Thursday, December 5, 2013

Chris Burke and his "Roller Coaster Ride!" (Exclusive Interview)

Chris Burke is a singer/songwriter that is taking the music scene by storm. This musician who resides in Nashville is having a momentous 2013 with his music (“Roller Coaster Ride”) being featured in the motion picture “Birthday Cake” and in an up-coming documentary regarding the history of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  Chris’s most recent album entitled “Everything” is packed with tuneful tracks that will get you hooked. Along with another single released this year; “Wash Over Me” is another hit. Chris is nonstop busy between recording, performing live and sharing his passion of music.

Chris Burke
Official Website: 
Interview By: Mason Williams
Chris, l want to first start this interview with a “Congratulations” with your music this year. It seems to be all-coming together in 2013 for you.

  • Tell us about 2013 and the journey that has brought you to have such a significant year.
Wow, what an amazing year so far. I feel like I have put so much work into my music and figuring out who the heck I am as an artist for the years that I have been here in Nashville and before, and there has finally been some movement in the right direction this year. I have gotten myself connected to many different licensing companies, written some of my favorite songs ever, had some successful singles on iTunes, heard one of my songs on the big screen (WOO HOO), and shot my first video. Plus, I sang 2 songs for the documentary you mentioned above that will be coming out next year. I would say it has been a successful year so far! And, the best part about it is I really feel like I have been creating an important foundation for years to come as well. Pretty durn great year!

  • It is that time of year with the holidays amongst us, what is one of your favorite songs this time of year, the singer and why?
I love the old school holiday music. Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Bing Crosby…. there is something so comforting about that music. I also love the Drifters’ version of White Christmas. SO FUN! I am always a little wary of new holiday music because I will always be comparing it to the original versions. Not to say that there isn’t some great new holiday music, but there is a reason it is called ‘Classic Christmas’.  That being said, I will ALWAYS love Mariah Carey’s first Christmas album. Her version of the classics is amazing, but her originals are just as good to me. ‘All I Want for Christmas’ puts me in a stellar mood literally every time I hear it! She has a song called ‘Miss You Most (At Christmas Time)’ that is so good it breaks your heart. Holiday music can be chipper and fun, but it can also be nostalgic and full of a warm sort of sadness, and she really covers it all on that album.

  •  What would be one word that would describe your music?
Soulful. I was raised singing old classic soul, so even my more pop-influenced music is soulful. It just sort of happens :)

  • It is fantastic that your music is now part of a motion picture this year (Birthday Cake), tell us how that came about.
It was kind of random how it happened. A lawyer friend of mine in Atlanta was handling everything for the movie, and when it was time for Chad (the writer/producer/co-star) to start finding music for the soundtrack, the lawyer sent him to my site. The first song he heard was ‘Roller Coaster Ride’, and it stuck. After watching the movie, and LOVING it, I sent him tons more, but that was the one he kept. The real zinger was that it was chosen for the trailer. There are a bunch of songs on the soundtrack, and my song happens to be right in one of the funniest and most outrageous parts of the film, but it is the ONLY song in the trailer and I am front and center. SO FUN! Plus, the editor of the film and trailer loved my song so much he offered to do a video, and I just recently returned from LA shooting that as well! It has been a wonderful and fun snowball effect!

  • You have such soul in your voice, is there a cover you would love to record? I can think of ton of old Motown that would be perfect for your vocals.
I have begun singing 2-3 hours shows here in Nashville of old soul covers. I used to perform similar shows in Atlanta, and I am THRILLED to be able to do them again. So, I am actually able to perform most every classic soul song that I love. One of my absolute favorites that would be unbelievable to record is Gladys Knight’s ‘Neither One of Us.’ It is one of my favorites of all time, and recording it would be an incredible thing. We also perform a couple Jimmy Cliff songs, ‘Sitting in Limbo’ and ‘Many Rivers to Cross,’ and they would both be pretty amazing to record and put my own spin on.

  • You have just completed shooting a music video in Los Angeles; tell us about that experience and what that was exactly for.

