As someone who has had a life-long relationship with music, and only being exposed to the ‘big names’ for most of my childhood – seeking out and listening to indie artists has been a big part of how I have expanded my musical library and truly broadened my love for all genres of music.
Remix is about supporting musicians with social media education + social media management services, but we also think that it is important to actually highlight them and share their stores through our platforms too.
So without further ado, I present to you the very first Remix Indie Music Friday Feature Artist – Chris Rio.
Chris actually has a really special place in my heart because not only was he a client, he also worked at Remix as an intern when we were JUST getting started and was a big part of getting this company off the ground.
He is also one of THE most genuine and kind people I have ever met – and let’s not forget he ACTUALLY has the voice of an angel. When I think of what an angel sounds like I hear him singing, every single time.
Chris Rio is a Nigerian R&B singer/songwriter who gained prominence after he was a top 8 finalist on The Voice Nigeria in 2017. With musical influences like Usher Raymond, Mali Music, Lucky Dube, Westlife amongst others, he bares his soul with his unique delivery and versatility across different genres, and his debut EP “Unveiled” released in 2015 is a prime example of his musical ability.
I interviewed Chris about his journey as a musician, and we also got some awesome insights into what they think makes social media such an effective tool to share their music with the world.
A Little Bit About Being a Musician
1: How long have you been a musician?
I remember the first time I went to the studio to record a song was the summer of 2012, but I started writing songs two years prior. So it’s been officially 8 years since my first song was released, but 10 as a songwriter.
2: What made you decide to pursue a career in music?
I realized I had the gift quite early in life, but I was much too shy to do anything about it. To be honest, it was a mix of peer pressure and what I believe to be God’s timing. I had tried to write songs before but I thought the song was corny, but then school came along and a classmate of mine had a note full of original songs he’d written. That coincided with a time when I decided to take my faith more seriously, and within a couple of days, I was writing songs like there was no tomorrow. Something just unlocked in me, and I haven’t stopped writing ever since.
3: What do you love most about being a musician?
I love the freedom it gives me to skillfully express. Being a bit of an introvert myself, I have often found words hard to come by in conversation, but they flow out seamlessly in the music. For me, it’s a beautiful form of release. I also love the effect that music has on other people, and over the course of the last 8 years, I’ve serenaded more lovely faces than I can remember, and even had the pleasure of some of my original music being the soundtrack of a number of weddings (lovers first dance). That brings its own fulfillment, and makes all the time and effort I’ve put into refining my gift over the years so worth it. The magic happens when you’ve created a piece and it resonates so well with someone that it means something very specific to you, entirely different from your own perception. I love that.
4: What is the hardest thing you have had to overcome in your career? Something you did not foresee when you decided to pursue music?
For me, it’s been just finding that sheer “Beyonce” boldness. It takes a lot of boldness to stand on any stage and sing a popular song, much less sing an original in such a way that people can connect to it. I wasn’t born with that instant charm, so I’ve had to work really hard on myself to incorporate it and I’m still learning that skill. I think in a way personally, every time I get the chance to sing live, it’s an opportunity to confront everything that I’m fearful or insecure about in myself, and it’s an attempt to conquer it. It flows into other aspects of my life, and I don’t take it for granted at all. Some days are better than others, and it does help when you have actual fans who are constantly supporting you and grabbing everything you release. But no matter how many times I do it, I never lose the jitters and while that can be off-putting sometimes, I believe that’s what makes the whole experience of performing so captivating. Every stage and every audience is different, how do you adapt in the face of the pressure, how do you recover from every flat note or missed cue, how do you prove yourself and end with a bang? It’s a whole package, but it’s fulfilling.
5: What is one thing about being in the music industry that people would be surprised to learn?
I don’t think people fully understand how much work and effort goes into making ONE song. It’s a lot harder than people think. I think everyone should attempt recording a song at least once in their lives, it really helps to put so much into perspective, and helps listeners to appreciate the artists who are on top of their game so much more. There’s more that I would like to share as an answer to this question, but it’s a loaded gun – so I will save my further thoughts for another time.
And Now Onto The Social Media Questions!
6: Do you have a favorite social media platform? Why?
It’s easily Instagram. I love that it’s so visual and user-friendly, and there’s just a good variety of options and creative ways to share using the platform.
7: What made you decide to start using social media as a way to promote your music?
I think the vast majority of people within my target audience were active on social media, so it just made sense as the most cost-effective option to reach them there. Injecting my music into the conversations usually made for discovery and appreciation for my craft, so it proved rewarding very quickly.
8: How has social media impacted your music career? Would you say that it’s an effective marketing tool?
It’s garnered me more relevance and discoverability than I think I would’ve been able to achieve without it. I especially enjoyed it’s significance while I was on The Voice, garnering over 10000 followers in a few short months. To this day, I get followers who only just watched my videos on Youtube and are trying to connect with me. It’s the best way to stay top of mind with my followers and the people who enjoy my music, so I’m really grateful for the captive audience it’s afforded me and the possibility to reach even more people with engaging content. It’s a never-ending cycle, and it pays well.
9: What advice would you give to other musicians who want to use social media as a way to grow their audience?
I would say be genuine while creating content and be specific about your brand. Stick to it. And like they say, consistency is the name of the game.
A Little More About Chris
I’m really funny, once you get past my outer shell. My wife and I laugh all day every day, my siblings look forward to my celebrity impressions & my closest friends can’t stand me (haha). I wouldn’t ever do stand up or anything like that, but if you know you know. 😉
Know Any Indie Musicians?
Do you know an indie musician who loves social media as much as we do? Contact us today – we’d love to tell their story!