Chris Burke - "Artist On The Rise!" The Exclusive Interview! (Part 1)


    Let me first state that I had a fantastic time speaking with Chris Burke who is a great musician and person. I am very proud to present Chris Burke to be our very first musician that we are calling "The Beat: Artist on the Rise!" You will find his music along with his devotion to his craft to be refreshing. Enjoy this very in-depth, two part interview and then check out his official page and request his music on the radio!

   Chris Burke is a powerhouse with his smooth and soulful vocals that brings one’s eyes and ears perked. This Nashville based singer/songwriter pens tracks that are getting great reception from his brand new single; “Roller Coaster Ride” to his most recent album; “Everything.” Chris’s brand new single is now featured in the new motion picture; “Birthday Cake” receiving great reception from its film festival premiere in Kansas City (winning Best Comedy) and Philadelphia. Additional film festivals are up-coming with Chris attending and taking part in a Q&A session. 2013, looks to be where this singer is on the rise in big ways!

 Interview Conducted By: Mason Williams

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            Chris, let me first say that I greatly appreciate the time you are taking out of your busy schedule to sit down and do this interview for “Let The Beat Hit You!” We here truly want to feature the best artists and see you as a perfect artist on the rise. I have to say by going to your website and watching your video of you performing live; “Lost and Looking” a ccapella is a truly wonderful introduction into you as an artist and your voice. Basically, I became an instant fan from that performance alone; great work!

Thank you so much! I really love that song, and I think it's a good introduction to my voice for sure. Easy, smooth, and powerful.

·                     Are you planning perhaps to release a copy of the great performance; “Lost and Looking?” This coming from a big fan that would think this would be a no brainer for you to make available for us that simply love your version especially done a ccapella.


I do plan on recording it at some point. It is a hidden gem from one of Sam Cooke's albums. I really love his interpretation of it as well. The beauty of my version of it is that it is live and a cappella, with all the intensity that comes from a live performance That sort of situation is hard to replicate in a studio, but I really want to give it a try. I am starting a more old school soul project with a friend of mine, and hopefully there will be a chance to record that song. For sure one of my favorites of all time.

·                     Your brand new single “Roller Coaster Ride” has taken its own life from being featured in the feature film; “Birthday Cake” and great reception from listeners, how did this great mixture of the motion picture and your song come about?

A good friend of mine in Atlanta (where I lived for 10 years) is a lawyer and was working with the director/writer/star of “Birthday Cake”, Chad Darnell, on everything that goes on with independent films. He connected us, and Chad ended up really digging “Roller Coaster Ride.” It is one of my favorites that I have been a part of writing, so I was thrilled he liked it too. It has a HUGE feature in the trailer and a cool spot in the film as well. SO proud!


·                     Talk about lovely exposure between your song appearing in the award winning “Birthday Cake” motion picture, what are some memorable things such as the appearances you have made that the film has opened up? Maybe there will be acting down the road and more songs featured on soundtracks? Is there anything that possible opened your eyes to new potential opportunities that were never on the radar before?
Exposure is an incalculable thing. And, it is one of those things that grows and can have a ripple effect. So, I can really only keep working and plugging away and hope that all of the hard work mixed with this initial exposure will continue to pay off. So far, it has been amazing to see the song in the trailer, and see the number of views on YouTube increasing and increasing. Also, I was able to see the movie on the big screen and hear the song playing on such a grand scale, which was AWESOME. I was able to join Chad in his Q&A session after the showing of the movie in Durham and be a part of the film festival itself. (I will also be doing the same at the Atlanta showing in early October in front of a ton of my friends from there, very exciting!) As far as other soundtrack opportunities, Chad has a ton of other projects going on, and we have a cool working relationship and, now, friendship, so I will be able to help him out with soundtracks for them. Plus, I have been working tirelessly on getting connected to licensing companies, and it has been paying off so far. For the record, acting scares me a LOT more than singing does, but I would love to take part in a project at some point for sure. :)
·                     I have been listening to your most recent album; “Everything” (2010) and singles; “End of the World” (2013) & “Candy Store” (2013) are truly well done music, do you have a particular song from your last album or singles that in particular speaks to you the most and why?
There are a bunch of songs off of 'Everything' that speak to me. It is sort of an hour long journal entry, and a few of them are kind of painful but in a lovely way. They remind me of the somewhat sad but amazing year that it took me to write the album, so all the tracks speak to me in different ways. Since then, I have stepped a little away from the more emotional stuff and just had fun with it. I think that 'Roller Coaster Ride' speaks to me the most, and not just because of the movie tie in :) It is really positive and fun and it makes me want to dance every time I hear it (and I have heard it a LOT). It really represents a fun and lightheartedness that just rock my world.


