Up-and-comer Chris Peters is making his mark in the music world with his newest single, “Don’t Wanna Lose You.” I got the chance to talk with Chris about how Paul McCartney and the Jonas Brothers inspired him to pursue music professionally, his studies at Berklee College of Music, the story behind “Don’t Wanna Lose You” and so much more. Keep reading to see what he had to say!
Tell me a little bit about how you first got into making and performing music.
I started to receive guitar and drum lessons when I was about 5 years old. I even wrote my first song at that age. I continued to take lessons and eventually added piano to the mix. I did everything I could in the realm of music from joining my school’s orchestra, performing at open mics, performing in musicals, you name it! When I was young I used to crave attention and I believe that playing music had a lot to do with it. I loved performing in any way I could.
Was there a specific moment or person that made you realize that music is what you wanted to pursue professionally?
Just like many people, Paul McCartney was the one who inspired me to pick up a guitar and start learning. There is even a picture of me at 4 years old, holding my guitar standing next to him on a TV wearing the same outfit. I wanted to be just like him. But funny enough, if it wasn’t for the Jonas Brothers, I may have not pursued it. When I was 8 years old, I learned all of their songs and then would replace their words with my own and keep their chords. This was kind of cheating, but it helped me understand chords, song form, and typical characteristics of a popular song. I looked up to Nick Jonas the most, who played piano, drums, and guitar, just like I did. Every kid looks up to someone whether it’s a famous baseball player, their father, or an older cousin, I guess I was just different and looked up to the Jonas Brothers.
If I read things right, you’re a full time student studying at Berklee College of Music, correct? Have you found it challenging trying to balance your up-and-coming music career and school?
Yes, that is correct! I love Berklee so far, and honestly the balance between my own career and school isn’t a struggle at all. In a way they complement each other. Almost everything I learn here I try to apply to my music. And being in a city like Boston is very beneficial as well. The only struggle is being surrounded by incredible musicians all of the time. It can be overpowering at first and might bring out a competitive side of yourself if you don’t manage it closely.
Back to music, I’m always genuinely curious about what artists want to convey with their music. So how would you describe your sound without using genre names? What kind of music do you produce?
This is a great question! I want to make music that is “distractive”. I hope that people could listen to it and it would distract them from the daily struggles of their life. Something that could hopefully cheer them up, or something they could relate to in a tough time.
Going off of that, who are some of your musical influences?
As I have mentioned before, Paul McCartney (The Beatles) and the Jonas Brothers will always be core influences, even if I don’t realize it. Recently though, I have been listening to a lot of The 1975, Charlie Puth (a Berklee graduate), Jon Bellion, and Lauv. I really admire the way they produce their music and would hope to follow in their footsteps.
Let’s talk about your single, “Don’t Wanna Lose You.” What’s the story behind the song?
“Don’t Wanna Lose You” is a love song that I wrote about my girlfriend (that is actually her on the voicemail in the song). I have my own radio show here at Berklee called “Not Silly Love Songs,” where I only play love songs. After a semester of doing this, I wanted to write something that resembled some of the best, classic love songs lyrically, but still sound very modern.
I always love hearing about the songwriting process so I was wondering if you could give me a glimpse into that. Are you someone who always has to write by yourself or do you like collaborating with others?
This song idea came to me when I was supposed to be working on a project and I dropped everything and tried to write it all down and record it. Luckily, I had my recording equipment and my laptop with me so I recorded all of the ideas as they came to me. I had the music, and the chorus written that very day. I then spent the next week thinking deeply about what I wanted to say lyrically. I love to collaborate and am finding myself doing a lot more of it here at school. Most of the music I have released though, has been written by myself.
What was the recording process like for song? Were there any major changes made once you got into the recording studio, whether it be in the lyrics or something sonically
I actually recorded a majority of the song on my laptop as I was writing it. I did most of the music in my dorm room and then went downstairs to a practice room and recorded the vocals. I did make quite a few changes to it after sending it to friends and professors to get some feedback.
What’s the response been like to the single so far?
The response has been great so far! It’s such an awesome feeling when I see people post and share my song on social media. I have gotten a lot of complements on the song, as well as many suggestions for the future. I definitely appreciate suggestions and feedback since I’m always hoping for growth in my music for the future!
You’re still relatively new to the music game. What are some music industry-related goals or benchmarks that you’re aiming to reach in the next couple of years?
Recently, one of the main factors that makes or breaks an artist is whether they could get on an Apple Music or Spotify official playlist. These help in putting your music in front of thousands of people that you never would have reached on your own. So I hope to be placed on one sometime in 2019. I have reached out to a couple of smaller playlist curators, and “Don’t Wanna Lose You” has already been put on a smaller Spotify/Apple Music playlist! Like I said, I’m just working towards getting my music shared to as many people as possible.
Lastly, we’re called Talk Nerdy With Us because we all have an inner nerd so what is something that you’re currently nerding out about?
Right now, I am nerding out about this young musical genius named Jacob Collier. He just released a new album titled, Djesse Vol. 1, which is part one of a four-album project. I recently saw him perform live at M.I.T. and it was by far one of the greatest shows I have ever been to. People are calling him the “Modern Mozart”. If you are a music nerd, I would highly suggest checking him out!