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Individuals of all economic strata are shedding their jobs, hometowns, and lifestyle to embrace a wider experience and a more meaningful existence.

Charlotte de Witte

Charlotte de WitteCharlotte de Witte, born on the on 21st of July 1992 in Ghent, Belgium. Sometime around 2009, she started to delve into Ghent's underground nightclub scene, where she was drawn to electronic music.

She is a Belgian DJ and record producer. Best known for her "dark and stripped-back" brand of techno music, she has previously performed under the alias Raving George. She is the founder of the label KNTXT.

She became a DJ in 2010, mainly playing electro house and EDM tracks - her production work commenced about two years later. Winning a Studio Brussel DJ contest in 2011, she subsequently she got to perform at the Tomorrowland festival.

She adopted the alias Raving George to avoid negative preconceptions against female DJs - releasing her debut EP in 2013. Following the release of a string of EPs on Bad Life and Crux Records, her 2015 single "You're Mine," which featured Oscar and the Wolf, became a big hit.

In 2015, de Witte dropped her alias and started using her real name. This also marked her shift to a darker and more straight-forward techno sound. Her debut EP under her name, Weltschmerz, was released on the same year on Turbo Recordings.

These were followed by a string of 2017 EPs, as well as 2018's Heart of Mine and The Healer EPs. She has performed at various notable electronic music events, including Junction2 festival, Boiler Room and Printworks.

Charlotte de WitteIn 2019, she launched her own label, KNTXT. Charlotte’s first gig was in a youth club in Wippelgem, a small town in Belgium. She made her DJ debut to the bar staff, some local kids and a bunch of her best mates.

Soon she started to do gigs all over Belgium, then the Netherlands, then France, then throughout Europe- it kind of rippled out. In 2011 Charlotte won a DJ competition the day after her 18th birthday. The prize was to open the main stage at Tomorrowland.

“We were in front of the main stage and there were screens with Charlotte’s head five metres high,” recalls her friend Matthias. “We all went completely crazy. I was like… this is not happening. But it was. We all said, ‘Wow - Look! There’s Charly!’”

Charlotte de Witte is extremely diverse. She’s a DJ extraodinaire, a producer and a label-owner. But perhaps less obviously: a goofball. It’s 10 minutes before her set at DGTL Barcelona behind the scenes a few feet from the stage, watching the sun set over Parc Del Forum. It’s hot and Charlotte’s sweating: “Feel my T-shirt. Feel it. So sweaty!”

A fan taps her on the shoulder. She without hesitation leans in for the selfie, flashing her beautiful smile. After the first fan breaks the ice several people follow. One American man isn’t able to cope. “Charlotte. Your Time Warp set ...” he trails off, unable to end the sentence too excited and flustered to continue.

Charlotte’s arrival anywhere is followed by a ripple of excitement, but if she notices she doesn’t let on. She is instantly recognisable: with her tousled hair, side lip piercing, shiny leather skirt, oversized tee-shirt, platform Doc Martens and all the energy of a 12-year-old boy.

Charlotte de WitteFrom where we stand it’s hard to see how far the crowd stretches, but it seems to reach as far as the coastline. One man catches sight of Charlotte in a gap between speakers and makes a heart at her. She waves and makes a heart shape back. “I always feel nervous before a set,” she claims, but her expression resembles something closer to joy.

Charlotte de Witte is many things. She’s a superstar DJ, a producer, and she’s also an entrepreneur. Three hours before her DGTL She stands in a hotel lobby in central Barcelona.

Her voice is husky which she blames on“having had a cold since Tomorrowland” with her English near-perfect – with an accent she picked up in an American version. Her eyes, somewhat between blue and green, are wide and innocent, the kind of eyes that seem to get ones attention.

When seated she looks at her laptop and starts talking excitedly in Flemish. She and Matthias stand up and double high-five. Charlotte’s party series and label KNTXT is now officially a registered business.

When meeting a famous artist, performer or DJ for the first time; it can take a moment before they assume the form of a merel human. But with Charlotte it takes all of a few minutes. She’s just too talkative, too excitable, too curious, too natural to maintain an air of celebrity for any length of time.

Since that Tomorrowland gig Charlotte has traveled around the world at least four times. She’s played Awakenings, ADE, Sónar, Ultra and she knows Ibiza like the back of her hand.

