Singer-Songwriter Chris Ayer talks new single, touring, production and so much more!
We got the chance to speak with up and coming artist Chris Ayer, we talked everything from his new single, songwriting, to even being nominated for three Independent Music Awards! Check out out conversation below!
Can you start off by telling us how you got into music??
I always loved writing and singing, and at some point during school it become obvious that all the shows I was playing and songs I was writing were my priority over class, and I just kind of kept at it from there.
Credit: Chris Wood
Take us through your typical song writing process!!
Different songs come about differently. Sometimes a lyric idea pops into my head and drives the whole song. Sometimes I am singing a melody and sing gibberish and then figure out what that gibberish sounds like, almost like the lyrics kind of reveal themselves. And sometimes the song seems to come out in less than an hour fully formed, lyrics and melody all at once. That's rarer, but the best when it does happen.
Tell us more about your new single “Running in reverse”!
"Running In Reverse" is about feeling like you’ve lost the way and you don’t fit with the world around you when you look around. It’s about noticing how the things you do can contradict your intention to rise above the struggle, and the ways in which your habits can make you feel stuck and powerless, and how hard it is to imagine mustering up the energy to change everything. I wrote it with my friend LACES, and we found ourselves finding the message and truth behind it something we both really related to, so it felt like the perfect song to sing together.
What was it like to hear that 3 of your songs were nominated for the 2019 independent music awards?!
I am so honored that three of my songs were nominated this year! It's especially exciting to be nominated in such different categories, ranging from Acoustic to Pop, because both of those ends of the spectrum feel personal to me, so it's really gratifying to have songs of different styles get recognized in that way.
What’s your favorite part of performing live??
I love the feeling of connection with an audience. It's the few hours of the day where it feels almost impossible to over think it- so it becomes an opportunity to get out of my own way, and just experience the music for a little while.
When creating a song do you enjoy or are involved in the song production?
This latest album i'm working on has been the most involved with production I've ever been. I am producing or co-producing most of the songs, and the 3 that I collaborated with a producer on, I just felt like I knew more specifically what i wanted going into it, which made for something that I recognize a lot more as me than maybe in the past.
Your most streamed song on Spotify is “Stay another night” can you take us through your journey of that song?
"Stay Another Night" is a song I wrote with my friend Leon (Palm Trees) in Amsterdam. He's a songwriter and an artist himself, and we showed up that day with the goal to write a happy song about avoidance -- where you know something is going to end, and you just don't want to face it. SO the song's goal was to be a kind of happy in-the-moment declaration, layered with some amount of denial underneath it. Like a person who doesn't want the party to end because then they have to face themselves. It was a lot of fun to make, and kind of started the process of incorporating more diverse sounds and styles into my music the last few years.
You released your first album back in 2009, do you think you’ve grown as an artist since then?
I think I've grown a lot since the first record. I love a lot of those songs still, but the way I write songs now and choose to arrange/produce them, feels a lot more natural to me -- it took me a bunch of years to build out a sound that felt like mine, incorporating different styles of music I've been inspired by and drawn to, and I'm still enjoying experimenting with it all -- but it feels as good as it's ever felt, and I'm thankful that I feel like I'm still growing in that process.
Chris’s first album “don’t go back to sleep”
Can we expect another full body of work from you soon?!
For sure! I'm finishing all the songs on the album now (that includes "Running In Reverse"), and it will be out in 2019 for sure, and I'm working on songs for the album after that already!
What’s next for you?!
Lots of touring the second half of 2019 in Europe, and a lot of new music coming soon.
Lastly do you have a message for your supporters??
It isn't lost on me that people have continued to support what I do, as it's changed over the last few years, and it's meant a lot to connect with new listeners thanks to new platforms online and on tour. I started making music because A) I loved to make it, and B) connecting with music was the place I felt the least alone in the world... I'm glad to say I still feel that way, and I appreciate that anybody out there is finding these songs, and incorporating them into their lives in any way, and I can't wait to share more of what I've been working hard on!