ISU student heads to Spain after graduation to pursue his passion


Courtesy of Christian Graber

Christian Graber, senior in world languages and cultures, fell in love in Spain when he was studying abroad there. Now, after graduation he is going to return to Spain and DJ for a living.

Jaden Urbi

While most college graduates will be scrambling to find a job in May, Christian Graber, senior in world languages and cultures, will be DJing shows throughout the night in Spain.

“Usually students attend these huge career fairs looking for a really intense job that’s going to pay a ton of money, but I just want to do something fun with my life,” Graber said.

Graber said that he first got into DJing when he saw that some of the older guys in his fraternity were doing parties. They showed him the ropes, and he’s been hooked ever since.

“I made my way from doing tailgates, to house parties, to gigs with Campustown and sororities,” Graber said.

Emma Rink, freshman in pre-business, has attended a sorority party that Graber DJed.

“Even after the party, everyone was talking about how great Christian was,” Rink said.

Rink said she and her friends thought Graber was the best DJ they had all year.

“He played super fun music that everyone danced to all night,” Rink said. “He was really good at taking our requests.”

From listening to music in the house with his mother to drumming and playing in bands of every genre, music has always been a part of his life. But ever since he’s starting DJing, it has been his passion, Graber said.

“People assume you’re just like a walking iTunes, but it’s not like that. There’s a whole science behind it all, you can pretty much compose how the night is going to go based on what kind of music you play,” Graber said.

Graber said he would almost DJ for free, but if he’s going to get paid for doing something he loves, then it just makes sense.

“It doesn’t even feel like a job,” Graber said. “You’re basically sitting there getting paid to have the time of your life and make people super happy, and I can’t think of a better job than that.”

Contrary to the bars and clubs in America that usually close around 2 or 3 a.m., nightclubs in Spain close around 7 a.m., Graber said.

“People in Spain just love enjoying their time and that’s what did it for me, that’s why I chose Spain,” Graber said.

Graber said he travels a lot and has been to Spain three times before, twice through studying abroad and once with his parents.

“I’ve always been obsessed with Spain,” Graber said. “It’s my heritage from my mom’s side of the family, so I grew up with some Spanish culture. I’m already fluent in Spanish.”

Graber said that he went to Spain for the first time the summer after his sophomore year of college.

“After that, it almost consumed me, I just wanted to get back to Spain as soon as I could,” Graber said.

During his internship in Valencia, Spain, he spent his time talking to everyone he could and said he has created a large network of people willing to help him out in any way possible when he moves there, Graber said.

“There’s DJs everywhere in Spain — restaurants, stores, really everywhere,” Graber said.

Nate Moore, senior in industrial design, has been friends with Graber for two years and DJs various shows with him.

“On Thursday nights, we DJ Cafe Mood together,” Moore said. “We did an underground show during Veishea and we’ve done a few sorority gigs together.”

Moore said he will be studying abroad this summer in Sweden and plans on meeting up with Graber. 

“The school schedule over in Sweden is really laid back, so when I have some down time I’m going to go visit Christian and try to find some gigs to DJ,” Moore said.

Moore said Graber is going to fit in well in Spain because house and electronic music is more widely accepted there.

Graber said musically he takes inspiration from American artists such as Daft Punk, Ludacris and Swedish House Mafia, as well as Spanish DJs such as Cristian Varela and Chuz & Cebellos.

Graber said he wants to blaze a trail for other students to realize that it’s a lot easier than they think to go live where they want to and do what they love.

“Everyone always says they want to go live somewhere else, but I guess I’m the only one crazy enough to do it,” Graber said. “The only difference between me and those people is that I’m actually doing it.”

Graber said he hopes to see other ISU students moving across the globe in the future to follow their passion. 

“I could definitely see myself coming back to America, but you never know,” Graber said. “We’ll see what happens.”