Hello Kris, how are you?
I’m great. Enjoying the human experience as much as possible. Thanks for asking.
Congratulations on the release of “Side FX how does it feel?
Thanks! It feels good. There has been a great response for SIDE FX so far. I wanted to show another side of myself so I’m appreciative its been received well by many.
What’s the story behind the song?
SIDE FX is about the feeling of being so infatuated with someone it feels like an addiction. You’re not yourself, but you feel lifted. Love and infatuation is pretty much a drug trip, and this song is about that….it’s a feeling that scares me, but I desire.
It’s got quite a slick production behind it, what was the easiest and hardest part of putting it together?
I would say the easiest part was the idea and the lyrics. I was working on this with Sebastian and he always tells me I’m a “fountain of melodies.” The hardest part was creating a sound that fit into the mainstream world, but reflected what I loved. I truly love an organic feel to a song, and SIDE FX went through many faces. I had to strip away all of the production that was there initially, and play organic elements…then build around that. It’s important for me to have music that translates well when played with a live band, or even acoustically.
You are an artist from Washington DC, how did it all begin for you?
Yes, I’m born and raised in the Washington DC area. I started off playing piano in church. Eventually I went to Berklee College of Music to develop my skills even further. I was definitely a very shy kid. I’ve always been a bit more introverted, but I’ve learned to adjust as I’ve gotten older. I remember I didn’t want to sing for anyone because I was so nervous for some reason, but I started doing Youtube videos and that helped me develop confidence. I know that sounds odd….that I’d rather sing and play for complete strangers on the internet, but something about not knowing these people made it easier.
What did you listen to growing up?
Definitely an eclectic mix of music. My mother has amazing taste in music so I always heard Prince, Janet Jackson, Earth Wind and Fire, Stevie Wonder, Rick James….the legends when I was growing up. Alicia Keys was the catalyst for me learning piano and wanting to sing. Being a pianist I also surrounded myself with a lot of classical and jazz music. P!nk is also one of my favorite songwriters so she was on repeat, as well as Lenny Kravitz and Paramore.
You have worked with some top notch names in the past, most notably H.E.R. and Ryan Tedder what was a real pinch me moment for you?
I think every time I am able to work with someone and create something from scratch it has that pinch me feel. Sometimes I sit back and I’m like…wow…we really made something from nothing. To share that moment with people I not only call my friends, but I admire is a really cool thing.
Did you learn any important lessons from that experience?
Life is full of lessons. Every time we interact with another person, place, or share experiences we learn something about ourselves. As an artist I feel like I learn so much about myself and my abilities when working with other people…especially when dealing with talented people like them. One thing I’ve learned from H.E.R is that you can reinvent yourself at any time, and the music should always be the main focus. Then your story keeps the listeners.
COVID impacted the creative industry in a big way, what kept you motivated?
Honestly, it was online streaming that kept me pushing through. I’ve been able to do online shows to stay connected with people, and meet new ones. But, most importantly I used that time period to really self reflect, and focus on what it is I wanted for myself. A lot of shadow work.
The last two years have been a time to reflect what did you learn about yourself?
I learned that there is no cap. No time limit. No expiration date. I learned that I can be boundless and limitless. I’ve learned to take time to breathe and heal. I’ve learned that life is fragile, and it’s important to enjoy the human experience as much as possible.
Did you pick up any new skills?
Definitely have become a lot more self sufficient when it comes to the recording process. Relying on myself more rather than others.
What are you listening to at the moment?
I really like this new girl group named FLO right now. I’m a big fan of MNEK and would love to work with him one day….but, he and that team are doing something special with FLO and it’s exciting to listen to. I’m also enjoying the new Harry Styles and Rosalia. Edith Piaf calms me. Prince, Lenny Kravitz, Frank Ocean are always in rotation.
What’s next for you?
I’m going to keep creating, collabing with other artists, and performing. I’ve recently been working on something very special with someone I’ve admired my entire life. I’m looking forward to diving into that, and start looking into scoring for tv and films. That’s always been a dream of mine. I’m always open to opportunities so….I’ll see what the universe presents me with next.
Special thanks to Amalia @ Liberty Music PR