An Interview With Detroit Rapper Christina Chriss On Her Debut Music, Her Favorite Rappers And More!
Posted On 28 Apr 2016
Tag: 89x, 89x People's Choice, Aerosmith, Alien Ant Farm, All Access, All Access Music Group, Artist Interview, As Long As You Love Me, Beyonce, Black Eyed Peas, Christina Chriss, Detail, Detroit, Detroit Music Awards, Drake, Dryden Mitchell, Eminem, Foo Fighters, Foxy Shazam, French Montana, From The Way, Goon Sqwad, Grammy, Guns N Roses, Gwen Stefani, Kaleido, Ke$ha, Kendrick Lamar, Kid Rock, Lady Gaga, lil wayne, Living Color, No Doubt, OutKast, Rihanna, The Warped Tour, Trick Trick, Twenty One Pilots, Viper Room
Meet Christina Chriss. Her debut single “From The Way“ features Goon Sqwad member Trick Trick and is a hard hitting track about what it was like growing up in Detroit.
Christina got her start in the music industry by fronting rock band Kaleido where she’s logged countless miles on The Warped Tour and has opened for Aerosmith, Kid Rock, Twenty One Pilots and more. In early 2015, GRAMMY award winning producer Detail (Beyoncé, Drake, Lil Wayne) heard Christina sing and invited her to his southern California studio where they created “From The Way” as well as several other tracks which will be released as singles in the future.
There’s lots more to come from Christina including a track that features French Montana. She’s definitely one to keep an eye on.
Learn more about Christina Chriss in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today! How’s 2016 been treating you so far? What were some of the highlights of 2015 for you and your music?
2016 has been awesome so far!! Off to a great start! 2015 was a busy year for me and my band Kaleido. We did some touring nationally and opened up for some big artists. I also met my producer Detail and worked with him on my new solo project, which was a really cool experience. My band Kaleido’s song “Love & War” feat. Dryden Mitchell of Alien Ant Farm became the top winning song of all time on Detroit Alternative rock station 89x’s People’s Choice competition, winning 27 nights in a row and being retired into the hall of fame for the station. That same song was also featured on their Top 89 songs of 2015. Kaleido was also awarded Outstanding Rock band and Outstanding Rock Album in the Detroit Music Awards.
Can you talk about you got your start in the music business by fronting the rock band, Kaleido? How do you think you have grown as artist since those early days?
I started the band with some of my closest friends in the Detroit music scene. We had all been in other bands in the past and got together to form this band with a very clear vision on what we wanted to do and accomplish. We really hit the ground running. I’m constantly growing as an artist. Every day I feel I become better at my craft by continuing to listen & learn.
Growing up, did you always know that you wanted to be a musician? Where did you first learn to rap?
Funny story, my mom just texted me a photo of some paper I filled out in school when I was 6 years old. She kept pretty much everything I made in school lol Anyways, it asked what I wanted to be when I grew up and my answer was a singer. I’ve known since I was 5 years old what I wanted to do. I never really ‘learned to rap’ and I wouldn’t describe myself as a ‘rapper.‘ It’s something I like to do and incorporate into my music. I consider myself a vocalist. I grew up listening to hip-hop, rock, & pop music. I soaked in the culture of where I’m from (Detroit) and combined all of my influences to become the artist that I am today. Do I like rapping? Yes. Do I like singing? Yes. I just love making music. I love what I do and how I do it and I continue to evolve as an artist.
Let’s talk about your debut single, “From The Way”. Where did the inspiration for this song come from? It’s about growing up in Detroit, correct?
I worked on this song with my producer Detail (who is also originally from Detroit). Although the song is written about things that I have experienced growing up in and around Detroit, “The Way” to the listener, can really be wherever you are from.
With that being said, how do you think being from Detroit has influenced you as a musician and what you write songs about?
Being from Detroit has absolutely molded me into the person I am today. It’s a stamp I wear proudly. No bullshit, tough, passionate, loyal, realistic, and raw. I grew up in a far from ‘perfect’ blue collar family that worked for everything they have. Nothing was ever handed to me. I had to work and work HARD to get to where I am today. That’s Detroit. We work for what we want and have. And we’ll be DAMNED if anyone’s going to take that from us. The tales of growing up here, my experiences, all come out in the music.
How did you get to work with Goon Squad member Trick Trick? What do you think he adds to the track?
Tricky’s an OG! Trick and my band Kaleido were introduced by our mutual manager Mikey Eckstein. I’ve had mad respect for Trick for years coming up here in music. We first landed on a couple shows together, he came out and supported Kaleido and introduced us on stage when we were first starting out, and eventually we got in the studio and worked on some music together. What would appear to many as an unusual pairing started years ago and it’s a relationship that my band and I feel very blessed to have with him. He’s incredibly talented and respected. Trick MAKES the track. His energy and authenticity is unmatched.
Can you talk about working with the legendary producer, Detail on the song too? That must have been pretty amazing having him on the song!
Detail is a genius. I’m honored to have worked with him. He’s one of a kind.
When can we expect more music from you? How will these newer songs compare to “From The Way”? I understand you have a track with French Montana? Where did the inspiration for that particular song come from?
Lots of music is coming! I’m got some tricks up my sleeve, including a new EP with my band Kaleido that is dropping this spring. As far as the solo tracks, you’ve got to wait and see! Expect to see many different sides and styles to CeeCee !! The French record is FIRE! It’s about 2 of my favorite things… shoot most people’s favorite things too!! LOL Stay tuned…
What artists have been inspiring you since you started performing? Who would you love to work with in the future?
Eminem, Rihanna, Foo Fighters, Lady Gaga, Outcast, Foxy Shazam, Guns n Roses, Black Eyed Peas, Kid Rock, Beyonce, Trick Trick, Kendrick Lamar, Gwen Stefani & No Doubt .. there’s so many more … I’d love to work with ALL of them!
How was your first solo performance in LA at the Viper Room in February? Do you have any upcoming shows you can tell our readers about?
It was AMAZING! and a long time coming! I’m really happy to have rolled my solo music out live finally. I’m opening for Ke$ha June 18th in Bowling Green, KY. Kaleido is touring with Living Colour in April.
Are you still today performing and working on new material with Kaleido?
Absolutely! Our new EP drops this spring! And the guys still perform live with me at my solo shows too. A lot of times we’re combining the two as well.
At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope listeners take away from your songs?
Live life, be yourself, HAVE FUN, and screw the haters !!!! DO YOU!