Chris Pierce: Soul-R&B Musician and Toured With Seal
Possessing both a soulful singing voice that harks back to the masters of the style like Solomon Burke, Bill Withers and Ray Charles and a laid back, eclectic sensibility that fits in nicely with chart-topping singer-songwriter contemporaries, Chris Pierce spans musical generations.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Pierce was a struggling local singer-songwriter until he met Pop-icon Seal and was invited to be the opening act on the British singer’s world tour.
Chris Pierce who is known for his soul singing and highly emotional “never the same” live shows continues to tour worldwide in 2011. He has also added wine production to his list of passions, with the release of the inaugural vintage of Ledbetter Dry Creek Valley Syrah which is getting rave reviews from the food and wine industries. Currently, Chris is in post-production for his new studio album due to be released in the summer of 2011. – Taken from Chris Pierce Official Website.
Jessica Gilbert: Chris, thanks so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to do an interview for TSM. I’m honored to have you here.
Chris Pierce: Thank you Jessica. It’s my absolute pleasure. I appreciate the interest in my music!
Jessica Gilbert: Firstly, I know that you you’ve been performing in clubs, on TV, and on concert tours for a long time – before you could even drive. Tell us a little bit about your early music days. What inspired you to get into music?
Chris Pierce: Music has always been my place of refuge. The place that I can speak the most clearly and honestly. I gravitated to music at a very early age due to the way that its always made me feel. I sang in church choir, local theatre events and in garage bands until I got my first club gig at around fifteen. From there, I got the Ella Fitzgerald scholarship for Jazz Studies and did a bunch of years at USC. After that, I immediately started touring, building a following and doing recordings.
Jessica Gilbert: What’s your process for writing lyrics? And where do you get the inspiration for your songs?
Chris Pierce: My process is to write every day. Something. Even if it’s just a thought or a word and build from there. I get my songs from the art of living and am inspired by everything that I see, hear, taste, smell and touch.
Jessica Gilbert: Who are your major music influences?
Chris Pierce: Some names you may have heard of are Bill Withers, John Lennon, Charlie Parker, Ella Fitzgerald, Solomon Burke and the list goes on for days! I’m also very influenced by the incredible independent artists that I know.
Jessica Gilbert: You’ve done a lot of touring, and opened for Seal’s sold-out worldwide tour playing to thousands of people each night; selling over 200 CD’s per show during the tour. You have also shared the stage with Jamie Cullum, Saul Williams, Tristan Prettyman, Ozomatli, Ben Harper and Macy Gray. How did you end up on Seal’s tour and what was it like touring with him? What were some of your most memorable times touring from all tours? Finally, what was your most memorable concert?
Chris Pierce: Touring is my favorite part of being a musician. Traveling from place to place and connecting with hearts. It’s so amazing beyond words! I met Seal at a house party in Southern California. I played a few songs for some folks in the living room of the house, and Seal and I chatted a little bit. I was very nervous! The next day I was offered four tours with him to open his show in Europe and the US. It was all incredible! My most memorable concert was probably on the Seal tour opening in front of thousands in Locarno, Switzerland. It was the most beautiful setting to make music! I’ll never forget that, but they are all special in they’re own way.
Jessica Gilbert: You have two albums out – one called Walking on the Earth and a live concert album called Chris Pierce – Live at The Hotel Cafe. And I know now you’re working on another album. Can you tell us about it?
Chris Pierce: The new album is extremely emotional. Raw truth as I see it and have experienced it. I’m laying it all on the table on this one! I can’t wait till the release!
Jessica Gilbert: Your songs have been featured on both big and small screens, including the soundtrack for the Oscar-winning film Crash. What’s the story behind your song ending up on the soundtrack?
Chris Pierce: The same night that I met Seal, I met the guy working on the Inspired By Soundtrack for Crash. The timing of this party was incredible. The lesson that I learned from it is to say YES to every opportunity to showcase my music.
Jessica Gilbert: If you had the power to do something in the world today, what would it be and why?
Chris Pierce: I would provide a quality musical education for every child for obvious reasons.
Jessica Gilbert: What is one of your favorite quotes (or lines) that inspires you?
Chris Pierce: “If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn.” ~Charlie Parker
Jessica Gilbert: Anything else you’d like to share? And where can our readers find out more about you and to purchase your music?
Chris Pierce: Please check out my website www.chrispierce.com and link up with me on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. I can’t wait to share the new album with everyone and come to your town to make music!
Jessica Gilbert: Thanks again for doing this interview and wish you all the best in the future. I’m looking forward to your new album release! 🙂
Chris Pierce: Thank you so much. Peace and balance to you.