 It was AWESOME. As I said before, the guy that edited the movie ‘Birthday Cake’ offered to shoot a video for the song just because he loved it so much, and I figured it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. There was no budget and it was only the two of us working on it. We just had a good time together putting it together. I travelled out there to LA (with my Mom, too, so it was extra special), and we shot some footage in his studio and all over LA. We hit it off and had a blast checking out a bunch of cool places in LA. So fun! As far as what it was for, it is going to act as an additional promotional tool for both of us. It is another way for people to see an hear what I am doing as an artist and him as a producer. And, it’s an entirely different medium for my music, and it will be available to an entirely different and new audience.
  • What are some projects we can as fans look forward to in 2014 from you?
I already have 2 new songs that will be fully mixed and finished at the beginning of the year, and I plan on putting one or both of them out as a single. Plus the video for ‘Roller Coaster Ride’ will be finished at the start of the year as well. I also already have more of my old soul shows booked, so that will be a very fun addition to the calendar. Plus, the documentary about the Gettysburg Cemetery that features me singing 2 songs will be coming out and hopefully on the History Channel sometime next year. THAT will be an amazing experience hearing my voice on TV!! Overall, though, I just plan on working and pushing forward much the same way I have this year. I am going to keep following the giant snowball that ‘Birthday Cake’ has started for me :) This year has been so huge for me, so I am going to keep doing what has been working so far, and hopefully get my music out to more and more people.

  •  I have to say though I have not had the pleasure seeing you live one truly can see from your wide array of videos via YouTube etc. that you are very comfortable on the stage; have you ever thought about doing some musical theatre or expanding more in acting?
I performed in musical theater and regular plays most of my childhood, and made a gradual switch to more of solo artist singing in high school. I do really feel comfortable on stage as an artist, but theater has always been a little scarier for me. BUT, now that I am farther along and have grown up a bit, it is definitely something I would be more interested in. I LOVE the stage and the few times that I have been a part of musical theater have rocked my world, so I would definitely like to expand back into more acting/musical theater. It is such a bonding experience with the cast, and it would not only expand my repertoire, but it would expand my experience as an artist and as a musician. I think, also, because acting and musical theater scare me a bit, I feel like I could learn so much about myself and about the overall craft from it. I think it would be a pretty natural and fun process.

  •  Now, we are a classic movie publication and I know you are a fan as well. What are some of the most memorable movies that got engrained into you?
I always love any of the older classic scary films like the Birds or anything Alfred Hitchcock-ish. I love the way they look and the natural suspense of them. The movies that I remember the most though are the ones that I watched over and over as a kid: ‘Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure,’ Goonies,’ ‘Neverending Story,’ ‘Labyrinth,’ and more 80s films like ‘The Breakfast Club,’ ‘Sixteen Candles.’ I loved a movie called ‘Welcome Home Roxy Carmichael’ with Winona Ryder. ‘Some Kind of Wonderful’ was so good to me too. I loved Mary Stuart Masterson’s character as a hardcore punk girl that played the drums. I also watched ‘A Chorus Line’ about a million times. I loved the music and the dancing. It made me so happy that something like it even existed. I also LOVE ‘Ace Ventura: Pet Detective’ and ‘Dumb and Dumber.’ Jim Carrey is a comedic hero of mine, and those early movies still make me double over from laughing.

  • Was there one particular movie that truly formed you as becoming the entertainer/recording artist you are now?
‘A Chorus Line’ and ‘Labyrinth’ both were music-based, plus there were songs on soundtracks that rocked my world through most any movie that I really loved. I can’t think of any one movie specifically, though…. just that soundtracks always stuck out to me.

  •  Do you have a favorite genre of film and why?
I don’t seem to have a ton of time to watch too many new movies anymore, but I find myself always watching 80s movies when I see them on TV. It is probably a result of when I saw the movies in the first place and how they formed how I saw and was able to relate to the world as a child, but 80s movies as a genre are probably my favorite.

  • We all have a guilty pleasure movie, what is yours and what makes you enjoy watching it over and over?
Probably ‘Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure’ There is not one bit of that movie that doesn’t ROCK MY WORLD. Hilarious. And ‘Ace Ventura: Pet Detective’ and ‘Dumb and Dumber.’ There is no limit to how many times I can watch these films…. 

  • What was the experience like when seeing your music as part of a motion picture soundtrack on the big screen? It must have been an out of body moment.
Totally! Seeing it as a part of the trailer alone was an out of body experience. Seeing it on the big screen was incredible, especially the second time I saw it in Atlanta because it was with my Mom, my boyfriend, and a ton of good friends from there. It was pretty amazing. And yes, I am not sure if I have rejoined my body yet!!

