Interview 1: Chris Koehn
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What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I´ve always had a connection with music since I was a kid. Probably what got me in a more serious way was my brother's death 18 years ago. I wrote him a song after he passed away and a friend who was directing a movie asked me to use that song for his film. At the time I didn't know how to record professionally. So I went to another friend's studio and in one day we recorded the song from scratch since I played all the instruments. That day I felt the magic of a music studio and making music. That's when I decided that although being architecture my main profession, I wanted to make music.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Since I have my design firm I like to make architecture, run marathons, to travel and visit contemporary art museums, to get inspired from different cultures, their food and wine. I also like yoga, meditating, and cooking. Watch good movies, read. Listen to a lot of vinyls and watch art movies. I believe all of my hobbies are interrelated and my architecture and music.
How long has music been your career?
The song I made for my brother was around 2008. After having a band I started my solo project in 2012 releasing Songs For Yoshimi. So next year it will be 10 years.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I´m based in Mexico City, but since I was a kid I used to go on summers, easter and Winters holidays to the US. Every vacation I would make mix tapes with the new music I discovered. Probably those trips have more influence on the music that I make.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
Best shows are probably my last Live From Home show last year. It was really difficult because I had to learn to play drums, guitar, make live loops on moog, play harmonica and sing at the same time. But the result was really worth it. And since it was a charity concert to see lots of people donating to help single mothers affected by covid was really moving. Another good show was in 2018, where I played with Cello, Peruvian percussion, ukulele and shakers. I was really happy with those instrument combinations.
Worst show to me, although people were really happy and told me it sounded great, I couldn't hear a thing on stage because of the monitors and acoustic. So practically I didn't know if the sound was right and if we were playing accordingly.
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Probably Lunario in Mexico City. Would love to play in LA and NY Winery .
If you could play any show with any lineup who would be on the ticket?
Sigur Ros, Slowdive, The Strokes, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Joy Division ( Peter Hook ) and Roger Waters.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into music?
Believe in yourself no matter what.
If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would it be?
Start earlier making music and not worrying about others opinion
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Probably Sunday Morning Sun. It was the first song I wrote for my solo project. When I was writing and playing it, it made me feel better. I kind of realised then, that my music could help make people feel better and happier.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Little Wonder probably is my favourite to play and Winters of Sleep. After it was released on a Netflix Series ( Control Z ) I started to get a lot of requests and comments about it.
What is the creative process for you, and what inspires you to write your music?
To me the creative process is discipline on one hand, and surrendering on the other. Staying open to what can come out as a result. Everything inspires me, nature, art, photography, movies, food, architecture, our cities, travelling.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Introspective lyrics to create awareness, a constant reminder of enjoying the present, the NOW. To appreciate that nothing is permanent and death can come anytime. “ The freer from our attachments we are, the happier our life will be.”
Do you ever have disagreements when collaborating and how do you get past them?
Sometimes I do. To get past them would be to stay open and to see what is better for the song and not whose idea it was.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
This Friday 16th I’ll release my 3rd single from the upcoming EP LIVE FROM HOME. After I´ll release 2 more singles and then we´ll be making a short vinyl edition to help gather funds again to close the help circle. At the moment I'm recording my new EP with new collabs and probably the first single will be released around august. Hopefully by the end of the year I can play live again.