It is 5:33 pm
Welcome to 8 Questions with……
One of the coolest aspects of doing this series is exactly how I come across the people I interview. One would think I contact PR people or agents and while yes,that does happen,most of the interviews are done simply by following a trail of some very talented people.
When I interviewed Mike Ferguson,that one interview led me to several others that worked out very well and helped established some real friendships that continue to be built today. Others come by simply watching a film or reading a both and sending out a note and asking for a interview and getting it. For our interview with rising singer Chris Ivan,it was a little bit of both. I posted my interview with Joe Lujan and while we were talking,he told me about Chris and that he had just recently produced Chris’s debut album and produced Chris’s new single “Treasure”.
Now with my own background in music,I listened to Chris’s single and came away pretty impressed. Finding a vocalist with Chris’s confidence and skill just isn’t that easy so more and the fact he is just really getting started really had me asking for a interview sooner then later because this young man’s future is damn bright.
With the country slowly opening back up,people are going to be wanting to hear and see new music and I think Chris is poised to become of those singers people are going to want to hear. I included two of Chris’s music videos in this interview so you can judge for yourself on just how talented Chris Ivan is…..I hope you enjoy his answers to his 8 Questions…..
Please introduce yourself and tell us about your newest project
My name is Chris Ivan. I am a singer-songwriter. I have been in the industry professionally for about 4 years. On November 27th, 2020 I released my debut album “Biggest Battle.” The album is a journal of everything I’ve been through from March 4, 2000, to November 27, 2020. Music is very therapeutic to my soul. I’ve always had a very strong connection to music since I was an adolescent. When I had the opportunity to create music professionally. I wanted to make music that healed my open wounds from heartbreak, betrayal, and abandonment. People make it seem as if they’re isolated when they try to deal with their problems. When millions of others are dealing with the same struggles. I was tired of burying my issues. I knew that there were people out in the world that dealt with the same demons I have. I make music for myself to function in everyday life. It just so happened to be that people connected to my story and me. The album isn’t just filled with ballads and deep meaningful songs. I also like being wild and free as well. The other half of the album is colorful and filled with juicy details. The generation I was born into always worries about what other people think. Always second questioning themselves if they should say something or not. I was tired of living in a broken generational curse. A few of my favorite songs on the album talk about topics people dare to touch upon. I fused the elements of catchy lyrics, danceable beats, and strong vocals to deliver my messages. With all of that being said my brand new album “Biggest Battle” means the world to me. I’m so grateful to my fans that are loving the album and pushing to places I could’ve only dreamt about. Thank you :*)
How have you been handling the pandemic? How have you stayed busy and creative during this time?
I’m going to be very honest. The pandemic had really messed up a lot of things for me. I absolutely despised it. I was completely alone for the first two months of its start. The person I loved the most in the whole world was in a different state. I was only receiving 1/4 of my normal income. It was just a mess! I had to adapt just like the rest of the world. I had lost my aunt Margo in January of 2020. She was a very important role in my life. So I was dealing with the mourning stages and also dealing with this horrible pandemic. I fell into a very deep depression. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go to the studio for the first quarter of 2020. I felt like a fish out of water. I knew that going back to the studio was going to help me deal with a lot of my “pandemic issues.” When the first opportunity came around for me to get back into the studio. I did not hesitate for a second. I started to record some dope songs that are fan favorites now. I had partnered up with Joe Lujan because he is an amazing director and writer. I have entrusted him with directing my whole visual album. Once I was done finishing a track. I would go to the vision board with Lujan and come up with concepts for the music video. After the first quarter of 2020 I was booked for the year. I joined Lujan’s team for Dekay’s Paradox as “Paradox” and as an executive producer for the series. I am so excited for my fans and Joe’s fans to see this new installment for the Ravage Reign Universe. I will say this the pandemic had the best of me in the beginning. Now I’m telling the pandemic how things are going to lay out.
So why music?
Making music and listening to it is like an out of body experience for me. It could instantly take me to any emotion that I’m desiring at the moment. My parents love music. So I was raised in a musically inclined household. My father was a DJ in his early years and that is how he provided food on the table. He was/is fascinated with music. I watched him throughout my years and picked up the love of music. Once, I was old enough to pay for my studio sessions. I knew that was the direction I wanted for my life. Music connects to the masses and I wanted my voice to be heard. I love performing and connecting to the fans. Music is such a trill that I want in my life forever. It’s my type of “high!”
Which artists inspired you to pursue a singing career? Did you have any formal training?
Demi Lovato and Lady Gaga inspired me so much when I was younger. I used to watch their performances on the big stages and just be left with awe. These two beautiful women still inspired me to be true to myself and stand up for what is right for humans. If you believe in something don’t let anyone change your point of view. The vocals on these queens are out of this world. The ranges they have also pushed me with my vocal range. I had almost 10 years of formal training with a variety of different teachers. All with different backgrounds in music. I wouldn’t be here without them pushing me and believing in me.
How would you describe your singing style? Do you write your own songs as well?
My singing style is a mixture of pop and gospel vibes. I love the catchy choruses and lyrics within pop music.Then I adore how gospel artists showcase their vocal abilities. So I combined the two within my own original music. At first I didn’t know if I’d be able to fuse the two types of styles together. After 4 years and releasing an album. I’d like to say that I accomplished fusing those two sounds together. I wrote the majority of the songs on my debut album “Biggest Battle” all by myself. Then on a few songs I had my producer Blake Wisner help co-write the songs with me. Blake is an amazing producer and lyricist. I have a few songs that feature different artists as well. I gave them full creative control with their verses and harmonies. I am so thankful that I had the following artists on my album; Joe Lujan, KIKI, and P-Tone.
