23-year-old singer-songwriter, Christian French is sitting on a couch in the living room of his house in Hollywood Hills. There is a little corner of vinyl in the room and you can hear his manager, John-Paul, cooking in the kitchen. Immediately, you feel at home. The house is shared among friends who are all in the industry and equally passionate about music.
French says, “We are so close with each other. We pick each other up when we need to.” Living in LA can be extremely lonely, but French has been careful to pick his friends wisely. Looking at his life up to this point, you see how much support French is constantly surrounded by that helps him follow his true passion in life.
However, as much as French is surrounded by talented musicians now, that was not always the case. In fact, while growing up in Fishers, Indiana, French was enamored with playing hockey – music was not even on his radar. His dream was to become a professional player in the NHL. He was so enveloped by this goal that he went the extra step and joined a traveling hockey team.
However, French attended a private school that required all students to be in band or choir. This introduction to music is where his passion first began to spark. He started tinkering around with instruments in his off time and realized how much he enjoyed it. French started making music while he was still deeply invested in hockey. “Music was what calmed me down when I was really stressed about school and hockey. It was never something I thought would develop into this.” ‘This’ being a two-part headlining tour across the United States.
Dropping out of college with only 13 credits left isn’t the most ideal, but when Christian French was offered the opportunity to go on tour opening up for Chelsea Cutler he knew that was exactly what he had to do.
He tells us, “My parents and friends supported it, so it was [a] really easy [decision].” French admits he was a “stiff noodle” while performing on stage during that first round of touring. Another opportunity to tour came around right after. He ended up hopping on a tour to open up for Quinn XCII. Christian French soaked up as much knowledge as he could from the two seasoned artists. He took mental notes on how they transitioned between songs and the way they would interact with the crowd.
Learning from Cutler and Quinn XCII was just the start. Pushing himself further, Christian French started taking dance lessons revealing, “I have grown into my body and built a lot more confidence. It’s much more fun [to perform on stage] now.”
Watching this progression from start to present has been quite enjoyable. You can see how comfortable he is while performing and feel boldness when he speaks. It is an evolution that is sure to only keep on getting better and better.
Christian French has never shied away from talking about his struggles with anxiety. He describes the overwhelming emotions and says it starts to, “feel like nothing is ever going to be alright.” French has found a way to channel those low feelings by writing music.
He says, “Those are the times where I have to be alone with myself at a piano. Writing music about how I’m feeling is the only way to get out of my head.” His first experiences writing to get over those emotions were on his earlier songs “Dying Alive” and “Heavy Snow”. French notes that writing songs like those happen, “when I need to be saved by music.”
Being vulnerable within his music has enabled a connection between fans that transcends distance. French takes it further by helping fans whenever he can across his social platforms. Those moments deepen the bond between himself and those who relate to his experiences. Sharing those intensely personal and isolating feelings creates a circle of support, not only for himself but for those who are also willing to open up. Knowing you do not have to face the anxiety alone can be a source of calm reassurance.
While his earlier instances of writing music stemmed from sitting down and writing, French’s process is much different now. What used to consist of being by himself on a piano, figuring out chords and lyrics, has evolved into a collaborative process. The convenience of living in a house full of proficient and artistic people makes that even easier to do. Sometimes French will find himself making music with his fellow housemate, Pinkslip, who is a producer. After some trial and error, French has found producers and writers that he really enjoys working with. Creating a safe, fun atmosphere can make or break the creation of a song.
Building off the energy in the room is exactly how he wrote “Bright Side of the Moon” and “Time of Our Lives”. He notes, “It has definitely grown as a more collaborative effort now. I still have songs where I sit at the piano and figure it all out there though.”
After a successful first round of headlining shows, Christian French is already itching to head out on tour again. Joining him on the road is this leg is the talented artist, Rence.
French gushes, “The last tour was the craziest feeling ever. It’s awesome to tour the country with your best friends. I’m so ready to do it again.”
Having that support system, especially on the road, is vital. French is also excited about performing new music on this leg of the tour. Everything happening now is leading up to a new forthcoming EP that will be released this June. Fans will be thrilled to know that he will be dropping music every month ahead of the release to tide them over until the EP drops.
One thing is certain, Christian French has a bright future ahead in the music industry. He is surrounded by people who genuinely love and support his every move. With that, success is sure to follow.
Keep up with artists like Christian French on Beyond The Stage here.