Soulfulish Introducing Series “A Different Look”

Introducing Series : Chris Chandler

Chris chandler may not be a familiar name to most people, but the Chicago native has worked with the likes of Jeff Robinson (MBK Entertainment), Common, Eminem, The Beatnuts etc. He recently released his sophomore album, A Different Look back in February to critical acclaim and the record definitely appeals to Soul and Jazz music fans alike.
Chris was kind of enough to answer a few questions about the new album and his plans for the future.

T:  What was it like growing up in a family of musicians and working with the legendary Beatnuts ?

Chris : Growing up with a family where music is a major factor of upbringing, it just becomes a part of you. I remember singing and dancing from such an early age, my uncle always playing guitar whenever I would go by my Grandmother’s, just sitting in the room and listening. I just think when music is around you like that, it just becomes a part of your spirit and before you know it, your singing, dancing and writing songs.

Working with the Beatnuts was instrumental in the development as an artist, becoming professional and learning how to put on a really good performance. So having the opportunity to sing on 4 albums with them made me a professional, and opened up the industry. I was able to tour and see Europe and the United States, so it was instrumental in making me a professional. 

T:  It’s been 7 years since the release of your debut album, Lifestylz Vol. 1. Why has it taken so long to release your sophomore album. 

Chris: I had been working on so much music, it wasn’t like I stopped making music for 7 years. I had done so many different projects and I was trying to find the right one to go with. As we (The Beatnuts and myself) were going from deal to deal, we were working on so much material and a lot of it wasn’t released. 
We didn’t find the right home for it, we didn’t want to waste the music so with ‘A Different Look’ – I got off the road, I decided to get in the studio with the Band and I wanted to make an organic album that spoke to the listener through instruments, melodies, lyrics and my voice. I didn’t want any smoking mirrors or super producers or anything like that I just wanted to get in there and make good music. So the lay off wasn’t really a lay off. I was working on so much music and so many projects. It’s just sometimes in the industry, there’s a lot of music that no one really gets to hear. It will be shelved for whatever reason so I decided – let me create, let me have the power to go in the studio, create what I want to create and release it when I want to release it. 
So that was the reason that it took a little while to release A Different Look.

T:  Listening to the record you can tell it has an Organic/Jazz feel to it. Was that something you were aiming for when you went into the studio? 

Chris: When I went into the studio with the band, I definitely wanted to have an organic jazz feeling to the record.  It is a part of me in terms of coming from an R&B strong musical family. Jazz was always being played, Stevie Wonder was always being played, so was Steely Dan, Earth Wind & Fire etc. Back then artists/musicians used the real instruments, so my primary thought process for this record was  to go in there with the band. Before we go in I kind of have an outline in my mind of what instruments I want and the type of song I want for each particular tune. If I wanted a Saxophone like in ‘Don’t let me be lonely tonight’ that’s what I did. 
So it was something I definitely thought about and it was something that just came organically and naturally in the studio. 

T:  What are your plans for the new record in terms of touring, any plans to come to Europe?

Chris: My plan is to build the fanbase, I definitely want to come to Europe. I want to build relationships with R&B and Neo-Soul promoters and get out there and do some great shows. I think that live perfomances are a key element in growing your fanbase and getting that emotional response that makes people love your music.
So touring is something that we are putting in the works and to come to Europe. They really love my music and I would love to come there and show my appreciation by doing a live show. 
So basically growing a brand, performing live, if you know of any venues that love our music, definitely let me know and i’ll come through. 

T: Thanks for sharing your music with me & thanks for making out time to answer some of the questions.

Chris :Thanks for giving me the opportunity; glad you enjoy the music.

A Different Look (amazon, itunes )

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