Introducing Chris Stylez: Soul Without Borders
By Souleo. The laid back grooves of the Caribbean, the introspective lyrics of some of Canada's best singer-songwriters and the edge of New York City's hip-hop influenced soul all merge into the musical style of rising artist, Chris Stylez. The Canadian born international R&B artist is steadily rising after opening for Ne-Yo, Wyclef Jean, Jagged Edge and more. Recently he partnered up with the NY-based production team of Jimi Kendrix & J. Math (50 Cent, Rick Ross, MTV) and has been receiving spins across North America on stations such as Atlanta's V103.3FM and Toronto's Flow 93.5FM. Chris creates relatable work that moves listeners with the poetic and lyrically infused melodic narratives of his songs on the EP, Dreamer.
Read on as Chris talked overcoming the street life, how the 9/11 terrorism attacks influenced his music, his connection to reggae legends Jimmy Cliff and Harris "BB" Seaton and more.
He's survived growing up without a dad and being called too American:
I grew up with no real father figure and went through a period where I allowed myself to be influenced by people close to me. I lost friends to senseless violence. Eventually, I left Canada to pursue the American Dream. In Toronto, it was difficult to break through because I would be told to wait until the bands I was working with got their shine or that my music was too "American." I've come to embrace all my experiences and challenges as part of life. It keeps me humble and focused on the big picture.
He's not afraid to get political:
My song, "Dear America" came to me the night after the 9/11 attacks. I was close enough to the towers to feel the rumble of the crash when everything went down. I may not be American but I felt as affected as any American which inspired me to write a letter in the form of a song. I'm a rebel. I say things people are hesitant to say and do what those same people don't want to do. The game needs new leaders of soul. I'm bringing truth like my elders before me such as Bob Marley and Bob Dylan.
He's got connections to reggae royalty:
My father, George Allen, is first cousin to Jimmy Cliff and my granduncle is reggae singer and record producer Harris "BB" Seaton, who was also a member of The Gaylads. I never even knew that I was related to Jimmy until my grandmother brought it to my attention just before she passed away a few years ago. I only recently reunited with BB Seaton. Knowledge of my musical lineage inspired me to challenge myself more than ever before and to push the limits. In my opinion, Jimmy Cliff and BB Seaton are Jamaican music royalty which makes me realize that I should not be taking my position lightly as an artist, writer or musician.
He's not afraid to have a little fun:
I'm a big kid! I've been told that I always look so serious but generally I'm a clown. I always told myself that I would play a comedic role on television someday, kind of like "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air."
For more information on Chris please visit:
Check out Chris' single, "Fade Away" from his EP Dreamer: