Chris Richardson Talks "Far Away", Working with Tyga, Storytelling, and So Much More
Fri, 03 Jun 2011 09:54:57
Every once in a while, a voice comes along that can bring the whole world to its feet. Chris Richardson has that kind of voice and so much more. Right now, his very own brand of blue-eyed soul can be heard loud and clear on Tyga's "Far Away", but he's been grinding since 2007 when he placed in the top five on American Idol. The show was simply an early launch pad for Richardson as he continued honing his craft and getting better and better with each performance and studio cut. Now, he's in the midst of making his full-length debut, which promises to include a little blues, rock, pop, and a whole lot of that soul he's so good at.
ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino caught up with Chris Richardson for this exclusive interview about "Far Away" with Tyga, his forthcoming music, and so much more.
What's the story behind "Far Away"?
Basically, it's a love song. It's about the feeling of being so far away from someone you love. It portrays that realness of when we mess up and we want to make amends. Your relationship means the world to you, and you'd do anything for your significant other. You'd walk a thousand miles for that person. It's that whole love connection. "Far Away" tells a story of how the guy in the relationship has done wrong, and it might be too late because his girl might be off and gone with someone else. She might've moved on to something now or she might not love him anymore. You never know if it's too late. That's where it ties into the whole connection of being far away.
Is it important for you to tell stories through your music?
Yeah, I think it's crucial. Sometimes, we'll get in there and write records where the storyline is so intense that it's like a book. Then, we have to lighten up the story a little to allow people to understand it. The subject matter will require a whole lot more than the time in the song. I really want to get a point across in the music. It's important to make sure that the audience will understand the storyline and it's not going to throw them in 35 directions.
It's a balancing act to fit all of that content into three to four minute song.
It becomes a fast way of poetry. At the same time, it's a slow way of poetry. You slow down what you're singing sometimes. Other times, you speed it up. I'll have a personal situation or scenario that I went through in my life, and I understand the situation so well that I want to explain it. Sometimes, that little open window of a four-minute song doesn't give you enough time to explain it unless you can really choose the right words. I think that's what "Far Away" does. Tyga really explains his story. He'd do anything to get this person back again and hopefully it's not too late. You always want to have that little ray of hope. It'll affect people differently. If you can find a way to put a story that people go through into a simple melody, the connection is a lot stronger.
Lyrics are crucial.
I'm either writing or co-writing my whole album. I'm writing about the situations I know, and I feel like that's going to differentiate me as opposed to any other artist out there. These days you have to find some way to separate yourself. I'm involved with the writing process of the album.
Where do you feel like you're coming from stylistically?
I grew up on that whole R&B vibe. I love the live instrumentation of it the most. I go to see live blues and jazz bands all the time. I love the swing of hearing live instruments. The whole cross of live instruments, synth sounds, and pop beats is really great.
How is your record coming along?
We're about 75 percent through with the record. It's my introduction to the world, but it's really fun because we're blending so many sounds together. Creating the hybrid of live music and pop music is a really interesting way of making music because you can explore some different realms. It's about writing music in the moment.
Have you heard "Far Away" yet?