We spoke to MTV Brand New contestant Chris Watts. The solo artist features in this competition for emerging Australian and New Zealand talent, and Watts took the time out to answer questions regarding his music, his process, who he’d love to collaborate with and what direction he’ll take next.
Tell us a bit about your music. From style, sound and process.
My whole sound and process all starts with my guitar. My guitar is my go to instrument when it comes to writing new material. Most of my songs sit in the genres of folk/pop and lately a little soft rock.
Describe your album or EP (whether it be recently released or upcoming release). How the culmination of your said album/EP helped set you up as an artist? (How your most recent creation brought you to this stage?)
My debut album Back Down was released in 2014 and had been a three-year journey. Leaving high school I started having more time to write and record. Fifteen tracks later I had my nine track LP. There was one track ‘Broken Bones’ that I felt was very strong. The music video clip to that track slowly grabbed the attention of Vevo, then Rage and now MTV.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? What’s the ultimate dream?
I’ve never really seen playing in the states or the UK an option. I hope in 10 years from now I’ll be playing shows over there though.
What advice do you have for emerging artists? Artists who would want to follow in your footsteps?
I always remember this article I read from the band Kingswood. They said, ‘as a band you will always have your highs and lows. So remember, you have to keep at it. Understand that there will be highs in the near future and the lows aren’t forever.’
What do you hope to achieve through your music? Particularly when addressing your fans.
Ultimate dream, to have a hit song as strong as a Gotye, or a Vance Joy. Obviously one of the hardest things to do though!
If you could go on tour with any artist in the world who would it be and why? In what ways would an experience like that challenge or inspire you?
Since I was kid, I’ve always loved Maroon 5. People might see them as a sell out pop band but their live show is amazing. Real musicians with a lot of talent. To tour with those guys would be epic.
Regarding the opportunities you’ve been given so far how does a competition like this help you as an artist?
Television exposure is one thing, but working with a channel that has had such a powerful reputation in the music world, is doing wonders for me at the moment. I can’t thank them enough.
How has your experience in the music industry helped shape who you are, not only as an artist, but as a contributor to the industry?
Giving the time of day to artists/bands that are up and coming is something I feel very strong about. When I started out, I tried so hard to get people to email me back or listen to my demos. Most of the time I got nothing back. It’s my responsibility now, to give back and help whenever I can.
What’s the next step for you? What will you do next to expand/grow as an artist?
I think I’ll keep doing what I’ve been doing. Chasing up opportunities and leads is what I do best. Every day for me is music, music, music! It never leaves my head.
Who would you like to work with on new content? Whether it be producer, writer, artist?
Pharrell Williams. I was listening to his solo album recently on a flight back home from Sydney. Was very catchy stuff!
Is there anything people would be surprised to hear about regarding your music, or new directions you wish to take?
There is a bit of new direction. A little more Pop and less folk in some of my new material. My next single will be out in September. So you will be able to hear for yourself.
MTV Brand New have selected a great crop of talented artists and we wish every competitor the best of luck. Make sure you head to mtv.com.au to vote for your favourite artist before the close date and tune in to hear the winner announcement on the 22nd of September.