Chris Scholar on his new single and the makings of an entirely new genre.

Music

12.15.2016

Premiere: Chris Scholar's "Mississippi River Blues"

What does it take to pave the way for an entirely new genre? Just ask Chris Scholar, the Richmond-born and LA-made “Pop & B” artist whose falsetto is enough to send shivers down The Dream’s spine. And if you haven’t yet heard of him—or his recent debut, “Moved to LA”—there’s no excuse at this point. While we’re low key hoping he’ll move to NY, Chris seems to be flourishing out on the West Coast for now…hit play below to hear his latest (exclusively on Milk) and read on for an inside look at the man behind the voice.

Tell us one fact about you that the world doesn’t know.

A lot of people don’t know that I’ve showcased for all the major labels and have shot videos for Nico and Vinz, BJ the Chicago Kid, and others. Although I’m a new artist, I have been blessed to work with some great people. One of my favorite sessions was with Usher.

Your genre isn’t necessarily confined by a certain category—how would you describe it to those who might not yet be familiar with your music?

I would say my music is a mash-up of inspiration from various artists and genres, from soul, pop, and jazz to hip hop. Some of my favorite artists are Usher, Michael Jackson, Flume, and Diplo. I would call my music Pop & B. It’s soulful but with pop undertones.

Who or what do you look to for inspiration?

I draw inspiration from people around me. For a lot of artists, they don’t get to interact with their fans or people the way I do. I don’t take that for granted. That’s a major key to continuing to connect with your audience and grow your fan base. I like to find the feelings we all feel and define what that sounds like. Color, sound, and emotion are all connected and I think the best songs encompass all of these things. When you’re missing one, your music can sound empty.  Whenever I’m introduced to new things or people who are passionate about something in life, it inspires me and I try to tell that story through my eyes. 

Give us a bit of insight on the story behind your newest track, Mississippi River Blues.

My debut single “Moved to LA” was a bit more upbeat and told the beginning of a story. So this single is the next step in that story. Mississippi River Blues is a story about a relationship losing its gusto and wanting to get it back. On this record I really challenged myself vocally to shy away from strict trap-style R&B melodies by infusing some blues and soul into it. The instrumental still has that vibe but I wanted to go more soulful and make you feel the story. Everybody has been at that point in their relationship and it’s hard to move past it. I drew inspiration from a personal situation and from myself. Internally I asked myself questions and reflected those emotions on track.

How’s LA been treating you?

LA has been a true blessing. It’s a place that encourages people to be creative and pushes you because the talent level is higher. It’s like going from the high school ball team to the NBA. It provided me with the resources to do more things I always wanted to do. It’s allowed me to connect with more artists creatively and helped to reshape how I view myself as an artist.

What do you do in your spare time when you’re not making music?

When I’m not making music, I am playing basketball and working on videos and movie concepts. I also like to do some shopping when I can get away from the studio or check out some dope art galleries in LA. Pretty much I’m all about dance, visual, or music 24/7. 

Can you tell us about any new or upcoming projects/endeavors you’re working on?

My debut EP “Director’s Cut” is dropping top of year. This project has been in production and revamped a few times over the last few months. That’s what I am most excited about at this moment and all the visuals that will come along with it. After it comes out, I will be doing some shows and just continuing to connect with my fans.

Your guilty pleasure?

My guilty pleasure is the California medicinal. Something about it helps me to take the walls down and be vulnerable. 

Any advice for kids looking to break into the industry or follow in similar footsteps?

One thing I would tell all inspiring artists is to take the time to figure out who you are. It’s easy to lose yourself in music and even easier for you to lose yourself in life. Speak up but listen and take every opportunity to learn because you don’t know where that might take you.

Featured image courtesy of Chris Cash

Stay tuned to Milk for more premieres, exclusives, and drops.

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