  • Keeping with the theme of motion pictures, what is one of your favorite soundtracks to a motion picture? What song from it would you kill to record with that artist?
As far as an entire soundtrack goes, ‘Stand By Me’ is amazing! I had not heard a lot of those songs before, and from start to finish, it is still one of my favorite soundtracks of all time. I had grown up singing soul music, and it really introduced me to so many incredible songs. ‘The Big Chill’ is another soundtrack that still resonates with me. Although I never saw the movie, the music from it helped form how I listened to music and what I loved about music in general. One of the most amazing single song soundtrack experiences I had growing up was with ‘Welcome Home Roxy Carmichael.’ There is a song by Melissa Etheridge called ‘I Will Never Be the Same’ that plays during the ending credits. I was immediately blown away by it. AND she didn’t release it on an album for many years, so I just watched and watched to be able to hear it. If I could sing that song with her, it would pretty much be AMAZING.

  •  Do you have a holiday tradition with a certain movie? If so, why that particular movie?
I love to watch ‘Elf’ every year. I remember seeing it in the theater with my entire family, so it just kinda makes me happy. It is just a happy lovely movie with some hilarious moments. ‘Love Actually’ also just makes me feel the holiday spirit for sure.

  • I remember when growing-up having a couple holiday TV Specials that I truly adored such as the Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton “Once Upon a Christmas,” do you have any that have stayed with you and why?
hmmmm…. not sure if I can name one off the top of my head. I love to watch Christmas specials though because you get to hear your favorite artists singing some different material. It shows a different side of many of them which I love.

  • I know you have some favorite 80’s and 90’s movies from growing-up, what are some of your favorites that are in your definition of that decades “must see movie list?”
Again, ‘Sixteen Candles,’ ‘The Breakfast Club,’ ‘Some Kind of Wonderful,’ ‘Goonies,’ ‘Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure’ just to name my favorites. Pretty much anything with Jim Carrey in it, especially early on. It also seemed like scary movies back then scared me more because they weren’t quite as graphic and a lot of the fear came from what was NOT actually seen. ‘Silence of the Lambs,’ ‘Exorcist,’ ‘Poltergeist,’ just to name a few. :)   AND, ‘Steel Magnolias’  Everyone in that movie shines! There’s some SERIOUS casting there!

 Alright it is time for the fun game that we have here at “Love Those Classic Movies!” which is the “Classic Movie Word Association Game!” It is a simple concept that I will say one word which could be a movie, actor, genre, song and you say the first word that comes to your mind, have fun with it!

  •  “The Brat Pack” –  Cool (they were the COOLEST group of actors/people EVER when I was growing up)
  • Nat King Cole –   Timeless
  • “White Christmas” -  Drifters (again, their version is one of my favorite ones of all time)
  • The movie “Top Gun”-  MAVERICK!  (another amazing soundtrack!)
  • Kenny Loggins -  Hero (blue eyed soul singer with a high voice, singing awesome pop music. My hero as a kid for sure!)
  • Michael J. Fox -  Family Ties (2 words, I know, but one of my favorite shows ever)
  • “The Breakfast Club”-  Childhood  (I will always feel 13 years old when I see this movie)
  • Best Christmas Movie –  Elf
  • Favorite Christmas singer –  Ella? (This is a hard one!)
  • Barbara Streisand –  Ahhhhh-Mazing (really, so many words would fit here, but they all mean the same thing: AMAZING)
  • “Flash Dance” -  What a Feeling!!! (How did I forget about this movie!!! I love it!!!)
  • Michael Douglas -  Kathleen  (I will always put him with Kathleen Turner because of their movies together as a kid)
  • Bing Crosby -  David Bowie  (whoever thought of putting them together on a holiday song was genius (and possibly crazy as well!))
  • “It’s A Wonderful Life” -  (can’t speak to much on this one because it never seemed to resonate with me, oddly)
  • Goldie Hawn –  Pure  (She will always just be beautiful and funny and a pure beauty and comedic genius to me)
  • Monty Python –  Hilarious
  • Steve Martin –  Parenthood!! (another movie I LOVE LOVE LOVE)
  • Song and cartoon “Frosty The Snowman” -  Joy (another constant reminder of my childhood and the joy of Christmas)
  • Song “Baby It’s Cold Outside” –  Easy (just a cool and easy flow to the original version of this son)
  • Al Pacino -  Godfather? (funny! This name came out of nowhere!)
  • Wizard of OZ –  Timeless (it is what all other movies strive to be but will never quite achieve :)
  • Favorite 80’s singer –  Impossible  (too hard to even begin to narrow down. Whew. I can’t even compile a list of 20….)
  • Favorite actress –   (this is a hard one…. Maybe Meryl Streep? possibly the entire cast of ‘Steel Magnolias’)
  • Favorite actor –  (This is a tough one too….)

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