She’s launched a globally acclaimed party series KNTXT and just recently the KNTXT label. She’s released music on Drumcode, Mary Go Wild, Sleaze. She regularly plays alongside the likes of Nina Kraviz, Adam Beyer and Amelie Lens, and for KNTXT’s first release, Liquid Slow, she teamed up with Chris Liebing.

Charlotte de WitteOther tell-tale signs that Charlotte de Witte has definitely made it: she has a monthly spot on BBC Radio 1. She can no longer go to clubs in Uruguay, let alone Belgium, because she’ll get mobbed for selfies. “I got into this because I love to dance. This ‘fame’ thing is not something I’m one hundred per cent accustomed to”.

Occasionally she wakes up and has no idea what country she’s in. Her KNTXT parties completely sell out arenas. Not bad for a 27 year old Belgian girl.

Charlotte’s career went truly over the moon after she lost the pseudonym ‘Raving George’ in 2015. “I didn’t want to shout about the fact I was a female producer until people had booked me. Eventually I just thought, ‘Fuck it!’” she remembers.

“I’ve been DJing for six years. Everyone knows I’m a woman – why do I need a male name? It was a stupid idea anyway.”

After mulling over another pseudonym from somewhere in a parallel universe, ‘Charlotte Lewis’ is on the cover of Mixmag, she went with her birth name.

“Even though no-one can pronounce ‘de Witte’! - De Witty. De White. De Weete.” [It’s de Witt-eh]. “But I don’t mind.”

Delayed flights, missed connections, missed birthdays, missed weddings, jet-lag, sleeping in two hour windows all adds up. But despite touring alone for over two years, she’s “never felt lonely. I made such good friends. And the DJ community is supportive.”

Charlotte de WitteItalian DJ Enrico Sangiuliano told her to call him if she ever needed to unload. ‘Whatever the time’, he said, 'it doesn’t matter – I’ll probably be awake anyway, somewhere in the world.'

“I’m addicted to the rush of this life,” she says. “Absolutely addicted. Addicted to standing in front of the crowd.

That does something very crazy with your mind. To just be there and see so many thousands of people dancing to your music. I mean it’s crazy – it does something to you.”

Charlotte’s face brims with sympathy, but our car is waiting outside. She says goodbye to fellow soldier Marcel and we make our way to Drumcode in Amsterdam.

Charlotte de Witte is many things including being a food fanatic. She has a map on her phone of all the places she’s enjoyed a meal. It’s so covered in pins that the only identifiable pieces of land mass are the Arctic, Antarctic and the north-west corner of Siberia.

Artists at her level don’t have to eat regular festival junk food they get off-site food delivered straight to their laps. Backstage, the staff hands them bowls of carbonara, mixed meats, roasted vegetables. “Oh my god,” Charlotte says, mouth full, eyes rolling back in her head. “I fucking love food.”

Charlotte de WitteIn spite of her growing notoriety, Charlotte makes sure she says ‘thank you’ to every waiter. She wishes all her drivers a “Good day, sir!” She takes selfies with lots of very sweaty fans, and she tries to fit all the people who ask onto her guest list.

To the untrained eye it seems as though she doesn’t stop – and it’s true, she doesn’t. Her manager often gets angry emails from fans saying he’s overworking her, which Charlotte finds hilarious, because it is Charlotte that is over-working him.

“I really, really love doing this,” she confirms. “If I didn’t completely love it I wouldn’t keep up with the lack of sleep and missing friends and family.”

She’ll come home from an intercontinental tour and collapse on her bed, swearing she’ll take time off. “But then after a day I’ll be on the phone to my manager. Like ‘Alexander, what the hell is going on? What are we doing?’ And he’ll say, ‘Charlotte, you just arrived home yesterday. This is normal. Sit down and chill out’.”

“I’m addicted to the rush of this life,” she says. “Absolutely addicted. Addicted to standing in front of the crowd. That does something very crazy with your mind. To just be there and see so many thousands of people dancing to your music. I mean it’s crazy – it does something to you.”

And with all these fans, sell-out shows, world tours, it raises the question: does Charlotte still feel she needs to prove herself?

