookers – Strokin\’: