We chat with New York based singer-songwriter and music producer Chris Stylez, to discuss music making, going social media viral and what/who inspires the R&B artist.
Music has always been part of my life, but I started writing and producing demos in 06’. In 07’ I started working on my music with Noah Shebib , at the Remix Project [Toronto]. Shortly after, I bounced around the US (Atlanta, Los Angeles) performing and networking, then finally ended up in New York City in 10’. BET’s Music Matters Campaign, and writing/vocal producing with Mario Winans would probably be the way I got my foot in the door.
Opening for Ne-Yo was probably one of my most memorable moments in Toronto. It was funny, because I probably had no business opening for him in the first place. I was on stage performing demos; to a crowd of 2500 people – who were completely into it! The feeling was surreal, and special in many ways. I had my closest friends, and family with me, and we all thought our lives were about to change. After the concert, I connected with Ne-Yo, and his manager, who later invited me to Atlanta.
What three artists have inspired not only your sound but who you are as a musician?
Stevie Wonder is brilliance. His songwriting, and musicianship, will always inspire me.
Bob Marley’s essence, and stage presence is engrained in my mind. He died before I was born, but I grew up immersed in reggae music and culture, and have a huge respect for his legacy.
Kanye West gave me confidence to write, produce, and perform the way I do now. His truth and vulnerability, has led me to take more risks, in hopes to push boundaries as an artist.
What is your favorite part of what you do- writing, performing live or creating in the studio?
I love being in the studio – it’s my safe place, my zone. Writing is therapeutic for me. It’s personal, and introspective. However, the feeling I get when I share what’s in my heart, mind, and soul with people who connect and appreciate, is unexplainable. Performing live can be intense, even magical – I love it.
Tell us about your song writing process and what it was like to create your new EP?
This is my formal introduction. I kept the focus on my first step into the spotlight as an artist, songwriter, and record producer, to allow people to get to know me in truest way. My music is always rooted in soul, so I close my eyes, and dig deep – whatever comes out, is usually what I stick with. It has to feel right, or I’m not doing it. This EP scratches the surface, but gives you a little perspective on how I feel.
Your song ‘Who Is’ went viral on vine and other social media platforms, what it is like to know that you have such a strong following so early on in your career?
I’m humbled, but don’t really focus on that. My focus is the music, and I plan to stay true to giving the best of me at all times.
Finally, what advice would you give to other artists who are starting out in the industry?
Be humble, disciplined, and respect your craft – you can be legendary.
Check out Chris’s new EP via Spotify here