Chri$tian Gate$ is an up-and-coming alternative rock and pop artist from California, USA who has recently released his debut Extended Play (EP); Why Do I Hear Breathing?. The 20 year old musician boasts an impressive social media presence and is slated to perform at Lollapalooza 2023. We sat down with Chri$tian Gate$ to discuss his debut EP, his creative process, and the importance of social media for young musicians.
Let’s start with our first question. You’ve recently released Why Do I Hear Breathing?. We just want to know what’s the song that you’re proudest of on the album?
I think Never with You Again is probably my favourite. When I first wrote it, we made the acoustic. My friend, Sarcastic Sounds, played the acoustic while we were all on a writing camp together and I had a feeling, I was like, “I feel like if I get my heart broken, I want to use this”, and then my heart got broken. So then I immediately drove to my producer friend’s house and I was like, “hey, I need to write something to this, let’s record something”, and I sat in the car for like 30 minutes. I wrote the song and I was like, “hey, can we record?” He’s like, “no people are sleeping in my house”. And I’m like, “well, what can we do?” and he’s like, “we can try recording at the park”. So then we went to the park and we recorded the whole song and somehow it sounds like it was recorded in the studio and I think it came out really, really dope.
That’s amazing. What was the hardest song to create on Why Do I Hear Breathing?? Obviously you recorded in a park for one of your songs. But was that the hardest song or were there other songs on it that you were like, wow, this is really difficult, but you’re glad that you got it done.
Most of them came together pretty smoothly. [The song] Why Do I Hear Breathing? had some issues with putting it out. Some people were not letting it happen, like holding it back, but then it finally came out. So maybe that, but everything else seemed to work out fine.
You’ve mentioned that getting your heart broken, I’m very sorry about that, was sort of your main source of inspiration. Is that sort of the whole main inspiration for Why Do I Hear Breathing? or is it just what you were feeling at the time of writing each song?
If you go in order, the EP is the different insecure thoughts you can get throughout a relationship until it inevitably ends. So each song in order are just my thoughts. And then the final song [BREATHE] is just like a bonus song about me having a twin and then murdering him and dressing in his clothes to reap his fame.
You’ve released songs before Why Do I Hear Breathing?. Did the EP have a different source of inspiration or was this just like continuing on from what you’ve started with?
I think it was pretty similar, but I’m making a new EP and that is coming out pretty soon, in the next few months. And that one has a very different inspiration. I can’t say what it is yet, but it is totally different, but it’s really cool.
So tell me a little bit more about your creative process just in general. What is your starting point when you are making a song?
I would say I start with someone who knows how to play guitar or piano really well and we just go through a bunch of different chords. Once we find a chord progression that fits the vibe I’m in, we go from there and then kind of figure out what we want to write about. Most of the time it’s true experiences that I’ve been through or those of people close to me. It’s like I’m telling other people stories who wouldn’t really be able to tell the stories themselves. And that’s pretty much it.
I’m excited to listen to it when it comes out then! So moving to more about you as a musician. We’ve seen that you are performing at Lollapalooza this year, but you’ve also performed live before. What is your most memorable live performance so far?
I did a show in Chicago and there were two fans that wanted me to sign their chest with a Sharpie. I had to sign everybody really fast and I signed both of them and they said “we’re gonna go get this tattooed” and I was like, “no, please don’t”. It was like a big giant ugly signature on their chest. I told them, “please don’t, just send me a picture of you with a tattoo artist and then I’ll come back and I’ll do it better and then you can get that tattooed”. I was gonna do it like way smaller, but they went and they sent me videos of them just getting those tatted. It’s cool that somebody would do that, but it sucks that they did it.
Are you looking forward to performing at Lollapalooza? I’ve sort of seen who you’re performing with and it’s quite a big show with big names.
I’m excited. There’s a lot of people there that I’d love to see and I got a lot of friends performing there. It’s gonna be really cool. It’s my first festival. I’ve never been to a festival before, so I can’t wait.
You found your footing in the music industry and popularity through TikTok and other social media. Do you think the value of platforms like TikTok is for young emerging artists like yourself and other people?
I think it is priceless. There’s no other way that I know of to get a similar result within a similar amount of time. It’s probably the best tool that you could ask for.
Do you have any advice for young people looking to get into the music scene?
Only do it if you really, really want to do it and you don’t care about money. A lot of the time the money won’t come for a while. If you’re motivated by the wrong reasons, your music is gonna suffer and your mental health will suffer as well.
Finally, do you have anything that you would want people to know about you?
I’m making a new EP and I’m excited about it. It’s a folk, borderline country-but-not EP and it’s way different but way different in a cool way. And I’m just, I’m so excited for this to come out.
Awesome. Well, thank you so much for your time.
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