Chris Lane Transcends Genre Lines With ‘Girl Problems’
Chris Lane grew up listening to many genres of music, including country, pop and R&B, and his new album Girl Problems embodies each of these influences.
While the “Fix” singer says he listened to everything from Garth Brooks and Alan Jackson to Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw, he also loved more modern pop acts like Usher, Justin Timberlake and the Backstreet Boys.
“Country music to me is what I grew up on,” he tells Taste of Country, settling into a chair in a conference room at his label, Big Loud Records. “Nowadays, it’s expanding so much that there’s room for a little bit everything, especially with the sound of it. For me, it’s still the same idea with the storytelling and the lyrics.”
Lane, Taste of Country’s No. 1 artist to watch for 2015, says he meshes together the sounds of the artists he grew up listening to with more modern day flair to form his own kind of country music. As a result, his brand of country features his sultry falsetto with urban rhythms and plenty of banjo accompaniment.
While he is well aware that his falsetto is not the norm in country music, the singer hopes it separates him from what other country acts are doing. So far, it has as Lane’s No. 1 single “Fix” accumulated the most first week single adds from a debut male artist in Country Aircheck history.
“I’m just super blessed that people took a chance on this song and that country radio is playing it,” Lane says of the track, penned by Sarah Buxton, Jesse Frasure and Abe Stoklasa. “People are downloading it, and showing up at the shows, and singing along. It’s so cool.”
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Lane is currently on the road with Rascal Flatts for their Rhythm & Roots Tour and has been playing many of the tracks off Girl Problems every night. In fact, it was performing Mario’s 2004 hit “Let Me Love You” in the live setting and seeing the crowd’s reaction that convinced him to feature the song on the album.
“I’ve been playing it in my live show for a couple years and it was one of my favorite songs to sing every single night when I was on stage,” he says of the R&B track. “The reaction was always just like … everybody knew the words to that song and it was huge 15 years ago. It was just one of those things. I took it to my team and I’m like, ‘I would love to make a country [version] to this.'”
Lane explains that lyrically, “Let Me Love You” was already there and says the song’s story line easily transformed it into a country song simply with new production and added banjo features.
Another track, “For Her,” Lane calls his “Backstreet Boys moment” on Girl Problems. Written by Matt Dragstrem, Kelly Archer and Sarah Buxton, Lane says the moment he heard the sentimental ballad he loved everything about it.
“I wanted a song every single night that I could dedicate to all the couples in the room and to all the girls,” he says. “This is my song to them.”
Lane had a hand in co-writing one of the album’s 12 tracks, a song called “All About You,” with Andy Albert and Jordan Schmidt. As he explains, he wanted to write a new version of Rascal Flatts’ “Take Me There”
“That was the idea behind the song, I guess you could say. It was a sweetly written song,” he shares, “and one I can’t wait to sing every night.”
With an album titled Girl Problems, surely the 31-year-old singer has had his fair share of female drama over the years. When asked a frequent problem that his friends have approached him with asking for advice, he admits that he’s not the girl expert.
“I’m usually not the guy that anybody comes to about advice on that, that’s for sure,” he says with a laugh. “Right now, I don’t have any kind of girl problems, whether it’s good or bad, because I don’t have a relationship. I’m just more concentrated on the career, so I’d probably not be the best one to come to over advice.”
Instead of giving advice, Lane offers a unique take on those various relationship dilemmas on his genre-bending album, Girl Problems, out now.
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