Interview: Chris Batson
Mon, 27 Jan 2014 10:02:25
Chris Batson takes R&B to another dimension altogether with his We Got Lost Along The Way EP. [iTunes link] It's a vivid nocturnal affair, merging futuristic hip-hop bombast and mind-blowing vocal delivery. It's as spacey as it is soaring, and that's what makes the collection so downright cinematic. There's nothing in the game like Batson, and this is the Way of the future.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Chris Batson talks We Got Lost Along The Way and so much more.
Did you approach the We Got Lost Along The Way EP with one cohesive vision?
Definitely, I wanted to make an EP that followed the same line of subject matter, which was this introspection and real-life situations. That was the goal. I feel like we accomplished that. I definitely wanted to make it as deep and as real as possible.
How did songs tend to start?
Well, I'm a producer as well so I always make the actual tracks to start off. I never write down any topics, ideas, or things to make a song with. I usually do the track first, and then I go with what I feel. Being a producer gives me an edge. I don't write anything beforehand. I go in and make the track first. That's how it works.
It feels like the music is recorded at night. When do you typically record?
I record whenever. I know it sounds gloomy and dark [Laughs]. I record at all times of the day though. I'm always working and trying to come up with new creative ideas for songs. There's no real time of day, but I can totally understand why you'd ask that!
Is it important for the music to evoke visuals?
Yeah, definitely! That's something I wanted to get across even with the videos "Wintertime" and "Never Coming Back". My songs are really visual. You can have a bunch of creative experiences as far as working on videos and things like that. We definitely wanted to make it as visual as possible. I think that shows in the videos.
How closely are they related to the lyrics?
I feel like the lyrics went perfectly with the videos. That was the main thing. They definitely represent the words.
What's the story behind "Wintertime"?
That was a real life experience. All of them are, but "Wintertime" was super dear to my heart because it was a story I went through with a past relationship where we thought she was pregnant. We were worrying and wondering if we should keep the baby. It was that kind of situation. I feel like a lot of people can relate to that. I made that song about a year or two ago. That's the story behind "Wintertime". I'm very picky with my melodies. It was one of my favorites off the EP as well.
Where did "Tomorrow Will Be Better" come from?
That was a song I made during a period of time when I was super down and out. It's about God, religious experiences I've gone through, and frustration. I know a lot of people can relate. We've all wondered, "Where is God at in my situation?" That's all I'm trying to get across. It's a song I made in the moment, and it's one of my stronger songs.
If you were to compare the EP to a movie or a combination of movies, what would it be?
I feel like it would have to be my favorite movie period, The Pursuit of Happyness with Will Smith. That's one of my favorites. I can relate my music to it because inside I'm searching for something better and a sense of happiness. I'm definitely a movie guy. I love movies. I'm not much of a TV or sports guy. I focus on movies. I feel like that's the heaviest art form that influences my music.
What else have you been watching?
I've been trying to keep it light right now. I'm staying from the dramas. I've been watching a lot of comedies lately. Back in the day, it was things like Seven Pounds and The Pursuit of Happyness.
How does the EP lead into the album?
The EP is dark, and it has a lot of heavy content. I like to keep things real. I don't like to fabricate in my stories and writing. There are a lot of deep songs on the album too. The EP blends into it well. It all meshes together. I feel like the album won't be as dark, but it still has dark elements.
What artists shaped you?
Kanye West heavily influenced me with his production and rapping. Drake is another guy who influenced me as well. I'd say Jay-Z, Kings of Leon, and new acts like The Lumineers.
Have you heard Chris Batson yet?
Follow Chris on Twitter and visit his official site.