1. Hello Chris, can you tell me a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician?
I grew up in Boston, Massachusetts and starting singing at the age of 5. I would sing around the house or in the car all the time. I loved playing the piano and eventually moved on to guitar. Throughout middle school, I learned my favorite songs on guitar from youtube videos. I eventually took lessons and performed at my first local open mic when I was 13. I was hooked. I love performing and from there, I’ve had an obsession with live music and now play over one hundred shows a year at bars, restaurants, festivals, etc. Being able to connect with people on stage is so powerful. Traveling to various cities and states is the best part of the job!
2. When did you start listening to country music and when did you know you wanted a career in it?
I have always been drawn to the authenticity and emotion in country music but it was much less popular in Boston when I was growing up. I would listen to country radio but since folk, rock, and pop were more common, those genres that had a strong influence on the music I wrote and played. I came to Nashville a few years ago and fell in love with the city and what country music represents. Since that day, it has been country music all the time. I’ve been here for almost two years now and continue to write and record country music. I think country music suits my voice well and allows me to effectively says what I want to say.
3. What is the background story behind your latest single “Country at Heart?”
I wrote “Country at Heart” about my personal experience of moving from Boston to Nashville in the summer of 2017. I think there is the stereotype that one has to grow up on a farm and drive a truck down south to write country music, when in reality, country music is so much more than that. I wrote this song to reflect on why I’m moved to Nashville and why I believe that I can be a real country artist. It is all about speaking the truth. It is definitely my most personal song and enables me to connect with the my audience well.
4. Where were you at when you first heard your music on the radio?
I was driving home from a Sunday evening gig and listening to 101.7 The Bull Boston’s Hit Country. They do a great segment that features New England country artists called Backyard Country. I was listening when the DJ Jessica Callahan said “next up is up and coming young artist, Chris Ruediger, with his new single.” It was pretty amazing to hear my music on a prominent country station in the area. Still every time I hear one of my songs on the radio I freak out a bit. Shout out to Jessica and 101.7 The Bull for all they do to help New England country artists!
5. Who are some of your musical icons?
Some of my favorite country artists are Brett Young, Old Dominion, Luke Combs, Kane Brown, and Dierks Bentley. Watching country music evolve is really interesting and I love what some of these guys are doing. I also grew up listening to rock icons including The Beatles, The Stones, Billy Joel, and Elvis Presley and pop and rap artists like Ed Sheeran and Justin Timberlake.
Writers such as Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton, and Ben Rector are amazing in what they do. Their music always evokes a lot of emotion.
6. What is your studio process when recording new music?
I am constantly writing and recording work tapes. When I am thinking about a project and what to record, I listen back to the work tapes and try to narrow down on a few ones to demo. I select from those demos which ones I think would work well on a record. I’ve been fortunate enough to record at Sound Emporium Studios in Nashville and The Bridge Sound and Stage in Boston. I have had the help of amazing engineers and session musicians. They really understand the vision I have for my music and make it happen.
7. Is there anything new coming up with your music in 2019?
I am working on a bigger project in the late spring and early summer that I hope I will be able to release in 2019. I would like to get linked with a producer that fits my style. I think my writing is constantly improving and I am excited to put out something new.
8. Is there anything else you would like to share?
This summer I will be splitting my time between Boston and Nashville. I am booking full band shows in both areas and want to hang with you! My schedule will be uploaded soon at http://www.chrisruediger.com and on my socials (FB: https://www.facebook.com/ChrisRuedigerMusic/
9. What is one of your favorite quotes?
One of my favorite quotes is “if an opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” This industry can be tough and frustrating, but it is all about getting out there and creating opportunities for yourself to succeed. The ones that stay positive and grind it out have the most success.