Christian French is defiantly spearheading a new wave of bouncy, alt-pop. The 22-year-old from Indiana was originally put on to music when his friend taught him how to play Sara Bareilles’ “Love Song” on piano. Once in high school, he began posting acoustic covers to SoundCloud while building a path towards a career in hockey. He transitioned into pursuing pre-med at Indiana University when he met producer Triegy. With just 13 credits to go, his twitter cover of a Chelsea Cutler single caught the artist’s attention, who subsequently followed him on twitter and they began chatting. When she passed through Indiana on tour, Christian sent her a message on Instagram and she invited him to join her on her tour. Now boasting over 1M followers on Spotify and upwards of 30M streams on his top single, Christian is on his first headlining tour in the U.S. I had the chance to chat with him before his sold-out Mercury Lounge show in NYC.
Q: Where did the inspiration for the album title come from?
A: Being on the road for two months, you just go into a rollercoaster of emotions and somedays you’re just really not feeling it.” I read a bunch of these self-help books and I was down, they helped me look for the “bright side” of tour.
Most artists these days have a great group of collaborators that they work with on their projects including producers, songwriters, audio engineers (etc.). Some of the crucial members of Christian’s team include established producer Dru Decaro, David von Mering (Quinn XCII), YOG$, Nick Lopez (Songwriter, Pink Champagne), Andrew Luce, and Sam Fischer.
Q: What are the elements of an ideal song for you and what song(s) are you most proud of to date?
A: It’s gotta mean something to me, I want to be inspired. I think there’s a lot of personality lost in “hitmaking” and I always want to be writing authentically. I’d have to say my favorite song I’ve made thus far is “Head First”, but I’m most excited about my upcoming project titled “Time of Our Lives.”
Though Christian points to John Mayer as his favorite artist and biggest inspiration, noting Continuum as his all-time album, he’s also quite a fan of Jon Bellion, Khalid, Bon Iver, Still Woozy, and Jeremy Zucker. Zucker actually inspired French to upload music to Soundcloud after seeing Zucker’s successful rise through the platform.
Q: Do you have a favorite lyric from your music? How about a lyric from another song?
A: Yeah! From my songs, I definitely like a lyric from Heavy Snow, “Give me darkness to find the light within.” It’s an expression of the fact that I’m always getting better, I’m always learning, and I’m always seeking the positive reflection of the situation’s life throws at me. From my man John Mayer’s, Heart of Life, a line that has stuck with me is “Pain throws your heart to the ground, love turns the whole thing around”
I asked Christian what he would envision as his ultimate performance. He humbly replied that he tries not to think about that stuff too much, as he prefers to appreciate what's going on right now so those moments don’t just whiz by. He’d simply rather focus on doing his utmost every day and he doesn’t want to set unrealistic expectations. Christian did mention, though, that his ideal performance venue would be Red Rock in Denver.
Q: On a final nostalgic note, can you reflect on an impactful childhood memory?
A: I had really good parents growing up. They would hang out with me and loved me a whole bunch. We loved watching thunderstorms from our front porch. Specifically, I remember practicing baseball and hockey in our unfinished basement with my dad.
Christian French is as much a marvel to be streamed as he is to be seen live. Be sure to catch the young rising popstar on his first headlining tour for a sweat-filled, bounce-infused, ecstatic performance sure to leave you begging for new releases.
Jeremy is a concert and live music enthusiast. In addition to writing for musiqtone, he works in Digital Marketing at Atlantic Records. Catch Jeremy at your local music venue scoping out the most innovative and unknown artists!