i-D’s music class of 2018: chrystal
Each hailing from outside London, this year’s class bring the noise from Dublin to Dorset. Tune in and turn up, because we listened to the future and it sounds like this.
"Of course! I was out last weekend," says Chrystal, on being asked if she ever parties in her hometown of Bolton. "There's one club that everyone goes to. I don't go out that much anymore, but I used to be there every weekend." Her first single, Waves, can attest to this – the bouncy, bass-heavy track is filled with the energy of someone who's spent a lot of time out clubbing. Lyrically sharp and intoxicatingly produced, it's also shaped by a particular sound native to Bolton, circa 2008. "Donk music was 100% one of the influences of that track. We all had the tapes when we 14 or 15, and we'd learn the MCing."
About to drop new music, Chrystal's certainly drummed up an impressive level of hype with just this one track. But then, in an industry awash with manufactured, homogenous pop music, the 26-year-old Northerner certainly offers something a little more interesting. "I guess in some ways it's a good thing being in Bolton, because people from London seem to find me interesting. But you don't have the scene, so you have to find other ways to get your music heard."
With an album that she's, "incredibly proud of", in the works, and, "a hope to inspire people to know that they can do whatever they want to do", with her music, Chrystal's graduation can't come soon enough.
Photography Ronan McKenzie
Styling Julian Ganio
Hair Naoki Komiya at Julian Watson Agency
Make-up Ammy Drammeh using M.A.C Cosmetics
Styling assistance John Handford and Nathan Henry
Hair assistance Kazuhiro Naka
Make-up assistance Grace Ellington