Growing up during the Happy Hardcore era of dance music, Christopher Hebeis, aka qris1988 on Twitch, has a rich history with the music scene. Currently residing in Germany near Bamberg, he recalls being a kid when he discovered music on MTV and Viva (Germany’s music TV channel). Immediately hooked when he was in high school, he decided to take a stab at DJing, and it turns out he was pretty good.
A few years and a lot of practice later, Chris got more serious about mixing. Hands Up (also known as Dancecore in East Europe) and Hardstyle were his go-to genres. He regularly appeared on various German radio stations such as Rautemusik.fm, Techno4ever.fm, and Technobase.fm, to name a few. Around the same time, he was also getting booked for live shows, playing both opening and headlining slots. He continued to DJ throughout his early 20s but eventually reached a point in 2013 that signaled time for a creative break.
This hiatus latest seven years but proved only to be the beginning of more fantastic opportunities for Chris.
With interest in getting back into DJing, Chris began to rebuild his garage, installing both lighting and sound equipment. Not long after he started feeling inspired again, the Covid-19 pandemic was in full swing. Chris already had the setup in his garage, so he took this opportunity in quarantine to explore streaming. At first, his collection consisted only of Hands Up and tunes from the 80s, 90s, and 00s. After all, that’s where he had left off when he was 25.
Transitioning back into DJing was exciting, but of course, returning to the scene from a seven-year hiatus had its challenges. “The biggest challenge for me was to start again from scratch,” he says. “Rebuilding everything, creating a new fanbase, and overcoming self-doubt in bad moments.”
After making his return to music, Chris was initially reluctant to play Trance, “At first, it sounded bumpy,” he says. “But now I’ve already found my way well into Trance music, and I love it too.”
He came to know the genre through DeBokMusic and began to gain a lot of respect and interest in it. Around the same time, he also taught his mother, who always demonstrated a fascination for the art of mixing, how to DJ. Today, Chris’ mom will sometimes even takeover his stream on Fridays.
Since he began streaming on Twitch, Chris’ garage got even more of a makeover. He installed a brand new and very powerful animation laser with corresponding laser software. He also upgraded his lighting equipment and added a new DJ console. The idea of bringing in turntables floated around at one point, too.
Chris mentioned that he has a particular interest in lighting and event technology. Of course, this comes as no surprise to anyone who’s seen or heard about Chris’ streaming setup. In fact, Chris is quite the computer expert, having been on HWBot and among the best 500 PC overclockers.
Chris’ home in Germany more recently experienced high rates of Covid-19 transmission. And although clubs still remain closed, starting March 4th, the German government has plans to begin reopening such establishments with vaccine/mask/testing requirements. The country’s capital and tourism hotspot, Berlin, is especially eager to reopen clubs and restart the party.
Chris suspects that with the return of live music to Germany, Twitch DJs and viewers may slow down a bit. However, he’s more concerned with his own stream more than anything. He adds, “My goals are to convey the love and the fun of music to the people.”
The last time Chris played in front of a live audience was ten years ago at a gig where he was a resident DJ. He looks forward to playing music for a crowd again but has no plans as of now. Streaming has created something extraordinary for Chris, something that cannot as easily be experienced when playing for a live audience.
“What I like about streaming is interacting with people and getting direct feedback from them,” says Chris.
A lot has changed for Chris since he found Twitch and began streaming as qris1988. He’s made new friends, discovered a plethora of new talent, and of course, maintained his own fanbase. His favorite Twitch DJs are PSYMILL, DarkSin, Trancekroete88, CaptainHorren, DaxplosionDJ, and DJ_CFL312.