INTERVIEW WITH RISING POP ARTIST CHRISTIAN FRENCH
Christian French‘s EP ‘good things take time‘ is out now!
Los Angeles transplant Christian French is a pop singer-songwriter on the rise. The former pre-med student and Indiana native has a new EP out now. French started out by Soundcloud posting covers of his favorite artists. He began to grow his fanbase as he showcased a knack for pop hooks and melodies. Things key to modern pop songwriting. Now at 23 and on Disruptor Records. His latest single “Paper Thin” has a vulnerbility that’s is central in his songwriting. I interviewed Christian via email. We chatted about the new single, EP and more below!
Edited for clarity
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Can we start by talking about the recording, creative, and writing process for your new EP, ‘good things take time’? What’s the backstory behind the EP title?
CHRISTIAN FRENCH: ‘good things take time’ is about the trial and error of figuring life out – finding what works for you and what doesn’t, then learning from it and bettering yourself for the future. As I was writing these songs, the phrase “good things take time” kept entering my head – keeping me sane when I wasn’t writing the best music that I could and was getting frustrated with myself. This mindset has saved me from being swallowed by failure and has helped me move past it and continue to grow.
CHRISTIAN FRENCH: It’s crazy because a lot of these songs have been done for over a year now and they’re just now seeing the light of day. I wrote 5 of these songs in one month with the same amazing friends and collaborators – we were on a roll together. 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 to get to where it finally is, and “wake up” wasn’t even supposed to be on the EP – I made that song with my roommate like a month ago and was too excited to wait to release it. It was actually perfect because it fit so well with the theme of the EP, and now the track list is 7 songs instead of the original 6.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Your latest single “paper thin” is immediately catchy albeit stemming from a heartbreak. How did you go about crafting a single that was authentic yet an earworm?
CHRISTIAN FRENCH: “paper thin” was written around how it feels to be at the end-stage of a relationship – where things haven’t felt right for so long and neither side is happy, but you just can’t let go because you keep thinking back to the good times that you’ve had when there was love. I wrote this thinking back on old relationships that I’ve had that haven’t worked out and taking all of that sadness and frustration and combining it into “paper thin”.
CHRISTIAN FRENCH: (cont.) Writing relationship-based songs has made me go back and reflect on past relationships I’ve had, thinking about what it was that made the relationship fall apart. This has helped me learn from my mistakes and correct them moving forward in my current relationship – it’s always a growing process.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: How has your creative process been during lockdown?
CHRISTIAN FRENCH: It’s been very off and on, honestly. At the beginning of lockdown, I was at home in Indiana writing and producing my music by myself for 2 months, and I credit so much growth to that period- I learned how so much about production and taught myself how to play guitar. I wrote a few songs that I’m really proud of.
CHRISTIAN FRENCH: (cont.) After going back to LA though, I’ve found it difficult to write meaningful music. I feel like I’m in a weird transformative period in my artistry right now and I’m trying to figure out what the next step is for me, and with that has come to writing countless songs but coming up with only a few that I’m truly proud of (I guess that’s how it goes!). I think this period has a lot to do with it – being stuck in the same place for a long time and not really getting to experience new things – as an artist I feed off of experiences for inspiration, so it’s been weird, but I’m just trying to take hold of inspiration whenever it comes and not get too in my head about it.
CHRISTIAN FRENCH: (cont) I’ve been able to spend all this time focusing on new music, and I’ve been trying to develop myself both as a person and a musician – quarantine has been a blessing in disguise in that sense.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: What’s one of your favorite venues to perform at?
CHRISTIAN FRENCH: I’m probably the only one to ever answer this… but honestly I LOVE Kilby Court in Salt Lake City- it’s a small garage-type venue that connects to this cool outdoor courtyard. Both times I’ve played there I’ve had an amazing time – everyone packed into this tiny room jumping around together. You can really feel the energy in the room and, to me, there’s no other venue or experience like it.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Throwing in some fun ones here… If you could live in any fictional universe, which one would you choose?
CHRISTIAN FRENCH: Oh man… there are so many different places to go with this one haha. This immediately made me think of Rick & Morty – honestly, if we just had inter-dimensional cable that’s all I could ever ask for. It would be really cool to be connected to other planets and have more of a perspective than just whats going on on our tiny planet – there’s so much more out there and it would be cool to experience it, even if it was just through inter-dimensional cable.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: What’s one album you could listen to over and over from start to finish?
CHRISTIAN FRENCH: ‘Born and Raised’ by John Mayer. That’s my go to road trip album. I can’t even begin to guess how many times I’ve listened to it. This album came out after he took a long break from music. He had moved to Montana and had vocal cord surgery. When it finally came out, I was so impressed with the direction he took. It’s such a cozy and intricate work of art.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: If you could collaborate with any artist past or present who would you collab with and why?
CHRISTIAN FRENCH: I’ve been listening to a ton of Dominic Fike, Tame Impala, Frank Ocean. My all-time favorite is John Mayer. Each of these artists makes music that sounds like nothing else, and I truly admire that. Being in the room with any of these artists would be a total dream and it’d be a priceless experience.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: What was your favorite book as a child?
CHRISTIAN FRENCH: I would say Harry Potter. Even though I usually fell asleep within 5 minutes of my dad reading it to me when I was little. Eventually we got through the books, and it was like the first novel that I was ever interested in. It was also awesome that each book had its own INSANE movie.
CHRISTIAN FRENCH: (cont.) Other than that, I was a big fan of “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish” by Dr. Seuss… that man is a poet haha.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Is there a lyric you’ve written that has the most meaning for you or is your favorite?
CHRISTIAN FRENCH: “give me darkness to find the light within” from “heavy snow”
CHRISTIAN FRENCH: (cont.) This is an older one. But, it was the start of me really diving into my anxiety and writing about what I was going through. This lyric is from “heavy snow” and has helped me run towards discomfort rather than shy away from it. I know that there will always be a lesson learned and some good in every situation. Even if you fail miserably.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: What’s your pick for the song of summer 2020?
CHRISTIAN FRENCH: “Double Negative” by Dominic Fike – I’ve been playing that album on repeat since it came out and that song is my favorite from the album. It just puts me in a mood every time I listen to it.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Last question, Christian… What’s next on the horizon for you? Thanks so much for your time! 🙂
CHRISTIAN FRENCH: 2020 has been absolutely nothing like I thought it would, so who knows what the end of the year is gonna look like! 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.
You can listen to Christian’s new EP “good things take time” here.