“No,” she says. “Fuck that! Fuck that. I did it, man. I fucking did it. And if you’re still not convinced then go fuck yourself - really. For real, like, I’ve fought for this, hard. I’m there. I’ve proved myself. And I worked hard. Fuck yeah.”

Charlotte de WitteEmmanuel Top , Sven Väth , Jones and Stephenson , Jam and Spoon and nearly twenty old Techno glories from the early 90s have joined a civil action and have just filed a lawsuit against Charlotte De Witte for "plagiarism of sets and excessive use of old songs belonging to them.

Maître Pills , their lawyer, told the press that youth is no excuse. "Listening to support, it turns out that Ms De Witte uses the works of my clients more than exaggeratedly, to the point that many of her sets are akin to the plagiarism of the sets that they themselves have played in the evening between 1993 and 1995. And artistic plagiarism is punished by law."

Charlotte, for her part, refused to make any statement, but her lawyer said, however, “The facts of which my client is accused are completely absurd. In most cases, when the titles mentioned came out, she was not even born. I also have many testimonies that she only discovered them this year. We will not stop there! " .

Just as a little reminder, a similar lawsuit was brought two years ago against Nina Kraviz and had ended in dismissal.

Charlotte de Witte knows exactly when she fell for techno and which track it was that made her life turn around: Under the Raving George moniker, the Belgian had first made a name for herself as a DJ and producer for playing big room electro tracks until she heard Len Faki play his own “Podium” remix of Dustin Zahn’s “Stranger To Stability” at a festival.

Ever since, her taste gravitated more and more towards techno, until she decided to drop the pseudonym and debut on Tiga’s Turbo in 2015 with the Weltschmerz EP and became one of the biggest names in contemporary time in seemingly no time at all.

Charlotte de WitteTo be completely honest, I did seriously underestimate the impact touring would have on my life. These last 18 months have been extremely intense on a physical and mental level.

I do genuinely still love touring a lot, I’m learning every day and traveling has always been very important to me, so I guess my love for what I’m doing is the main reason that keeps me sane.

I also try be healthy by drinking a lot of water, eating fresh food and picking my fights when it comes to partying myself.

I’ve come to understand that being underground means different things for different people. I personally think that even though I play at big stages, the music itself still be fairly underground.

I often play a track from UVB called “Mixtion” that got released on Mord. It’s not the typical kind of big room techno so to me, to give one example, that is rather underground.

I do realize my image isn’t the most underground, but in the end it should all come down to the music. If it’s good, it’s good. It’s not always worth labeling things.

One the main qualities you’re looking for in music and especially techno seems to be emotionality. What however is it that moves you as a music fan – and how do you try to create those moments as a producer?

"It’s actually a super personal thing. I always look for something not so obvious in music. To me, it’s not enough to enjoy music that only makes you dance. It has to reach a deeper emotional level. That is what truly fascinates me in music. As a DJ and producer I try to convert those emotions too."

Charlotte de WitteWhile I don’t sing in a classical sense, a lot of my productions feature some vocals. I love working with vocals. I often use my own voice but with several effects on so you often won’t even know it’s me. They create a certain hook in the track and I love how you can have them very stripped and repetitive.

"I got in touch with Daniel Miller in the end of 2017 thanks to my publisher at Strictly Confidential. We met a couple of times in London, went for a lovely sushi dinner and decided to start working together."

"To be able to release music on a label that has had such a massive impact on the history of dance music is truly something special to me. I’m forever grateful to them for believing in me and giving me such an opportunity."

I’ll be all over the world actually! I’m playing at many festivals in Europe this summer, some of which have been on my wish list since the very start, and I’ll be travelling to North America, South America, Australia and Asia from September.

Charlotte de Witte is extremely diverse. She’s a DJ extraodinaire, a producer and a label-owner. Before her set at DGTL Barcelona behind the scenes a few feet from the stage, watching the sun set over Parc Del Forum. The weather is hot and Charlotte is sweating: “Feel my T-shirt. Feel it. So sweaty!”

A fan taps her on the shoulder. She without hesitation leans in for the selfie, flashing her beautiful smile. After the first fan breaks the ice several others follow. One American man isn’t able to cope. “Charlotte. Your Time Warp set ...” he trails off, unable to end the sentence too excited and flustered to continue.

