There’s a lot to be said about a singer/songwriter that has been mentored by two of the most respected names in all of music in Pharrell and Wyclef, has worked with an opened for some of the most important pop music artists of the new millennium in Gym Class Heroes and T-Pain, counts Bob Marley, Lenny Kravitz and The Rolling Stones among his greatest inspirations, whose latest video is featured on VEVO with over 1 million views on YouTube, and has yet to release his debut full-length album.
That artist would be Cris Cab. And on the cusp of releasing new music in 2014 and going on tour to bring his own brand of pop and soul-tinged Reggae music to live audiences, Cris Cab took time out to talk to SoSoActive.com about the music that’s inspired his journey and what’s next for an up-and-coming Reggae star in the making.
Being born to Cuban parents in Miami, it’s clear that you’ve had a big Caribbean influence on your music. What else influenced you to move toward infusing your music with a Reggae flavor? I spent a lot of time growing up in the Bahamas because my Dad was a fisherman. I honestly discovered Reggae music on my own. It’s just the music that I grew up listening to. I really try to bring it back in everything that I do [musically].
Besides the artists listed in your biography (Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Gregory Isaacs), are there any other genres that have influenced your music and sound? Definitely! I’m influenced by Reggae, Dancehall and many different kinds of music, not just those genres. Soul, R&B, Hip Hop, but yes, definitely Dancehall, I’ve always been attracted to that kind of flavor for my music.
What has it been like working with some of the biggest names in popular music like Wyclef Jean and Pharrell Williams? What have you taken from the advice/guidance they have given you? Pharrell was definitely my first mentor in the music industry. I met him when I was about 15 years old. He really taught me the building blocks as far as making music, like writing a song, how to produce a record. He just gave me the full picture.
Wyclef definitely taught me the more advance parts of that: how to record vocals and different things like that. He really built on what Pharrell taught me. They both have been like big brothers to me. I still work with Pharrell and he definitely still teaches me so many things. They’ve both been really big blessings to me in my development as an all around artist.
You’ve already built up an amazing resume for yourself as an artist. What other artists do you want to connect with musically? I definitely want to reach out to and work with Lenny Kravitz. He’s someone else in music that I haven’t met yet, but I definitely look up to him as a musician. I respect and admire what he does. Beyond him, no one specifically right now, but I’ll definitely be spending the next few months writing music and writing songs, and not just for myself. I do plan on working with a few different people in the future though.
Many people, even music fans, view today’s music as being very disposable. As a new artist, how do you feel are you successful at making music that has longevity?
I guess for me, I’ve just always gravitated towards older music. For me, a lot of music is timeless: the way it’s written and the story behind it.
Having a great story behind the music is definitely how I try to write my music now, trying to take a more classic approach. I really look up to artists like Bob Marley for their story telling abilities, and I always want to try and tell a complete story in a way that’s easily digestible.
What do you consider to be your biggest musical accomplishment so far? So far it’s hard to really say, honestly. I’ve done lots of great things that I never dreamt I’d be doing. I’m very fortunate to be where I’m at and 2014 is going to be a great year for me. I say that not being cocky, but every year I see myself working twice as hard as the previous year. So 2014 for me is going to be a marathon.
I have lots of great music that I’ve accumulated over the last two years. It’s music that I’ve saved and it’s finally going to see the light. This project for me is the best music that I’ve done over the last 2-3 years, music that I really love and I’m excited to share with my fans.
Can you talk more about the project that you’re currently working on? Yeah of course. I have songs on there with Wyclef and Pharrell of course. I have music on the album that was produced by myself and my production partner, B.J. McGinnis. And I’m also working a lot with Dallas Austin on this project.
Can you talk more about your upcoming tour and any artists that you will be touring with? Most definitely. The tour I have coming up is with the band Rebelution, and it’s going to be a great tour with lots of Reggae music, and it’s also a fusion of a bunch of different kinds of music, not just Reggae. I’ll be playing some new music from my upcoming album. It’s really going to be a great time for me to do that and see how my fans react to my music.
Ultimately, what affect do you want your music to have on your fans, as well as on potential fans? My main message that I’ve always carried first and foremost is positivity. If my music can just inspire people to feel better about themselves and the situation that they’re going through, that’s my main goal. I want people to feel good and feel hopeful. I just want to create music that’s inspiring.
Fans can look for Cris Cab on tour with Rebelution on the Winter Greens Tour coming up in early 2014. They can also find Cris Cab on Twitter by searching @CrisCab. His latest single, “Liar Liar”, is currently featured on VEVO and guest stars Pharrell.Google+