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Interview: Chris Jourdian
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Great question Let's answer the first part. When I was younger, at around 7 years old, I was inspired when watching my mom play the piano. Soon after, I started taking piano lessons and learned music theory. From there, I started developing my own melodies from playing video games like Zelda, Mario, Final Fantasy amongst many others. During High School, I started DJing and was empowered by how music can control the energy of a crowd. It’s an amazing feeling. From there, I ultimately decided to keep up at it so I can one day play my own music in front of an audience and hopefully fans.
If music was never a passion, I would probably be very career driven. Focus on my skills in technology and maybe develop my own startup in gaming or in tech.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Even when I am not playing or making music, I am listening to it constantly. I listen to music while driving, working, and playing games. When I hear chords or a melody it gets stuck and I usually create my own version of it for future tracks.
Another thing I would do is listen to their techniques in different artists and how they incorporate it into their composition, production, and mixing. Learned a lot just by listening over the years.
How long has music been your career?
There are two answers for this question: ten years and one year. The first nine years of music consisted of learning the technical process of music production and developing my unique style. I was constantly making instrumentals and creating remixes of my favorite songs. But it was only last year, when I started to work with songwriters and vocalists, that I was able to create original tracks from start to finish that were authentically me.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I grew up in Orange County and lived in Los Angeles over the last 7 years. I wouldn’t say those locations influenced my music but it did give me a realization that there is so much talent here. It’s more so inspiration to not give up and to work harder on my music and craft.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
During the very early years of my music career I was rather new to producing music and I was under a different alias at the time. My music wasn't quite ready for the public but I still wanted to make a name for myself in the music world somehow. My area of most confidence was in DJing so I would use my spinning skills as a means of marketing. There was one show where my gear was physically unable to connect to the main speakers; the aux cable wasn't long enough. So even though the bar had their own music playing, I just sat there with my kit and people thought I was DJing. It's a pretty hilarious memory thinking back to it now.
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
This question isn’t really applicable to me unfortunately.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Son Lux, Zedd, Avicii, Kygo, Flume & Skrillex haha. I admire their production and musical skill sets.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into music?
The music industry is high-risk, high-reward so I would advise those who are just getting into it to continue to go to school (if they are currently enrolled) or keep their day-jobs while working to perfect their craft. It’ll be hard but it will allow you to bankroll your passion if needed. Music takes time and patience. Don’t give up on it. Nothing in life comes easy, especially with music.
Keep at it very regularly, like weekly, even when you are uninspired. If possible, invite a friend who has just as much passion as you do. Set a schedule every week like Tuesday and Thursday nights after dinner while working or going to school. Always try to have a good work and life balance. Don’t let one or the other consume your time!
If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would it be?
Be prepared for the grind when starting to release your original works. It is a grueling and time-consuming process but if you keep up at it, you will eventually see results.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
“Do You Ever”. This was the second single of my first album “Solid-State” and a song I was really proud of because it was developed organically with the help of my family and friends. The completion of this song gave me such a sense of accomplishment and essentially revitalized my passion for music. It was the catalyst that made me want to create more.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
I have yet performed under the “Chris Jourdian” alias but my family and friends all love “Walkaway” and “Solo” the most.
What is the creative process for you, and what inspires you to write your music?
When I work on a new song, I like to start with feelings I want to convey to my audience. It could be feelings of empowerment, regret, happiness, or pain. From there I will create a beat, incorporating sounds elements that evoke this emotion. Then I select a songwriter and vocalist who can create a story against the backdrop of this emotion. The result is a powerful song that hopefully is able to convey specific feelings and stories to the audience.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
A lot of my music talks about the good and bad of relationships. I feel it’s what most people can relate to and at the same time it helps build emotions.
Ultimately, I want people to enjoy it but also make it relatable through the lyrics and songwriting.
Do you ever have disagreements when collaborating and how do you get past them?
Yes I have. It is important to avoid bringing negative energy into the creative process especially when you are collaborating with other artists. It is much more productive to have an open discussion about what the vision for the song is and which direction can bring that vision to life. In any relationship it is good to recognize each other's gifts and perspectives and to remind yourself and each other that everyone is on the same team to make great music.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
I have an aggressive release schedule with one new original track per month for the rest of the year so stay tuned for new music!