What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I’ve been doing music since a very young age (started with cello at age 3). However in my high school years I spent more time pursuing sports like football, soccer, basketball, and track/cross country. Considering that turned into multiple dead ends for me, what let me back to music was sitting in my truck one night after a playoff football game my senior year. I heard the song “Ticks” by Brad Paisley on the radio and started singing along to it. I realized at that moment I was pretty decent at singing and music ran in both sides of my family. So I decided to give it a shot! If I wasn’t doing music, I’d be doing something in GIS (my degree) or something travel related.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Traveling is a big part of my life, whether it’s music related or not. I’m also into working out, MMA training, reading, law of attraction, and yoga/meditation. All of this gives me a perspective I feel many country singers don’t have, which helps my music and content stand out more.
How long has music been your career?
I’ve been writing songs for 13 years and performing for 9 years. However I’ve always had a day job during this time (usually GIS), which explains all the traveling. I’m hoping to change that really soon though (the day job part)!
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I’m based in the Nashville, TN area, however I was born and raised in New Bern, NC. Growing up there, country, hip hop/R&B, reggae, and classic rock were the big influences for me and my friends and I feel that shows in my music.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
One of the best shows I ever played was in Oriental, NC around Christmas 2015 when I opened for Bryan Mayer. There were a good 300 people there and they all cheered ecstatically after every song, even the ones I messed up on haha! The worst one was at this smoke filled biker dive bar in Texas (I won’t say the name) where these 2 guys that were heavily on drugs started fighting each other and then threatened to come back and shoot up the place when they got kicked out! Let’s just say I never played there again haha.
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
My favorite venue is Rebecca Creek Distillery in San Antonio, TX and Phat Bites in Nashville, TN. I paid my dues hard at these places and I’m thankful they gave me a chance when no one else would! A place I’d love to play at is Flora-Bama, located on the FL/AL line in Pensacola, FL and Orange Beach, AL. I’ve played a bunch of open mics there but never got to play an actual paid gig there due to their high demand. I hope to soon though, especially during Mullet Toss!
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
I’d love to play a show with Eric Church, Luke Combs, and Scotty McCreery. Playing with all NC natives on a lineup would be a dream come true! I’d also love to play with Jason Aldean and Michael Ray.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into music?
Get out there immediately! It’s obviously important to consistently practice, but it’s a whole different ball game when you’re in front of people. Get out there even if you make mistakes! It gets you closer to perfection. And the more energy you put out there with music, the more you will be rewarded with results. Definitely not immediately, but they will come and be so fulfilling! Also don’t do it for fame, do it because you love to do it and you want to better the world with it.
If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would it be?
Get away from home immediately and go chase that dream! Also don’t party so much and doubt yourself, and start doing yoga and meditation.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
"Sober Angel” which I haven’t released but I do have an acoustic version on my Youtube channel. It’s the song I wrote when my mom died of alcoholism back in 2016 and performed it at her funeral. I didn’t write that one for radio or publicity, but just from the heart and to honor her life and her impact on me.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
"Open Road” and “Knotty Thing!”. However I have a feeling my new song “I’ll Ever Need" will be a new favorite ;)
What is the creative process for you, and what inspires you to write your music?
I usually get inspiration to write when I shouldn’t be, like when I’m driving or working. I also get it from meditation. I always write the lyrics first, usually in the morning, and put a melody to it in the evening or a day or two later to let it simmer.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Overall just to relate to people and be that voice that understands them when it seems like no one else does. Help in the same way country music helps during tough times of my life.
Do you ever have disagreements when collaborating and how do you get past them?
I mostly write alone, however I’m open to co-writing as long as the other person doesn’t try to take full control of the song haha! It should be a 50/50 effort. But overall I’m pretty laid back and have no ego in the creative process and always open to new suggestions and ways to grow my sound and brand.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
My first plan is to get to a point where I can do music as a full time job and not rely on a day job. I’m already planning some tours and growing my online presence, so I can feel that coming soon! I have a new single “I’ll Ever Need” that I think is a killer love song! It’s on all streaming services and has a cool music video on Youtube. I’ve also got another single I’m planning to release in March (won’t say the name yet). My goal is to pump out as much music this year as I can!
Social Media Links:
Streaming link (Spotify, Apple Music, and Youtube Music): https://fanlink.to/chrishollacheck