Tulane senior CRWNS to make debut at Buku


Senior Max Chung, also known by his DJ name CRWNS, will take the stage on 4:45 p.m. on Saturday March 12 at Buku Music + Art Project. 

Heather Andelsman, Staff Reporter

When most people get a text from a random number, it’s a spam message, but not senior Max Chung. More widely known as DJ and music producer CRWNS, Chung got a message one night from an unknown number that read, “We think you’re ready. Do you want to play Buku?”

It turns out that the message was an invitation from Winter Circle Productions to perform at BUKU Music + Arts Project. CRWNS will play at 4:45 p.m. on Saturday, March 12 in the Back Alley, a stage that showcases most of the locals acts. As the smallest stage, it offers an intimate crowd.

Going from DJ-ing frat parties to playing a set at a major music festival is a monumental step for the Chicago-born Chung, who began DJ-ing his sophomore year of high school. Once he arrived at college, he started producing music more seriously, uploading his remixes to SoundCloud and writing for music blogs.

Buku will be CRWNS’ largest audience yet, landing him on the same bill as artists like Kid Cudi, Pretty Lights, Future and Fetty Wap.

“This is really the most exposure I’ve ever gotten on a show before,” Chung said. “Just being on the same bill of artists that I’ve always looked up to is a great look for me.”

Chung defines its music as future-bass: melodic trap music influenced by artists like Flume and NGHTMRE. Everything from dubstep, trap, hip-hop and house can be heard in his mixes. Chung plans to continue grinding out music and is currently working on a collaboration with sophomore vocalist Sophia Schöenau.

“Finding your sound, and a style that’s different and unique, that’s part of the challenge, too,” Chung said. “I try to blur the lines as much as possible.”

Several of his songs have gained recognition on SoundCloud, and electronic artists like Diplo and 3LAU have downloaded his remixes. The most recent is a remix of “Street” by NGHTMRE. He’s also booked live shows at various venues around New Orleans, such as Republic New Orleans and The Metropolitan.

“Making people happy with music is my favorite thing ever,” Chung said. “It’s just so cool that I can get on stage and not say a single word, and express myself more than I could if I talked for an hour. People just connect with it. Music is the most universal thing, it’s crazy.”

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