Charlotte de WitteCharlotte’s arrival anywhere is followed by a ripple of excitement, but if she notices she doesn’t let on. She is instantly recognisable: with her tousled hair, side lip piercing, shiny leather skirt, oversized tee-shirt, platform Doc Martens and all the energy of a 12-year-old boy.

One man catches sight of Charlotte in a gap between speakers and makes a heart at her. She waves and makes a heart shape back. “I always feel nervous before a set,” she claims, but her expression resembles something closer to joy.

Charlotte de Witte is many things. She’s a superstar DJ, a producer, and she’s also an entrepreneur. Three hours before her DGTL She stands in a hotel lobby in central Barcelona.

Her voice is husky which she blames on “having had a cold since Tomorrowland” with her English near-perfect – with an accent she picked up in an American version. Her eyes, somewhat between blue and green, are wide and innocent, the kind of eyes that seem to get ones attention.

When meeting a famous artist, performer or DJ for the first time; it can take a moment before they assume the form of a merel human. But with Charlotte it takes all of a few minutes. She’s just too talkative, too excitable, too curious, too natural to maintain an air of celebrity for any length of time.

Since that Tomorrowland gig Charlotte has traveled around the world at least four times. She’s played Awakenings, ADE, Sónar, Ultra and she knows Ibiza like the back of her hand.

She’s launched a globally acclaimed party series KNTXT and just recently the KNTXT label. She’s released music on Drumcode, Mary Go Wild, Sleaze. She regularly plays alongside the likes of Nina Kraviz, Adam Beyer and Amelie Lens, and for KNTXT’s first release, Liquid Slow, she teamed up with Chris Liebing.

Charlotte de WitteOther tell-tale signs that Charlotte de Witte has definitely made it: she has a monthly spot on BBC Radio 1. She can no longer go to clubs in Uruguay, let alone Belgium, because she’ll get mobbed for selfies. “I got into this because I love to dance. This ‘fame’ thing is not something I’m one hundred per cent accustomed to”.

Occasionally she wakes up and has no idea what country she’s in. Her KNTXT parties completely sell out arenas. Not bad for a 27 year old Belgian girl.

Charlotte’s career went truly over the moon after she lost the pseudonym ‘Raving George’ in 2015. “I didn’t want to shout about the fact I was a female producer until people had booked me. Eventually I just thought, ‘Fuck it!’” she remembers.

“I’ve been DJing for six years. Everyone knows I’m a woman – why do I need a male name? It was a stupid idea anyway.”

To be completely honest, I did seriously underestimate the impact touring would have on my life. These last 18 months have been extremely intense on a physical and mental level.

I do genuinely still love touring a lot, I’m learning every day and traveling has always been very important to me, so I guess my love for what I’m doing is the main reason that keeps me sane.

I also try be healthy by drinking a lot of water, eating fresh food and picking my fights when it comes to partying myself.

Charlotte de WitteI’ve come to understand that being underground means different things for different people. I personally think that even though I play at big stages, the music itself still be fairly underground.

I often play a track from UVB called “Mixtion” that got released on Mord. It’s not the typical kind of big room techno so to me, to give one example, that is rather underground.

I do realize my image isn’t the most underground, but in the end it should all come down to the music. If it’s good, it’s good. It’s not always worth labeling things.

One the main qualities you’re looking for in music and especially techno seems to be emotionality. What however is it that moves you as a music fan – and how do you try to create those moments as a producer?

"It’s actually a super personal thing. I always look for something not so obvious in music. To me, it’s not enough to enjoy music that only makes you dance. It has to reach a deeper emotional level. That is what truly fascinates me in music. As a DJ and producer I try to convert those emotions too."

While I don’t sing in a classical sense, a lot of my productions feature some vocals. I love working with vocals. I often use my own voice but with several effects on so you often won’t even know it’s me. They create a certain hook in the track and I love how you can have them very stripped and repetitive.

"To be able to release music on a label that has had such a massive impact on the history of dance music is truly something special to me. I’m forever grateful to them for believing in me and giving me such an opportunity."

Charlotte de WitteI’ll be all over the world actually! I’m playing at many festivals in Europe this summer, some of which have been on my wish list since the very start, and I’ll be travelling to North America, South America, Australia and Asia from September.

