Hoffer, Robertson turn the tables

Two Ferris DJs love to drop the bass and hype up an audience with electronic dance music.

Nick Robertson, a senior in television and digital media production from St. Clair, is Basshead.

He started DJing during his freshman year at Ferris, following the lead of pros such as DJ Virman of The Far East Movement. His first time DJing was for his residence hall’s New Year’s party.

“A lot of people showed up and everyone kind of liked it, so I’ve been mixing ever since,” Robertson said.

Robertson has opened the last two Turn Up The Good concerts and this year, he played Ferris’ Silent Disco. Robertson said that he’d definitely DJ for a future Silent Disco if he could.

“It’s a unique setup,” Robertson said. “You can just hear the music through these special headphones so people can have fun without disturbing the peace and without the cops breaking it up like most parties around here.”

Robertson explained how his stage name has evolved over time to become Basshead.

“At first, I had the name NRob because of my name, but I thought that was too commonly used,” said Robertson. “I wanted to start making music and I like a lot of bassy music like EDM. I wanted my logo to be a bass clef, so I chose the name Basshead.”

Christian Hoffer, a junior double majoring in music industry management and public relations from the Ann Arbor area, is known on campus as DJ CHoFF.

“CHoFF or C-HoFF, whatever you prefer,” said Hoffer. “It started as C-Hoff. I didn’t even make it up, I was just at a party one day and people just started chanting C-Hoff and that’s how it happened.”

Hoffer has done numerous gigs at events and clubs all over Michigan, including night club ELEKTRICITY in Detroit, the Electric Bliss Festival in Clio, Club Above in Ann Arbor and at Ferris Fest two years in a row.

“I was a Red Bull Thre3Style competitor in 2013 and represented Ferris at CMU,” he said. “I didn’t win because I was very inexperienced at the time but that was pretty cool, representing Ferris. I played on the Red Bull truck at Oakwood two years ago for Ferris Fest and main stage Ferris Fest last year between Mayer Hawthorne and Big K.R.I.T which was awesome.”

Hoffer said he got the “most real feeling” the first time he played on stage at a club.

“I kind of dove headfirst into it and something just clicked,” Hoffer said. “It’s a powerful feeling, controlling the energy in the room and the vibes that people are getting.”

Artists that inspire Hoffer’s music include Buku, G Jones, Yheti and Bassnectar.

“I try to keep my style pretty boundless,” said Hoffer. “A lot of people try to hook onto one genre or style and I try to cover all of them. Some sets I play will be really hype and others will be really chill. I try to be a wildcard when it comes to being an artist.”

Hoffer also got the opportunity to spin at the Silent Disco from Josh Moscatello, vice president of programming for Entertainment Unlimited.

“It was really fun,” said Hoffer. “There were a lot of people, good energy. It was definitely a good way for us to get our names out there in the first week and for people to get a feel for our artistry. I personally like playing on stages and real systems better because I love bass and I love that feeling of just filling a room with sound. But silent discos are cool; it was something very different, that’s for sure.”

Hoffer is also a founding member of an artist collective from Detroit called Bass WHLF Collective, on top of running his own company CHoFF Entertainment, LLC.

Hoffer will be playing at “Za Best of Za Best” on Oct. 1, in Ann Arbor at Club Above on Oct. 3, at Rodney’s Loft in Flint on Oct. 24 and a tailgate at Ferris’ homecoming game on Sept. 26.

Nick Robertson, or Basshead, playing the green channel at the Silent Disco on Aug. 31
Nick Robertson, or Basshead, playing the green channel at the Silent Disco on Aug. 31 Photo by Katie Tobak