Chris Mardini is preparing for the release of his self-titled, debut album, out October 15, and ahead of the release, he’s revealed the album’s opener, “I’ll Try.”
The song acts as a powerful introduction to Mardini’s moody sound. New Noise caught up with Mardini to talk more about inspirations, the upcoming album, and the latest single.
How do you channel your emotions and feelings into your songs, and why is that important?
Generally, my songwriting process is contingent on what’s going on in my life and how certain events trigger me emotionally. The ideas tend to flow out of me better when there’s stress, conflict, anger, or sadness in my life. For example, if everything’s going well, and I’m in a good, happy headspace, it’s a lot harder for me to sit down and come up with lyrics.
There’s a silver lining when stuff’s going rough in my life; at least I can still write about it. I think the emotions I funnel through via the song’s lyrics will significantly impact the way the song comes together. Perhaps I’ll sing a different way, or maybe the instruments will be played differently depending on the mood of the lyrics and the melody.
What was the writing and recording process like for your latest single?
The process for completing “I’ll Try” in the studio was a lengthy one. I always have so much fun bringing my thoughts and ideas to life in the studio, and often, it takes lots of time and effort to perfect a song. I usually have an idea of what the song should sound like and what effects it should have on the listener before I even start working on it in the studio.
In the case of “I’ll Try,” there were so many new ideas and thoughts that kept pouring out of my boys and me. It was so hard not to try and include everything. Even months and months after initially recording the song in the studio, I kept saying to myself, “this sounds so awesome, but how can it be better? How can it be bigger?”
I don’t necessarily consider myself a perfectionist or anything in that realm. But I knew that this song had to be near perfect. We remixed the song and re-recorded the vocals and instruments in the song so many times, each time attempting to give the song the right energy and emotion it deserved. I feel this version does the song justice.
What process do you use when writing, and how does it help your flow and style?
I usually start with a guitar/keyboard part when writing a song. I’ll either develop a synth sound or beat in Logic. Other times, I’ll just sit down and play my guitar. I get it to a point where I’m comfortable playing it, and I like the sound.
When I feel I’m ready, I’ll start developing a vocal melody, and slowly but surely, lyrics will pour out of me. Having this starting blueprint throughout helps me develop continuity in my sound and helps give my boys clarity on what to do when playing and recording the song.
Is there anything else coming up you want to announce, like a full album, tour, etc.?
I have a whole album coming out in October! It’s special (at least to me) and embodies everything I’m about. I put so much heart and soul into every moment of every song on the album, and I hope that it will positively impact people everywhere. My number-one goal is for this album to connect with people and for listeners to have the chance to apply it to whatever’s going on in their own lives. Also, I’m so damn pumped to be playing out live again. It’s my absolute favorite thing to do in the world.
What artists are you listening to the most right now?
I’ve been into King Krule recently. His music is so creative and emotional, really like nothing I’ve ever heard. I always listen to more-than-healthy amounts of Kanye, and I’m also really into the band IDLES. Also, I’m a huge Nirvana fan; ever since my freshman year of high school, I’ve been obsessed with them. Led Zeppelin is one of my favorite bands of all time. On the other hand, I’m also a big Playboi Carti fan.
Where do you want to see your music in five years?
I just want to see people react to my music in any way. I want my sound to move people in a way that helps them get through their daily lives. That’s the goal for me. So, while getting on the top charts is cool and all, for me, it doesn’t mean shit if people view my music as replaceable and meaningless. I just want the music to be remembered fondly.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Full album drops in October! If you like my stuff, stay tuned! A whole lot is coming your way.
Watch the lyric video for “I’ll Try” here:
Photo courtesy of Chris Mardini.