Walk us through your first recording session,what was it like for you? What was the biggest surprise once you stepped into the studio?
The first time I stepped into the studio. I was ready to take the world by storm. I quickly learned that I had so much knowledge to grasp. My producer Blake Wisner had told me that I had full creative control. The thought of having full control over my lyrics and beats was mind boggling at first. You hear so many bad stories of people demanding artists to sing about stuff they don’t want too. People controlling an artist’s look. Just so many negative downfalls in the music industry. So when I had the opportunity to sing what I wanted my audience to hear. I felt safe and appreciated. I had written a song before my first session. The layout of the song was all over the place. So my producer and I had to reconstruct the lyrics and melody. The whole process was so fun and enlightening. My biggest surprise of my first session was I didn’t lay my vocals out on the track. There was so much behind the scenes work before you get into the booth and start singing. We made sure that the lyrics were set. The instrumental was going to work hand and hand with the lyrics. It was a beautiful process, but I figured it out.
What was it like performing in front of a live audience for the first time?
It was super exciting! I won’t lie at all. I was very nervous at first. You have everyone’s eyes on you. So they’ll watch you fly high or fail. I had a small voice in my head the entire night. I kept hearing “you’re going to make a fool of yourself.” At first I believed in those negative thoughts. Then I grabbed a hold of my nervousness and told myself “this is your show!” I heard the instrumental of my track “Eclipse” and fell into the zone. I just relaxed and just enjoyed the crowd. It’s exhilarating when you hear other people singing your music out loud. When performing live you just feel complete.
Does Las Vegas have a good community,is it easy to get shows?
Las Vegas has an amazing community of rising artists, producers, and song-writters. Since Vegas is open 24/7 there is a huge chance that you can book yourself anywhere if they have open availability. There are so many local companies that want local artists performing at their bars, karaoke nights, functions that they’re holding. The Vegas community is so supportive for people trying to make a difference in their lives.
How did you meet Joe Lujan who produced your debut album “Biggest Battle”?
What was it like making your first music video?
Joe and I crossed paths at the right time. I was looking for a director to film ONE music video. He was looking to film something out of his norm. After working on one music video it led to two. Then it led to him producing/directing my whole visual album. Which includes a video for each track on the album. My first music video was a learning experience. Everyone on set was so supportive. I had never done a music video before. So I was so nervous and excited. I just wanted to get the emotions through correctly. I was pushing too hard in the beginning. Then Lujan stated “just breathe and let the music guide you.” Those words of wisdom made the whole time on set so much better. I was connecting to my lyrics in a way I had never done before. The music was running through my whole body. I will never forget that overwhelming feeling I had on the set of “Eclipse!”
What goals do you have for the next two years professionally?
My first big goal to finish within the next two years will be me releasing my visual album. Lujan and I have been working very hard on releasing this project to the world. Filming each music video for each song on the album has been so fun. Each video gets a different creative angle and it’s so refreshing. I can’t wait for my fans to see the storyline that goings with the album. I have the opportunity to talk more in depth on each track. Why I wrote it and what experiences I encountered for the song to be birthed. I think people are going to love the whole visual album. I’ll also be releasing a “Black Glitter Edition of Biggest Battle!” It will be released to the world sometime in 2021. It will include more local Las Vegas artists. I’m so happy that people wanted to be a part of this edition. I can’t wait for the world to hear these incredible artists. I’m so appreciative and blessed they’re in my life. I’ve also started my second album. In the midst of finishing up the “Black Glitter Edition of Biggest Battle.” Everytime I say that it still shocks me. I’ve come a long way since my first studio session. I’m very proud of myself. The second album is very mature compared to my first album. I’m in a new state of mind. I’ve explored my love life so much more with an incredible person. I’ve also dealt with more pain. Just with this time around I’m dealing with it in a more “adult” manner. There are so many songs that I know my fans are going to be dancing too. They love the craziest lyrics. I know what the album is called, but you’ll just have to wait for that announcement.
What do you like to do in your down time? What hobbies and interests do you have outside music?
I love to sleep! I have such a fast paced life that I never get time to relax. So if I’m not working I am catching up on my beauty sleep. I’m also a foodie person. I love trying new restaurants and local bakeries. My favorite food is cheeseburgers. I’ve made it a life go to try a burger from every burger establishment. Not every goal has to be reaching the stars. The small things matter for fulfillment too.
The cheetah and I are flying out to check out your live show but we’re a day early and now you have to play tour guide,what are we doing?
I would take the both of you to Lone Mountain. We’d have such a refreshing hike. Lone Mountain has the best view of the entire city of Las Vegas. Then I’d love to take you to my favorite restaurant in Las Vegas. It’s a local dinner in the Aliante Hotel. The establishment is called “Farm.” They have the best philly cheesesteaks! We would end the day at the local drive in theaters and watch an amazing movie.
I like to thank both Chris and Joe for making this interview happen and I look forward to seeing where Chris’s voice takes him. I like to thank you the reader for supporting Chris by reading and hopefully even sharing his interview here with your friends and family.
Chris has a personal website where you can stay connected with his music and playdates when they become available.
You can purchase his debut CD “Biggest Battle” by clicking here.
If you are new to the blog and the “8 Questions with….”series,you can read over 120 other interviews by going here.