Music has a way of bringing everyone together, even though everyone has a different path to get there. Here at THP, we have the privilege to learn all about our favorite artist’s musical journeys so we can share it with you, and this exclusive interview is no different! This time we’ve chatted with Christian French with a deep dive into the artist we’ve grown to love and a look into his recent EPs!
The quick-rising star has already found his space in the indie pop scene, and we are so glad to be along for this part of his journey! So, sit back, relax, and get ready for the ride as we jump into the world of Christian French!
What was it like growing up as a singer-songwriter in Indiana?
It was a pretty lonely venture honestly – Indiana isn’t a crazy music scene, and I really only knew a few people that were into music like I was. When I started doing it, I definitely had to deal with a lot of people making fun of me and my friends thinking it was kinda weird because they just didn’t really understand. Since there weren’t many people to learn from, there was an innocence of just trying things by yourself that I think is the foundation for why I enjoy writing my own music so much.
What is your first memory of music?
I think the first one that really stuck with me was being like 6 years old and listening to the Heavier Things album by John Mayer on a boat. I remember eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich just vibing to it, and the memory was so vivid that the song ‘Clarity’ still makes me think of the lake.
You started writing while studying pre-med – walk us through the transformation that led to you to pursue music instead of a degree.
Music was really just a stress reliever for a long time – I had been doing covers forever but in my first year at Indiana University, I met a producer named “Triegy” who was able to take my poorly-recorded demos in Garage Band and turn them into some really incredible songs. We decided to release one called ‘fall for you’ on Spotify, and somehow it ended up in the Viral Top 50 playlist – and that was really the moment I knew anything was possible. I started writing more demos, started going out to LA to write, and internally decided that this was really what I wanted to do. Towards the end of my junior year, I got a DM from Chelsea Cutler asking me to open for her on her fall 2018 tour – I realized I could either stay in school and get a piece of paper that said I graduated just to go out to LA to do music after, or I could just take the leap now and drop out to open for one of my favorite artists. My parents made taking the leap really easy, telling me I would be stupid to not do it.
You moved to LA after dropping out of school to pursue music – how did the move impact your craft?
Before I moved, I would just take week trips to LA every few months. For those trips, I would typically work on 3-4 songs in the week, and we were able to make an EP after a few of those trips. Once I moved though, I was able to be fully submerged in sessions, where instead of writing those few songs by myself every few months, I was writing that many songs every week. This opened the door to really land on the best music possible, and it taught me so much about how to write a song, how to produce, etc. I would be nowhere close to the musician I am now if I tried to do this from Indiana.
We love ‘lonely’ – the beat and bassline of the song are so good – talk to us about the writing and recording process.
Thank you! This song came about after a 3-year relationship ended, and I wanted to write about how I was feeling but didn’t want to write another super depressing song, so we decided to try the contrast of sad lyrics over a really energetic instrumental. I had this song for about a year and a half before we decided to do anything with it, and we tried various different lyrics and productions, but nothing felt nearly as good as the day one demo, so a lot of what your hear is from that first 5-hour session.
You’ve recently learned how to produce – how do you find that affects your work as a songwriter?
I have! It’s one of the best things I’ve done for myself. For one, I feel a lot more independent – I don’t have to wait to book sessions with producers to get ideas out, I’m able to work by myself and the possibilities are endless. Secondly, I used to have a really hard time describing things I wanted changed in my music because I didn’t know how any of it worked, but now I know exactly what’s doing what, and I can get my music sounding exactly like I want it to.
What was going through your mind when you wrote ‘thank god?’
Honestly, it was me kind of writing in an “idealistic” headspace. I was a few months out of a 3-year relationship and although it hurt a lot, I was kind of starting to see the positives – I realized that if I had stayed with them, it probably would have closed the door to so many amazing experiences and it made me realize that sometimes not getting what you want is the best thing for you.
How do your influences and inspirations impact the music you make?
I enjoy and draw inspiration from all kinds of music – I really love country music because the songwriting is impeccable, I love the guitar parts of indie/rock music, I love the drums in hip hop, and at the same time I love the way an EDM drop makes me feel. The past few years creating this project, I’ve kind of felt like I’ve been trying to find my perfect blend of all these things to create a hybrid genre that feels brand new and most like me.
What artist would be your dream collaboration and why?
Writing a song with John Mayer is still #1 on my list – I feel like I could learn more from being in a studio with him for a few hours than I have my entire career so far. I think a lot of the subconscious decisions I make while wringing my own music comes from listening to him for years, and it would be the ultimate full-circle moment for me.
With your string of single releases, do you have a plan for an EP or an album? What can people look forward to from you in the coming future?
I do indeed. It’s taken a few years and I’ve written hundreds of songs, but the project is being finalized and it’s the best version I could have hoped for. I’m gonna do a full US tour later this year to support the project as well and I’m SO excited to get back on the road. Everything feels like it’s coming together at the right time.
We can’t wait to further step into the world of Christian French with more music and a tour! 2023 is really gearing up to be the best year yet! Digging deeper into the head of Christian French you can’t deny the passion and talent behind his projects and we know the sky’s the limit when it comes to his music! What’s your favorite Christian French lyric? Let us know in the comments below or find us on Twitter! You can also reach out on Facebook and Instagram!
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