The Saint Rose talent show was this Wednesday the 17th at 7 pm in Saint Joe’s auditorium. There were numerous amazing and brilliant acts that showcased their talents but one act in particular had so much charm and personality. Chris Coakley, a sophomore at The College of Saint Rose studying music industry with a concentration in voice, performed his newest song “You Done Did it Now.” Luckily I got the chance to sit down with Chris a little bit before his performance.
The setting was a lovely fall day. Chris sat across from me strumming his guitar humming a melody. He was focused and composed. His deep blue eyes were focused on the vibrating string as he hit the chord just right. A smile beamed across his face. He looked up you could easily sense the passion and heart in his eyes. It was something he truly loved. As much as I would have loved to watch him play I started the interview.
Q. What is your favorite thing about performing?
A. “ The fluidity. On stage I don’t feel a tiny bit of awkwardness. I have great joy being under the lights. I also consider the stage another home to me, maybe not my second or third, but it’s definitely a home to me. I have a great sense of joy from performing.”
Q. Do you have any things you do before a performance?
A. “ I shut down. I get myself in a concealed space and I try and get into the zone. I also try tell myself that I believe in myself and I know what I’m signing and what I’m signing is real. Basically I zone and and block out.”
Q. What instrument do you play?
A. “ I play guitar and I also sing. I started playing guitar in high school honestly because I thought it would get me girls. After I really pushed through the pain of hurting fingers and just kept at it I just feel in love. You know how people call themselves shower singers well I call myself a bathtub drummer.”
Q. How long have you been performing?
A. “My first performance with an original piece was when I was about 20, so almost 3 years.”
Q. What were some of your musical influences?
A. “Blink 182 was a huge influence for me during the beginning of my musical adventure. I had a pop punk band that was pretty broken up we never had time to rehearse. As I got older I started listening to different stuff, style wise I really like Jason Mraz and Jack Johnson. Lyrical I like Owl City and Taylor Swift, both artists always write beautiful songs.”
Q. What was your desire to play music?
A. “Music was something I always liked from an early age. I was always the loudest in my school choirs and I would breakout in solos every once in a while. It wasn’t until high school that I realized it was something I loved. Music just made me really happy.”
Q. What would you say are the positives and negatives of your music?
A. “Some positives are defiantly that I never give up and I’m resilient to stop trying. I also dig down deep to try and find exactly what I want to say. I’m also good at sticking to my style; I know how I want to play and what I want to play. I think the most negative part has to be frustration. When I can’t find the right words for a song or when the melody sounds similar to another song I have backtrack and I struggle to make the song sound distinct.”
Q. Have you named your instrument, like many musicians do?
A. I did. My first guitar I don’t remember the brand but I named her Olive. I had a Taylor guitar and I named her Buttercup. I picked buttercup because I wanted to make really sweet music with my guitar and I wanted a sweet name. My guitar now is my fender and I named her Buttercup the Second. The name clearly stuck. I also have a ukulele named Buttercup Junior.”
Q. Do your parents support your music?
A. “Yeah. I think it’s difficult because my younger brother is a lot more successful, meaning he promotes himself and plays bigger crowds and has a pretty big fan base, so I think they support him a little bit more than they support me but yeah they support me.”
Q. What is your song writing process?
A. “I’m always writing lyrics down. I always start with lyrics first and let the chords just come to me. I usually write about past experiences, things that are important to me.”
Q. What subject would you say is the most difficult and easiest part to write a song about?
A. “That’s hard to say, like I said, I like to write about past experiences so it’s hard to say what is hard to write about. But if you ask any male song writer he would defiantly say it’s easiest to write about a woman.”
Q. What are some of your other interest aside from music?
A. “I love basketball. I’m an avid fan and I play a lot. I love being involved around campus. I love hanging out with my friends and being around people who are positive people and are a benefit to be around. I’m a really laid back guy and I just like to go with the flow.”
Q. What does music do for you?
A. “Music takes the weight off my shoulders when I’m feeling pressured. Frees up my mind and clears up my heart. When everything is cluttered up it’s my clarity. It steers me from the evil in life. It helps me face issues in life that I normally wouldn’t be able to. Music gives me strength.”
Chris was a remarkable person to sit down and speak to. He had so much energy and passion while talking about his music. I thanked him for the opportunity to sit down and talk with him and right away he shot back “No, thank you, you made me feel important.” Chris is a humble and talented musician that I feel with have so much success in his career.
If you have you questions for Chris, comment here!