Christopher Gallant (Guh-lant) is a 25 year old; Grammy nominated American singer and songwriter that’s taking the world by storm, and finally now he’s graced Australians with the chance to see him perform live on stage as part of his up and coming tour. Thanks to Bluesfest in Byron Bay, Gallant would be performing during the festival among many other famous artists such as Courtney Barnett, The Doobie Brothers, Joan Osborne, The Lumineers, Mary J Blige, Remi, Santana and so much more.
His #1 hit song “Weight in Gold” being highly recommended by everyone – including Sir Elton John himself enough to perform live on stage in Vegas, who would say no to him? He was kind enough to spare some time to let us interview him ahead of his first ever Australian tour with special thanks to Bluesfest Touring Company.
Being the ripe ol’ age of 25 and having his debut studio album, Ology being Grammy nominated in the category of ‘Best Urban Contemporary album’ against the likes of other Grammy nominated artists such as Beyonce - “Lemonade”, Anderson .Paak - “Malibu”, Rihnna - “Anti” and King – “We are king”. He was touring in Amsterdam with he found out and it was the ‘2nd most surreal feeling ever had.’ The 1st being the whole plethora of things and events that has exploded since his career took off.
The Grammy’s was the first award that he’s ever been nominated for in the US. A grandiose goal and one he never thought would happen; let alone being recognized by The Academy so quickly. As if the world was jumping on the bandwagon as well, he was also mentioned to be in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 2017 list. Another amazing feat for his career no doubt.
For someone so young and pursed since middle school - his debut album of Zebra in 2014, Gallant never -thought his career would explode so exponentially – he imaged it, yes; but never thought it would ever come so soon. He has been doing music his whole life and music always gave him a specific feeling that no matter whatever the awards or accolades could ever get, music alone is enough for him – anything else past producing and releasing music is just an extra. The creative process and direction for any artist is always so different and a struggle to define. However, Gallant’s direction and process for music, specifically for Ology album – it was just random bursts and inspiration and motivation. He’s currently off tour right now, so he’s back in the head space of creating more music (do I smell a future album / single coming soon?)
But his whole creative process is just instability placed on top of any kind of foundation that anyone could ground themselves on. It’s an interesting mix of being mundane and chaotic at the same time – a whole spectrum of music that he wanted to showcase and just inspiration from anything. Anything that triggers the 5 senses In some way and he’s off writing down more smooth lyrical genius that any of us could ever hope for.
However, it’s not all smooth flowing and he is also critical about his work – as with any artist, it has to feel a certain way and do something for himself and the audience. It has to feel in some level of reality that undeniable because it’s coming from the creator’s point of view which also makes it easier to tell if the feeling is true or not. If a song ever comes out differently than expected after recording – according to Gallant its always usually better than intentionally thought because anything he scrutinizes after does see the light of the day and graces his audience once more as it says something more honest than previously thought.
Since 2016, as mentioned before, he’s been touring like mad which also included many music festivals such as Afropunk and Coachella as well as the rest of his Ology album tour, Gallant always tinkers his live performances to show how comfortable he is as well as showing enough individualism to each show rather than try to adapt what his idea of what the audience wants. It’s a trial and error process which hasn’t always been successful but it helps him understand what his own vision is for the concert.
Gallant is definitely an artist to look out for because he also has his own personal project “In the Room” where he invites famous musicians such as Seal and more recently Jack Garrett to come along and play / jam with. There are no specific criteria on who can qualify, but usually people who inspire him and those he can and get the chance to call peers. His goal for this personal project is to represent a whole spectrum of musicians and forever thankful and grateful for those who is already part of the series so far. As if his reputation isn’t highly regarded enough, he got to perform alongside Sir Elton John as well as getting invited to sing in front of the Obama’s at the white house. He was perplexed that someone as legendary as Sir Elton John wanted to connect up with him, yet alone liked his music enough to play one of his songs on the radio and then got a chance to perform with him during the Apple music festival. Gallant felt honoured to be playing at the white house and even brought along his parents to attend. It was a huge check mark in his life and even better yet – he got to meet Former President Obama. When asked which was he liked better between Former President Obama and Former First Lady Michelle Obama, it took some time thinking – but it was a tie. He couldn’t choose and I agree, who would want to choose between the best power couple for the last 8 years.
Bluesfest and his Sydney + Melbourne sideshows would be his first time stepping on Australian soil, and playing among our shores, Gallant is excited to see the scenery and landscape to take in the good ol’ Australian air. He’s most excited about to be playing for new audiences and fans in Australia since his music hasn’t got a threshold yet (Australia c’mon, you’re missing out here) and to take in the Byron Bay scenery in person and not having to just experience it through Google Images. While he’s down under, he is also planning on travelling around Aus a little wishing he could actually drive around the whole of Australia (UM GOOD LUCK) but also spending a week in New Zealand just driving around. So if anyone knows and has the directions to Hobbiton – send the directions his way! But he has no current big plans at the moment, so any suggestions are welcome.
Lastly, Australian Music Scene asked for some advice if there are any tips to try to strive to be a better version of yourself as Gallant always tries to make music that is honest and open. He’s not a reflector however (oops) but only consistent tip he’s found is to not to take things too seriously for anything in life – especially the creation process and yourself. “Creativity is spontaneous; it has all its ups and downs. Nobody can always be creating all the time”
For such a young artist, he is truly down to earth and humble – make sure to check out his newest single “Cave Me In” featuring Kpop legends Tablo and Eric Nam. It’s everything your ears would thank you for and more. His Sydney sideshow had such a great response that they had to change the venue from OAF to the Metro Theatre – if you haven’t got your tickets to Bluesfest or even his sideshows, I highly suggest you get your hands on those puppies because it won’t last long and you don’t want to be missing out on such sultry and soulful time of your life.
Again, with special thanks to Bluesfest Touring Company for letting Australian Music Scene interview such an amazing artist.
Tour dates - click for tickets