Not everyone can say that they are mentored by the one and only Pharrell Willams, but 21-year-old Cris Cab can add that to his resume.
A raspy voice combined with reggae-infused musical style, makes him a force to be reckoned with. He’s already worked with big names such as Wyclef Jean, Mike Posner and Big Sean. The video for his song, “Liar Liar” featuring Pharrell, already has more than 16 million views on YouTube. Cris made a Canadian Music Week visit and performed at the CHUM FM FanFest.
We got a chance to chance with Cris about his rise in the music world.
This year has already been pretty exciting for you, with touring and the album release—what went into the making of Where I Belong?
Cris Cab: The album has been something I’ve been working on for two years. We ended up with around 40 songs and there were so many great producers like Wyclef and Pharrell. We had to choose the right songs that would tell the story. For me, Where I Belong is really my introduction to the world. It’s what I’ve been working on for so long. The title for me also means growth. I started when I was 17 and from then to now, it’s been a period of finding myself.
Having a mentor like Pharrell is a huge deal. What have you learned from him?
CC: I’ve learned so much from Pharrell. He’s a really cool guy. He’s got such great musical wisdom and life advice. He’s a hard worker, number one. He teaches you that there are no shortcuts for hard work. He also teaches you to remain humble and treat everyone the same, and that’s really important. Everyone plays a different role in the world, but regardless, everybody is a human being. He teaches you that we’re all one.
Was there a specific moment when you decided that you wanted to pursue music as a career instead of just a hobby?
CC: Definitely. Around the time when I was 14 or 15, I was just starting to record music in my bedroom. I realized that this was all I’ve been doing for the past five years, and I really love it. Then it was like full speed ahead and I started writing and recording. Eventually that led to my Foreword EP, which I put out on my own.
You’ve already worked with some big names already. Who else is on your dream collaboration list?
CC: Someone I’ve always wanted to work with is Lenny Kravitz. I really enjoy the way he produces his music. I feel like it would add something interesting to what I do.
What advice do you have for other young, aspiring musicians?
CC: Believe in yourself and find what you want to do. Find what’s true to you and stick with it. People will try to pull you in different directions, but if it feels right, then you know it’s right. Just love what you do.
Cris Cab with Faze music reporter Christina Dun
Cris Cab and his hit “Liar Liar”