Q: Hi there, so lovely to speak with you today! “i n y o u r e y e s” is such a dreamy, sultry song that I keep listening to on repeat. I admire the unique blend of r&b/indie pop with an almost old-school love ballad feeling to the track. Can you walk me through the creative process of making this song?
CHRIIIS: I’m so glad like it. I wrote and recorded this song around 2 years ago in my bedroom during COVID. I was going through it emotionally and existentially. After that initial recording of guitar and vocals, I collaborated with my friend MUSA in his home studio in Brooklyn on the rest of production. We layered some more instruments and background vocals and had the track pretty much done in a few hours. I sat on this song since then. I’m so happy to have it out.
Q: Although “i n y o u r e y e s” seems to be a dedication to someone you love, I’m curious what the entire inspiration behind the track was. Did any real-life events occur in your life that inspired it?
CHRIIIS: Honestly, it wasn’t love. The realization of that is what inspired the mood of the song. I was romantically involved with someone and I had feelings for them, but I felt really disconnected. I was in a dark place at the time, and they idolized me in a way that made me feel even more alone. Making this song felt expressed lust confusion disconnect and guilt. I think I broke her heart. It sucked.
Q: If you could collaborate with any artist (dead or alive), who would it be & why?
CHRIIIS: I’d like to collaborate with a lot of people. It always brings out something I would’ve never done on my own. It would be cool to work with a collection of jazz performers like “Standing on the Corner.” People with live instruments, willing to do something experimental. I want to add live drums to some of my demos. Also an analog synth wizard and someone who can play with some crazy experimental effects on my voice. The most important thing for me is that we all connect and vibe as people. I want to lock in somewhere surrounded by nature and have fun making beautiful noise.
Q: I’m always intrigued by an artist’s upbringing/beginning of your musical journey. Do you remember the first time you fell in love with music & was your family a musical household growing up?
CHRIIIS: Music has been my way of understanding the world as early as I can remember. I had really bad nightmares as a kid and my mom would play classical music to help me sleep. She used to sing to me all the time. I used to think she knew the lyrics to every song. Now I know she knows the lyrics to absolutely no songs. I fell in love with playing music while I was playing saxophone in high school. I picked up guitar because it was a form of catharsis when I was depressed and couldn’t sleep. I feel like a lot of my music originally was created because I was hurting. My music now comes from all sides of my experience the “iii” in my name stems partially from this idea. I made music somewhat selfishly because I felt like I needed it as a outlet and a way of finding meaning in life. It now feels more inspired by love and natural chaos. I think art is meant to be shared so I’m now combing through countless demos and focused on releasing.
Q: Being both a model and musician, I’m curious, how do these two art forms intertwine/influence one another?
CHRIIIS: At first, when I got scouted for modeling I thought of it as a way to make money and fund my life and creation of music. After I started shooting, I realized I get the same feeling when collaborating with a photographer and stylist as when I’m playing in a band. It’s just a different lane of expression for me. You can’t really lie to a camera or a microphone. You can dress things up but at the end of the day, both mediums are a transfer of energy. Working as a model has influenced my sound by taking me all over the world which has been inspiring. It also gives me enough free time to create even if it’s in an Airbnb or hotel room.
Q: The instrumental is so beautifully crispy and silky-smooth on “i n y o u r e y e s”; Can you walk me through the production process on the single?
CHRIIIS: I need to give all the credit to my friend and coproducer MUSA. I had the vocal and guitar recorded from my room with a skeleton for the drums. He did that studio magic to make it sound so clean. There’s a huge gap in my production skills when it comes to mixing and mastering. I make melodies, and write lyrics because that’s what I love, and comes naturally. I’m working now to fill some of those gaps in my production skills. It will only benefit the music and enable me to get what is in my head on each track.
Q: Are any exciting projects or shows in the works? Tell everyone what’s coming up next for you!
CHRIIIS: I’m so excited. I have extremely different sounds coming this year. I’m going to shoot a really cool video for “i n y o u r e y e s” the second I get back to NY. I’m planning on dropping two projects that are both extremely different sonically. I’m not making music with any thought to the commercial aspect. I’m really just trying to have fun and make something genuine. Just doing things for the joy of the process of creation.
Interviewed by Melissa Cusano