From "Young Homie" To His New Album, "I'm Right Here",
Out October 2nd
I hope to take people
on a journey, and they get inspired and revved up listening to it,
and it makes people feel okay about being themselves. People should
take away what they take away from it. - Chris Rene
Four months after nailing
his X Factor audition with a show-stopping performance of the self-penned
“Young Homie,” Chris Rene released his fiercely personal
anthem as a single. Signed to Epic Records, the rapper/singer/songwriter/musician
came in third place on "The X Factor" and enamored audiences
with his talent and then-recent triumph in overcoming addiction.
Masterfully capturing Rene's struggles with substance abuse and journey
to recovery, the song that put him on the map, "Young Homie,"
now boasts a fatter beat and smoother groove perfectly suited to Rene's
inspired fusion of hip-hop and soul-pop.
With his upcoming album, "I'm Right Here," and his current
hit single, "Trouble," and legions of fans, Chris is in
a good place and happy to be there. Time to check in with Chris Rene.
MS: Congratualtions, Chris. I did a post about your latest single,
"Trouble," on my blog and it became the number one post
CR: Oh, fuck yeah!
MS: That blog is a testament to your popularity, since all it was
was me posting a photo of you, the lyric video for “Trouble”
and alerting people to its release date and wishing them a nice weekend.
CR: That's so funny!
MS: You're popular.
CR: That's a beautiful thing. Honestly, though, I can't wait until
everyone hears my CD.
MS: I was listening to "I'm Right Here" today. What is it
that draws you to hip-hop/soul-pop?
CR: Well, I love music with a message, music that connects, it's all
about inspiration, dude. Being an artist and being able to create
basically anything out of nothing, it's like a kid playing with Play-Doh;
that's where it all starts. Hip-hop, pop and R&B are my favorite
gneres of music.
MS: You look like your taste would be more edgy, you know what I'm
CR: Alright! Yeah! (laughs)
MS: How was being on “The X Factor”?
CR: Man, that was the experience of a lifetime! I was like, yes! My
pals are going to see this! All the couches I slept on, all the things
I did, which you will hear later because I am writing a book... all
the people I've met are going to see me. I've been in jail two times
because I made some wrong decisions and all those people are going
to see me on fucking TV doing something positive and representing.
That was all I needed. I didn't need to make it far, for me it was
people seeing me do what I'm goood at.
MS: You were sober for a threeyyear period, then you slipped back;
now you have been sober again for a year. What made it stick this
CR: A spiritual awakening. Having been in a car crash and realizing
I could have left the earth, and leave my son without a father. It
made me realize how selfish I was, my reality was nothing matters
it was all about what I wanted. All I wanted to do was get high and
mess up my life. For me to realize that woke me spiritually. I decided
I don't want to be selfish anymore, I want to be a good father, son,
brother and go with the gift that God gave me.
MS: You do need something like that, sometimes.
CR: Yeah, we all do, right?
MS: Right. Let's talk about tattoos. I only have three, not as many
as you. (laughs)
CR: Tattoos are like Pringles, you just can't have one. (laughs)
MS: Yep! Mine all mean something to me, I'm sure yours do too. I have
one for every decade since I turned twenty.
CR: That's rad! Every tattoo I have reprsents a part of life or something
that I believe in.
MS: Your tattoos tell your story.
CR: It's true. I like that. It's like writing a song on your body.
MS: How much has LA Reid's support meant to your career?
CR: Everyone always asks me about him. Having his support is invaluable.
It's a trip to have someone like him who is in the music business
and knows what he is doing and has worked with a lot of major talent.
He saw a spark in me, the potential, and I plan to blow him away the
end of next year. I have so much more that I can do, that I can't
wait to show the world.
MS: From what I've seen, he seems like a really cool person.
CR: He's a great guy.
MS: You write most of your own songs. What inpires that?
CR: Wanting to inspire other people is an inspiration in and of itself.
Coming from that place, I can create so much. Inspiration is unlimited;
bottom line, it just happens.
MS: Tell everyone, who would be your dream collaboration?
CR: Wiz Khalifa, the rapper. He worked on that new song, “Pay
Phone,” with Maroon 5.
MS: Does anyone use pay phones anymore?
CR: That's the whole funny part about it. I've only seen one in a
random spot in my hometown. But, Wiz Khalifa is who I would love to
collaborate with. Great rapper, great pop artist.
MS: What do you hope people take away from your album, “I'm
CR: I hope to take people on a journey, and they get inspired and
revved up listening to it, and it makes people feel okay about being
themselves. People should take away what they take away from it. Yeah,
that's it! Is that ok?
MS: Inspiration is a fine agenda and does not need to be specified,
it's perfect! The best things in life are open for interpretation.
MS: You like that, huh? Anything else you think your fans should know
CR: Yeah, watch out for me on Ricki Lake coming up in October. Also
look out for me on Nickelodeon.
MS: Oh, what are you doing on Nickelodeon?
CR: I'll be on the show, what's the name of it? “Figure It Out,”
the show is called “Figure It Out”. I'm looking forward
to people seeing that. I had a blast and it's going to be awesome!
MS: Wouldn't it be so cool to get slimed on the “Teen Choice
Awards”? I would love it!
CR: Oh man, that would be so great!
Chris is busy! Keep up with him at www.chrisreneofficial.com.