In spite of her growing notoriety, Charlotte makes sure she says ‘thank you’ to every waiter. She wishes all her drivers a “Good day, sir!” She takes selfies with lots of very sweaty fans, and she tries to fit all the people who ask onto her guest list.

To the untrained eye it seems as though she doesn’t stop – and it’s true, she doesn’t. Her manager often gets angry emails from fans saying he’s overworking her, which Charlotte finds hilarious, because it is Charlotte that is over-working him.

“I really, really love doing this,” she confirms. “If I didn’t completely love it I wouldn’t keep up with the lack of sleep and missing friends and family.”

She’ll come home from an intercontinental tour and collapse on her bed, swearing she’ll take time off. “But then after a day I’ll be on the phone to my manager. Like ‘Alexander, what the hell is going on? What are we doing?’ And he’ll say, ‘Charlotte, you just arrived home yesterday. This is normal. Sit down and chill out’.”

Charlotte de WitteAnd with all these fans, sell-out shows, world tours, it raises the question: does Charlotte still feel she needs to prove herself?

“No,” she says. “Fuck that! Fuck that. I did it, man. I fucking did it. And if you’re still not convinced then go fuck yourself - really. For real, like, I’ve fought for this, hard. I’m there. I’ve proved myself. And I worked hard. Fuck yeah.”

Emmanuel Top , Sven Väth , Jones and Stephenson , Jam and Spoon and nearly twenty old Techno glories from the early 90s have joined a civil action and filed a lawsuit against Charlotte De Witte for "plagiarism of sets and excessive use of old songs belonging to them.

Maître Pills , their lawyer, told the press that youth is no excuse. "Listening to support, it turns out that Ms De Witte uses the works of my clients more than exaggeratedly, to the point that many of her sets are akin to the plagiarism of the sets that they themselves have played in the evening between 1993 and 1995. And artistic plagiarism is punished by law."

Charlotte, for her part, refused to make any statement, but her lawyer said, however, “The facts of which my client is accused are completely absurd. In most cases, when the titles mentioned came out, she was not even born. I also have many testimonies that she only discovered them this year. We will not stop there! " .

Just as a little reminder, a similar lawsuit was brought two years ago against Nina Kraviz and had ended in dismissal.

Charlotte de WitteCharlotte de Witte knows exactly when she fell for techno and which track it was that made her life turn around.

Under the Raving George moniker, the Belgian had first made a name for herself as a DJ and producer for playing big room electro tracks until she heard Len Faki play his own “Podium” remix of Dustin Zahn’s “Stranger To Stability” at a festival.

Ever since, her taste gravitated more and more towards techno, until she decided to drop the pseudonym and debut on Tiga’s Turbo in 2015 with the Weltschmerz EP and became one of the biggest names in contemporary time in seemingly no time at all.



www.charlottedewittemusic.com

Join Charlotte on Twitter





Discography

EPs
  • Monodon Monoceros (2013; as Raving George)
  • Obverse EP (2013; as Raving George)
  • Slaves / Alternate (2013; as Raving George)
  • Weltschmerz (2015)
  • Trip (2016)
  • Sehnsucht (2016)
  • Actually (2016)
  • Brussels (2017)
  • Voices of the Ancient (2017)
  • Closer (2017)
  • Our Journey (2017)
  • Wisdom (2017)
  • Heart Of Mine (2018)
  • The Healer (2018)
  • Liquid Slow (2019; collaboration with Chris Liebing)
  • Pressure (2019)
  • Selected (2019)
  • Vision (2020)
  • Return To Nowhere (2020)[9]
Singles
DJ mixes
  • Turbo Promo DJ Mix (2016)
  • Connection (2017)
  • Groove Podcast 163 (2018)
  • SonneMondSterne XXII (2018)

Awards and nominations

DJ Awards

Year Nominee / Work Category Result Ref.
2018 Charlotte de Witte Best Techno Artist Nominated [10]
2019 Techno Award Won [11]

DJ Magazine's top 100 DJs

Year Position Notes Ref.
2019 74 New Entry [12]

International Dance Music Awards

Year Nominee / Work Category Result Ref.
2019 Charlotte de Witte Best Techno Artist (Female) Won [13]
2020 Won [14]

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