Chris Lee a New Direction in Songwriting

Basically I’m looking forward to looking back and seeing the real growth I’ve made with this new direction and renewed focus on social media. Then I’ll start planning to take it to the next level. In other words: taking the shots.

Jacqueline Jax logo photoInterview by Jacqueline Jax
host of A.V.A Live Radio

Band Name: Chris Lee
Singer/guitar-slinger and Lifestyle Cowboy. Music that’s a full-bodied serving of smooth, modern country flavor but without all the bro or a twangy aftertaste.
Chris can be found singing his original songs, as well as Texas Country favorites, at watering holes around Fort Worth. Born in the Midwest and growing up in rural Canada; however he has lived much of his life in the South, including South Florida and the Fort Worth area where he has resided for many years. Drawing on his travels and experience, Chris’ music is a candid blend of country music themes with catchy electric guitar riffs.

Song name: Inner Cowgirl
Genre: Contemporary Country

I’ve really been trying to focus on writing music that other people want to hear and relate to and not making music for myself. I also understand that people like songs that are an upbeat escape from daily life.

Inner Cowgirl is my attempt to capture the empowerment of modern women, especially Southern women. Southern women especially seem to embrace their femininity. They can go from being professional and getting their hands dirty — sometimes literally on the farm — to full-on glamour, and make no apologies for either one. Which is how it should be. So you can let your inner cowgirl out as a release, or channel her strength when you need it.

Musically I wanted something that was fun enough that it could be a line dance in a country bar. So I started with a four-on-the-floor drum beat and strong bass line. Then I worked on creating a catchy guitar riff. Finally I added some lively vocal stylings.

Chris Young..
is far and away my favorite singer and I think he has one of the best voices in the business. I don’t want to sound exactly like him (or could I) but my voice is a bit similar in tone color and range, so if I could even get close to what he can do–that would be winning for me. Also his songs are radio-friendly without being too trendy.

Keith Urban
is also a big influence for me musically. He writes music for the people and he can’t seem to put out a bad song. I also like guitar riffs and solos, and Keith’s style is very melodic and smooth, which resonates with me.

My songwriting process is I write in spurts when I feel the creativity, and not try to push it. In that way I rarely have problems with writer’s block. I also try to stick to proven song structures because–you know–they’re proven and people like that familiarity.

As far as production, I am fortunate to have technical skills and mixing experience which give me the freedom to produce my own stuff. I can take my time in my home studio tracking vocals and guitars. A lot of pros are doing it this way because of how the Internet and apps have opened up so many options. When I need something I can’t do like drums or female background vocals, I can easily go outside for those parts. I am thinking of using a studio to do a couple of songs this year, but the former is my preferred process.

For recording I use decent quality mics and a Mackie mixer but I don’t obsess on the gear. I use Presonus Studio One as my Digital Audio Workstation, which I love and I use it on a Mac.

My favorite guitar is a Carvin electric that I had custom made for myself as a birthday present. It has electronics to let it sound like a Strat, Les Paul and even an acoustic guitar. It also has one of the most playable necks I’ve ever touched. My other favorite piece of equipment is my HeadRush pedalboard. It’s a programmable system that lets me create all my effects and amp sounds with a touchscreen.
I live in Fort Worth, Texas.
I spend most of my time wishing I had more time, to work on my musical goals.Seriously, when I’m not working my day job or involved with my music, I like to go out on the town for live music and/or craft beer. I also do some Netflix and Chill with my wife. But otherwise I like to minimize my TV watching and I don’t watch much sports because I can use the time for more productive things. Similarly, I don’t do sports, but I do work out regularly to stay in shape because it makes everything else in life better.

 “Take The Shot”
 I recently read a book with this title by author Ed Rush but this advice comes from a variety of sources. In a nutshell, you should do the prep work, but you have to learn to focus and just take the shot. Then move on and focus on the next shot. It applies to music, social media, and pretty much any other goals in life.
 This past month has been the start of a new focus on my online brand and really being present. I have used social media for a while now but the focus was to use it to drive traffic to my local presence. But I found that it wasn’t working, for myself or for others I knew. It became clear to me that I had it backwards.

I now believe that by focusing on my online presence as THE goal, not a side effort I can play to my strengths more and also reach the people I really want to connect with.

What I hadn’t figured out yet (or internalized) is how I could really grow enough or find revenue online. But after studying Jacqueline Jax’s VLOGs and guidance it started to click with me in a big way and gives me a much better path forward.
3 Things I have learned this past year:
1. No one cares about your music, it’s your story. Of course you want them to enjoy your music, but they will only be touched by your story and how you connect with their feelings.
Or to quote Maya Angelou: “..people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

2. “Embrace The Slash”. There is a longstanding belief that you’re not a success until you quit the “day job”. If you can, that’s great. But guess what? Even stars have other sources of revenue: clothing lines, perfume, etc. So be a waitress/songwriter or web developer/singer and own that.3. “Don’t rely on the gatekeepers.” If you want to make music, take out your smartphone and record a song. If you want to make a TV show, take out a camera and make YouTube videos. There–now you have your own TV show. We have never had more control as creators than we do now.

Basically I’m looking forward to looking back, and seeing the real growth I’ve made with this new direction and renewed focus on social media. Then I’ll start planning to take it to the next level. In other words: taking the shots.