Cliché: You’re a former pre-med student. What prompted the leap to pursuing music full time?
When I started posting my original music on Spotify was when I started to make the real shift toward music being a more full-time thing. With the help of my fraternity, where everyone was from a different city, they’d tell their friends to listen, then their friends’ friends, and their friends, and so on. So it really helped spread the word, and helped me build a following and come to this realization that this could be a real project. And truly, when I became more interested in music than I was in school, spending more time on music than studying – there was this distance and disconnect with school. I just felt more connected to the musical world.
You’re not afraid to explore themes of self-doubt and anxiety in your music, but in an unconventional way. Why is it so important to you to not only work through these emotions in your music, but to do so through a lens of positivity?
It’s really easy to get trapped inside this anxious, pessimistic way of thinking where you overthink everything and start to make up scenarios and stories in your head of people not liking you or things not working out, and this can be REALLY restricting. It holds you back from your full potential and I’ve found that the best way to work through this is with consistent positive thinking – not letting yourself go down a hole of negativity and instead replacing with encouraging words. Over time, your brain will start to default more to these positive thoughts rather than the negative ones, and it feels like a huge fog is lifted from your brain. It allows you to be so much more present and accomplish so much more, which is why I feel it’s so important.
Were you surprised by the massive success of your song “head first?” Did the acclaim fuel your creative fire moving forward?
I was! There are certain songs that feel better to write than others, and the whole process of creating “head first” felt so easy. As I was writing it, the words just came to me and I knew it was gonna be a big one, but it was really cool to see everything come to fruition. “head first” was a step in a new direction for me, and seeing how people reacted to it definitely made me want to make more music that leaned in that direction of harder hitting drums.
Talk about your brand new EP, “good things take time.”
‘good things take time’ is about trial and error – it’s important to find what works best for you and what doesn’t, and then bettering yourself for the future. Throughout the writing process, the phrase “good things take time” kept coming up- it really helped keep me sane when I was getting frustrated with myself because I didn’t think I was writing the best music that I could. This mindset saved me from myself. Instead of being swallowed and consumed by failure, I was able to stay calm and positive and then and move past it and continue to grow.
A lot of these songs have been done for around a year, and they’re just now coming out. I wrote 5 of these songs in one month with the same amazing friends and collaborators because we were just on a roll. The last two (“paper thin” and “wake up”) have their own stories. “paper thin” was written in May of 2019 and has gone through so many different versions, and “wake up” wasn’t even supposed to be on the EP because I made that song with my roommate about a month ago. I was way too excited to wait to release it and it was actually perfect because it fit so well with the theme of the EP, so now the track list is 7 songs instead of the original 6.
Did you learn anything about yourself personally or as an artist throughout the process of making the EP?
Yeah definitely! 3 years ago I really had no idea how a song was put together – I’d just write acoustically with a piano and then would have a producer build a song around the demo I made. Now I’m very much involved with the production and I’m there for every step of the way to get the details exactly how I want them. I’ve started learning to play guitar this year and have written SO much on it, but it really is just when inspiration hits though. Sometimes that’s in a session working with another producer, sometimes it’s by myself while I’m playing the guitar or piano, and other times inspiration hits at 4am while I’m laying in bed and I scramble to write words down in my phone and end up with an amazing song. But it comes down to putting in the time and working as hard as possible and holding myself accountable and making the best music that I possibly can and music that I’m proud of.
How would you describe the emotional journey of the EP?
I feel like different songs bring up different emotions, and it’s important to feel all of them, not just the good ones. This EP comes from my life experience this past year, and there have been so many ups and downs, and I tried to put the tracks in an order that of you feel that wave of emotion.
I do enjoy putting optimistic twists in my music though – because I feel like it’s something that’s missing in music. Having positive thoughts and conversations with yourself is so important, and no one really teaches you how to do that.
What do you want your fans to walk away feeling?
I want fans to feel all of the feelings, honestly. I think different songs bring up different emotions, and it’s important to feel all of them, not just the good ones.
I enjoy putting optimistic twists in my music because I feel like that’s something that’s missing in music. Having positive thoughts and conversations with yourself can be so important, and no one really teaches you how to do that. You have to be honest with yourself, and also be patient.
Are there any good things you’re currently looking forward to or hoping for in the future?
I’m really excited about this next cycle of music that I’m currently making, and I can’t wait for everyone to hear some of these songs later this year. Other than that, I’m using this year to get better at production, piano, guitar and songwriting. I’ve already come a long way, and I can’t wait to see where it goes. And I CANNOT wait to get back on the road and tour!
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Christian French Discovers Peace in Patience in Optimistic New EP, “good things take time.” Photo Credit: Mickey Mars.