We caught up with Emerging Creative Chris in the Loft Lounge and had a chat about his journey as a musician; his influences, what inspires him and where he is with his career.
Hi, I’m Chris, also known as BlackSmith. A Singer-Songwriter who writes R&B with Hip-Hop & Funk influences. Expect to hear energetic funky anthems laced with brass beats, poetic storytelling & catchy hooks. I’m excited for you all to hear my new music.
My sound is what I call ‘Summer R&B’. Through my music, I want to bring the same feeling you get on a hot summers day, not humid but warm with a cool refreshing breeze.
Influenced by 80’s Funk, Motown, and old school Hip Hop & R&B, I love live instruments and the epic sound of brass on stage. My earliest musical memories include dancing to the likes of Earth Wind and Fire and Kool and the Gang at family parties. As teenagers, my brother and I listened to Tupac, Biggie, Nas and Outkast and was inspired by their lyrical content, personalities, and vocal delivery. As a songwriter, I draw writing inspiration from both Smokey Robinson and Michael Jackson, I love their story telling and use of imagery throughout their songs, something I try to convey through my own music.
Back in April, I was given the opportunity to be this years Emerging Creative for Music in 2017. From that day, I was excited about what the year had to offer. I was in a place where I needed a breakthrough; I was very nearly going to throw in the towel and walk away from pursuing my career within the music industry. You know… get a full time job entirely unrelated to my passion because I needed more money. I was starting to get fatigued by balancing my career and life, and finding success as a non-performing songwriter was taking longer than expected.
Last year, two songs I had written with Gregg Kofi Brown were featured on Billy Cobham’s album Drum n Voice Vol 4. (Under my previous alias – ‘Influence’) This was a turning point for me in becoming a recording artist as well as a songwriter. I have found that the best opportunities come when you’re at a crossroads. I’ve always believed that one song, or one opportunity can change everything and propel your career.
Being an Emerging Creative at the Hospital Club has helped me to develop and grow as an artist by allowing me the time to focus on my live performance, branding and marketing and has boosted my confidence as a singer-songwriter.
I was awarded funding which has allowed me to; have my music mastered so I can soon release it, take part in a professional photoshoot, build a website, and have a logo and E.P. cover designed. It has also given me the ability perform both acoustically with a saxophonist and with full live band with brass.
I have also rebranded and changed my name from Influence to BlackSmith. Read my Bio on my website to find out why.
My debut four-song E.P. will be called ‘Love Letters’. The theme covers being single, the pursuit of finding love and my relationship with my first Girlfriend.
I am currently working with a visual artist and a video director on some really exciting content so stay tuned!
My first single Incredible, from my E.P. will be released in early 2018. Head over to my website to hear a snippet.
If you are interesting in knowing more about Chris, hearing his music or seeing him perform live, then head over to his website for more details.
All photographs were captured by fellow Club member Daniel Lewis.