California – North America
I used to run across new artists everyday in my past. Now with my focus being on artist who’ve already established a fan base my rookie list “so to speak” is very small. When I came across Chris Christopher, something about his music seemed genuine to me. I could really relate to what he was saying. Here’s his first interview of many in his career.
Who did you grow up listening to as a teenager?
My teenage days consisted of a lot of Bay Area music. Mac Dre (RIP), Dubee, Mob Figaz (RIP Jacka), Pretty Black (RIP), E40, B-Legit, Keak Da Sneak, Equipto, Andre Nickatina, Hieroglyphics. I still kept my favorite childhood artists in rotation, Biggie, 2Pac & Bone Thugs, but Bay Area rap interested me greatly and I grew tremendous respect for our independent artists.
Where you from? What kind of an artist do you say you are?
I’m originally from Hawaii – born in Honolulu. Throughout my childhood I moved back and forth from the island to California, mainly around the 925 and 209 area codes. I moved from to Cali permanently around 1999, and been living around Concord/Walnut Creek since then. 808 to the 925, I love and rep them both.
You have an album already out, tell us all about Chris Christopher- Tunes For Thought..? The concepts and messages behind it.
After messing around with freestyles and mixtape tracks for a few years, Tunes For Thought came about as my first effort working on original beats. I met my producer Rece Tha Beast in a music class at Diablo Valley College, and he did 11 out of the 12 beats. I speak about my Grandmother on many of the songs, who passed during the process of creating the album. Never experienced death before, especially with someone who was a major influence in my life. The album opened up a lane of expression for me. It’s for sure got a lyrical Hip-Hop vibe, but with West Coast sound with slaps that knock hard. Very 420 friendly, smoked out tunes to make you think. Definitely worth while to take a listen, I took my time with it and tried to create a body of work that can be listened to from start to finish.
What was it like working with Mike Marshall, Equipto and Berner?
Working with all three of them was a great, solid experience. All real down to earth dudes. The songs we did turned into great all around friendships. Equipto is on two songs for Tunes For Thought, one of them being “Cali Smoke” with Mike Marshall. “Cali Smoke” was a big track for me, shout out to Meezy and Queezy for doing the video http://imagineear.com/pharmacy/ with me that we dropped for 4/20/2013, make sure to watch that. Berner dropped an ill verse on “West Coast Psycho” also on Tunes For Thought. These tracks all led to future work between all three of us.
What are you working on now?
I’m almost finished with 2 projects. My next solo project, THC: Thoroughly High Compositions is dropping very soon. This is entire produced by one of my favorite producers to listen to, Rob Lo. The music is practically finished, working on adding a song or two, getting the artwork done, and we there. Also nearly completed is a duo album I’m working on with my bro Yung Endo titled Locally Grown, all about your roots as an individual, where you from, and of course the herb. Expect both albums to be appealing to the cannabis community but deeper with real Hip-Hop heads who love that Bay sound because we spared no lengths.
Who are you working with as far as production, collabos etc.?
I’m working closely with Rob Lo and Rece Tha Beast for my solo production, as well as some dope producers from the midwest Hyphy and DameOnDaSlap. My next solo album THC (Rob Lo on all the production) will feature Mike Marshall on 3 songs, as well as a track with Mike, Equipto & Berner. The legend B-Legit is confirmed for THC as well. For our duo project Locally Grown, we’re excited to have production from The World’s Freshest DJ Fresh, Rob Lo, PakSlap, Dosia, SK, and more. Features for this project include Fed-X, Matt Blaque, Yukmouth, Joe Blow, Equipto, San Quinn, Lil Rue and many more.
What are your goals as an artist?
Embrace my Bay Area and Hawaii roots while building an organic fan base worldwide. Build my brand while mastering my craft, consistently putting out dope music. I enjoy live performances and want to do shows frequently. Eventually becoming a touring artist. Compile a large music catalog while influencing others to follow their dreams. I want to be around for the long haul, many years from now.
Do you have your own label or is someone putting out your music out? Distribution?
I put out and fund the music myself through my own label. Tunes For Thought was available through iTunes and all other digital outlets. I had physicals sleeve copies that I was personally selling and giving away out the trunk. This time around for THC, real jewel cases with 6 panel art coming for sure – looking to get some real distribution, want this project to move around everywhere. At the same time, press up Tunes For Thought with real jewel cases and add a new song or two so I can hit the physical store market I missed last time.
Who do you wish to work with in the industry?
I would like to continue working closely with the people I’ve been doing music with and put out some collaborative projects within my network. I’d like to work with some singers and maybe some reggae type tracks with Jay Boog or Vital. Oh and of course the Ambassador of the Bay E-40!
Hard work, preparation, and follow through has brought Chris Christopher to the point of success so far. When he drops his projects in stores and online, will you go and pick one up. I will, until then fire one up and check out Chris Christopher on Youtube to see what he’s talking bout!
By Mr Ceza Photo Courtesy Chris Christopher