Often described as a ‘music industry professional’ (because it’s simpler than listing his broad range of talents), Chris Brown has been enjoying the Audient USB audio interface iD22 in his studio for the last few months.
With Soul II Soul, Kylie, Leona Lewis, Mariah Carey and Lady Gaga among those in his impressive list of credits, Audient was keen to find out more about this accomplished chap. We got chatting about Chris’s musical journey to date and the debt he owes his parents, but first we asked him how he describes himself: bass player, vocalist, composer, musical director, live artist, studio creative…is there anything he can’t do?
To be honest, I see myself as a bit of all of those. I spend a lot of my time on the road playing bass for different artists who I absolutely love – it’s truly a blessing.
I also love spending time in the studio working with different artists and creating music from nothing, that is my ultimate pleasure.
“I’m glad I found the iD22”
We’re so glad to hear that you love your Audient iD22! What is your favourite thing about it? How has it influenced your recording process?
This little box is a box of magic as far as I’m concerned. The thing that I love most about it is its audio quality! This thing sounds as good as anything that I’ve had that before, and for the price, it’s just a great sounding unit. I was about to invest in something that costs several thousand pounds but I’m glad I found the iD22 because the quality is not far off the unit I was about to buy. I am so happy with it.
The other thing that I like about the iD22 is the fact that I can have two speakers connected to it at one time and do an A/B comparison between two speakers just by pressing the function button, so there’s no need for me to buy a separate speakerbox switcher.
“This little box is a box of magic as far as I’m concerned.”
Tell us about your studio setup. How does the iD22 fit in?
I have a home studio setup and the kit that I use is of the highest quality, to try and get the music to sound the best it possibly can. I have the industry standard NS10s along with the Adams A77x monitors. I use the Native Instruments’ Maschine Studio as well as the Native Instruments’ Komplete controller to play all my sounds. All of this is running through the Mac Pro 12 core. So a pretty small setup, but it’s more than enough to make a strong record.
Where did you start your musical journey?
I started my musical journey in church. My dad was a pastor and so I was literally born into a Pentecostal environment which I’m so grateful for.
The music that you have to play in church makes you able to understand music from an early age. In church we play a mixture of music from classical, jazz, to rock, to pop, to R&B and soul, so from a young age you are a master in all different types of music.
My opportunity came when the drummer didn’t turn up for church one Sunday and I jumped on the kit …and the rest is history.
“the build quality is outstanding”
You’ve had a busy summer working with Soul II Soul by the look of things, how has that been? Are there plans afoot for another record with them?
There are some plans to work with Soul II Soul in the future on the new record – myself and Jazzie B were talking about it last week. I am going into research mode right now because it is not a simple task coming up with a fresh concept for such a classic band. I have to get it bang on the money. Plus Jazzie is very in tune with what he wants.
What else have you got coming up (that you can talk about)?
I have a few artists of my own that I am trying to develop, so by next year you’ll have some new music from me – all recorded through the iD22 of course!
“The thing that I love most about it is its audio quality”
Who is your biggest inspiration?
I know it sounds cheesy, but my biggest inspiration is my parents. They always encouraged me to follow my dream and never let anybody put me down in anyway. Music is not an easy industry to break but they have supported me more than I could’ve ever dreamed.
Musically I am inspired by everyone and everything. Sometimes I just sit in the studio and play songs on iTunes and on the radio just to get inspiration, but I have learned that you can get inspired by anyone, you just need to take time to listen.
What advice would you give a younger you just starting out?
The best advice is to stay relevant, stay current, stay in people’s faces, stay in people’s minds, don’t hide your gift in a cave and let the world know what you can do. Don’t be arrogant, but still be sure about yourself, because if you don’t believe in yourself nobody else will!!
A fine balance there, Chris – but you seem to have managed it with aplomb. It’s been great to chat. Good luck with all your 2017 ventures!