10 questions with local hip-hop artist Chris Golden [Music]

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#1 Where did you grow up?

I was born in Norfolk, Virginia, but I moved here to Louisville along with my mom and little brother soon after I was born. 

#2 What is your musical background?

I have a little bit of a music background I would say. I played alto-saxophone from fourth grade until I was a freshman in high school. I also took a few piano classes as well. I’ve been in love with music since I was a child, but it was more so my own curiosity rather than it being pushed on me by my mother. My mom played clarinet when she was in school so she plays a big role in encouraging me, but it was really j my own curiosity into music that got me started. Music basically pushed itself on me.

#3 Have you performed around Louisville?

I haven’t performed anywhere around Louisville actually. Even though I have released around 6 or 7 projects where the quality, I’d say was very official, I still haven’t performed. I really just want a decent amount of people to be seriously checking for my music before I start looking to perform, but if someone wanted to collaborate on some sort of performance I’d at least hear what they say. Performing is a great opportunity, but I’d like to have more people know about my music first.

#4 Musically, what are your biggest influences and who are your favorite musicians?

Musically, my biggest influence has to be music in general. I love sound and I love words and I enjoy witnessing as well as participating in the combination of the two. I love to see the reaction people get when they hear songs that they love. That reaction is my biggest musical influence. I like an assortment of artists though from to UGK to Johnny Cash. It’s all just music to me.

I can’t say I have a particular artist that inspires me. Like I said before, I’m really just inspired by all music in general. I guess you can say I’m influenced by new styles, new artists, and originality in general, but I don’t have an artist that I look up to. I’m more so influenced by great thinkers and writers when it comes to my music.

#5 What do you think of the hip hop scene in Louisville?

Well, without coming down too hard on the city, I think the Hip-Hop scene here is alright, but we need a lot more diversity in our musical tastes as a whole. We definitely have a lot of cats out now who are trying to break into the music game, but a lot of people are coming with that same mainstream sound. Most cats from here only rap about guns and violence and whatnot and there isn’t much of a balance. We have a few cats like Khadin, Johnny Spanish, T-Razor and Jalin Roze who bring an original style to their Hip-Hop and are a really great look for the city. I’ve watched Khadin grow from a young artist just trying to record, to someone who not only has the music production and output game on lock, but the video production side down as well. That man Nanza is pretty ill too. I like what he stands for.

I think for the Hip-Hop scene in Louisville to be different, we need to be more cultured and accepting of different artists. We need to listen to different people and not try to identify ourselves with negative music. I’m not saying we shouldn’t support gangsta rap, but we should try to support the artists who come with something totally different. Change is positive and artistically we need to take it to the next level as a whole. I don’t want people to look at the Hip-Hop scene in Louisville and get the impression that we are all unintelligent country thugs, because most young people here are in school or working trying to make something of themselves. However, with the artists I just named plus a few of the guys I just named and those that will naturally begin to come about, things will turn around soon.

#6 How would you describe your own style?

I guess I would say that I’m different in the sense that I’m more of a metaphysical rapper. I touch a lot on spirituality in my rhymes, but not in a religious sense though. I’m not a gospel rapper by any means, but I do discuss the soul a lot. I guess you could say I’m a self-conscious rapper, but that comes with the stigma that all my songs are serious. A lot of my songs are serious in nature, but I have a lot of music with a lot of different feelings for each song. So I would describe my style as diverse, poetic, psychedelic, and original. I like to take a lot of risks with the things that I say, the way that I say them and the beats that I use.

#7 Who do you collaborate with?

I really don’t collaborate with many artists. I prefer to record by myself because it’s just easier for me and quicker. However I do have one person I work with. My friend from high school Chris Smith is a great producer. We’ve done a nice bit of songs together, but he also had a track he produced on my last project The Psychodelic. He is equally a great rapper, producer and writer. He is also does a little stand-up when he has the time. When he finally decides to record a project he will be heard. Other than that it’s just me for now.

#8 In what ways has your newest music changed from when you first started?

I’ve just improved all around. I’ve worked on my mixing, my songwriting and just myself as a person. When I first started I just wanted to make music, but I didn’t know much about anything so I made what I heard other rappers making. I couldn’t really be myself because I didn’t know who I was. Now, I know a lot more and I’m mohttp://twitter.com/#!/theliberatedonere confident in my ability to not only write and record my lyrics, but to mix down my vocals and take chances when it comes to manipulating my voice and my subject matter. I make music to please myself, not other people. Some artists may feel like they make music for the public, but I see it like if everyone wrote me off as a horrible rapper that never needed to rap again, I would still make music simply because I like the way I sound and it makes me feel good. It has become a part of my lifestyle and not necessarily a hobby anymore. I feel like I have to make music just like I have to sleep. The music has changed, but it’s because the lifestyle and thinking behind the music has changed drastically as well.

#9 What are the main inspirations for the lyrics you write?

Easy. God. Which is EVERYTHING.

#10 What would be your dream venue in which to perform?

That’s a good question. It’s obvious by my previous answer about performing that I haven’t given it too much thought, but I’ve been to Amsterdam before and I think they would like my tunes. Probably a performance in the middle of Rembrandt Square. That would be my dream venue. I think that would be pretty sweet.

 

About Selena Frye
I'm a writer and editor living in Louisville for 14 years. I'm originally from the Blue Ridge of Virginia.
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