·                     Tell us about the journey when picking new music to be part of your repertoire? There must be a long specific journey or does it vary? Tell us the journey that you take with a song and how you know it is right for you.
Making music is always such an amazing thing for me. I usually sit down without any idea of what is gonna happen and it either flows or trickles out slowly, but either way I try not to put too much thought into it. I have found that I can over-think the crap out of something and it usually works against me :)  After the song is created, either alone or with another writer, I can usually feel whether or not it will be a part of my repertoire just by listening to it and how it makes me feel. Again, I try hard not to over-think it, and it usually works out.
·                     A lot of your current music is a joint collaboration with the talented Michael Dale who is your producer/songwriter, how did this collaboration come about? What have you noticed and enjoy about the collaboration that perhaps got you step outside areas and into new territories?
Yes, Michael is a good friend of mine and he is the co-writer/co-producer of most of my new music for the past couple of years. Talent seems to flow from him and is as natural as breathing to him, so I lucked out being able to start and continue this musical relationship we have cultivated. Right before meeting him and starting to write music together, I seemed to reach a plateau with my writing. I was still writing a ton, but it all seemed to have a same-ness to it. Michael was in a similar situation, and we were able to break boundaries with and for each other in a way that we both really needed. In pretty much all of our songs, you can hear a mixture of my smooth soul AND his edgy rock intertwined together. It is such a cool collaboration, and I think our mixture of sounds has really helped to make some incredible and unique  music. We were able to help each other move in different directions and outside of our comfort zones. It's the coolest collaboration I have ever been a part of for sure.
·                     You seem to have a very eclectic taste in music from your past collaboration on the “Philly Soul Tribute Project” (2009) where you did a cover of; “Now We Have Found Love” shows the versatility of your vocals and what you like, what made you attracted to this specific project?
I grew up listening to soul music. It is a part of my foundation and every single note I sing, so it was really a no brainer for me. I grew up listening to Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Sam Cooke, and tons of others, so listening to soul music is really how I learned to sing. My friend Bobby King was producing this album of soul covers and asked me to be a part of it with him, and I jumped on the chance to do it. I actually recorded it a few years before, so I was thrilled for it to finally come out. Bobby and I are actually getting back in the studio again starting next week for a new project (the one I mentioned earlier with the possibility of recording Cooke's 'Lost and Looking'). Soul music just makes me smile, so I am very excited about it.
·                     You currently reside in Nashville, TN which is known for music row and the great venues for artists to hone in on their artistry, what attracted you to relocate to this city and what have you found to be an asset(s) for your career and being there?
I felt stuck living in Atlanta and stuck in a musical and artistic rut, and a piano player I worked with mentioned how I should move to Nashville sort of off-handily. From that moment, I knew I had to move here and did about 6 months later. It is amazingly full of hyper-talented people which is what makes it so great (it can also be what makes it difficult as well because it is so hard to get noticed in the sea of talent) My first album I recorded here, the self-titled 'Chris Burke' in 2007, was produced by a friend of mine that is also a huge session musician here, and he was able to put together an amazing band without even really trying too hard. Nashville is literally overflowing with talent, so there is a constant source of inspiration and collaboration, which has been a HUGE asset to my career.


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