Born and raised in South Texas, Chris Balderas or better known as his stage name Chris56 is the beautiful byproduct of the eclectic and unique musical surroundings. A lot of Chris56’s musical creativity can be heard in the constant blending of genres. His production choice often fuses layers of sounds that create futuristic and energized instrumentals. That same blend of various genres also embodies his youth and find their way into his addictive melodies and diverse beat selection.
Now 24-years-old, Chris56 is establishing his own experimental space as a creative, taking on board his experiences as an adolescence in the industry alongside 808 Mafia Records own Brock Luker. Now residing in LA, The Texas-bred artist has positioned himself as a standout amongst the city’s abundance of budding, multifaceted artists. Transgressing from his regular artistry, plans for the future, and his upbringing, we had the chance to sit down with Chris56 for an exclusive interview.
For those who don’t know, where are you from?
I’m from Corpus Christi, Texas.
You’re currently out in LA, right?
Yessir, North Hollywood to be exact.
Corpus Christi, Texas and LA are completely different. What’s that experience been like for you?
Life-changing for sure. Although I’m away from everything I know, I feel like I belong.
Brock Luker from 808 Mafia Records actually offered you to come out there, right?
Yeah, he’s my other manager as of now.
What has been the biggest thing you’ve had to adjust to while being out there?
Working with producers and contributing on the spot. Before I was just getting beats online recording myself in my room. I could take as long as I wanted to make something. Now, it’s like I have to provide when I’m in a session or I’ll feel useless.
You’ve been extremely consistent for a while now and it’s definitely paying off. Where would you say you found that drive from?
[Laughs] I’m just bored bro. I always gotta be doing something, I can’t chill. We have the ability to create at any moment and I like doing so whether it’s music, video treatments, or brand ideas for the future. I got so much time on my hands.
Back home you were surrounded by some creative individuals and your growth can even be attributed to them. How much inspiration do you take away from back home?
Home is everything. It’s all I know. I gotta give it all to them.
Let’s talk about the music. SYMONÉDAYTONA was your first full-length offering. How did the project’s idea come together?
A lot was going on around this time, a lot of shit was new to me. I was kinda sitting on a bunch of music and I had a lot to say but didn’t know exactly how to say it so we made a bunch of videos to help get the message(s) across. It turned out to be as effective as we wanted it to be.
It seems like you put a lot into your video catalogue. How important is it for you to have visuals accompany the records?
Music creates a world. Whenever you listen to music and close your eyes you see something. With no budget, we can’t always create that world but we can show a glimpse. I think the videos are just as important as the music.
Favorite video you’ve worked on up to this point?
Exile for sure. I had an allergic reaction from some flowers, I thought I was going to die and my friends didn’t help. Or maybe Water. My friends left me trapped in the apartment while they went to go get Taco Bell. Each video holds a spot in my heart.
When you’re working on new music, do you think about how you’ll approach the video? Or is that kind of an afterthought process?
If it’s a song we are confident in then it always has some type of visual idea behind it. Sometimes it’ll hit while I’m making the song, other times I have to sit back and plan it out a little more.
Earlier you said you dabble into video treatment. Do you like to have your hands in all aspects of your art?
Yes, I have to. If I let someone else take complete control over something with my name, I feel as if it won’t be me. I’m not that big right now so there’s no reason why I shouldn’t try exploring different avenues.
As an artist who is finally starting to gain traction, I know you can attest to times where you feel like certain things would never be possible. Where do you get your confidence from?
When I first started I was in a collective and I was okay with being the background guy, help my homies win type, rather then be in the front leading the way, as I got older and I started progressing I knew the only way I were to make it, is if I did it myself w no supporting cast. I ended up parting ways with the collective and I noticed everything started to change, I instantly started doing things my way and how I thought was the right way to do things. Confidence is weird, although I know I’m not the best, I walk around like I am. I could be in a room full of my favorite artist and still think I’m miles ahead of them. I guess my confidence stems from me downplaying my abilities for so long, from childhood to now.
Was music something that you knew you always wanted to do?
[Laughs] never in my fucking life bro.
If music wasn’t on the vision board while growing up Ingleside, Texas — what was your childhood like?
I was a young boy in the middle of nowhere thinking he was going to play sports for the rest of his life. You ever saw Friday Night Lights? I imagined that to be my life growing up.
When did music become the turning point?
The summer I graduated, I opened up for a group that went by the name ASF. I got this feeling, I’ve been chasing that feeling ever since.
You been working on a lot of new music out in LA, right?
Tons. I am sitting on more music now than ever before.
Will we be getting EP and full-length projects or a bunch of singles?
I’m not exactly sure what we will be doing. Still have to iron out some things. But new music coming in August.
What’s next for you?
As his artistry continues to reach new highest, it’s evident that Chris56 shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. For the familiar streets of South Texas, to the industry-driven, stardom filled city of angels, Chris56 has his sights set on achieving the impossible.