Q&A with: Christian French
For pre-med student Christian French, dropping out of Indiana University after his junior year was a "no brainer." The 22-year-old Fishers, Indiana native says, "You can always go back to school. You can't always hop on a tour with one of your favorite artists."
It's been over a year since French left school behind to tour with Chelsea Cutler. And now, the self-taught musician just released his first EP titled "Bright Side of the Moon" and simultaneously headlining his own tour across the country. Before stopping at the Subterranean on Sept. 5 in Chicago, French chatted with me about his journey from homegrown Hoosier to pop-meets-soul headliner.
Congratulations on your inaguaral tour! How does it feel to have the focus on you? It didn’t hit me at first. It made sense to happen. If someone would have told me a couple years ago [that] I was going on my own headlining tour, I would've been like, "You're crazy." Now it just makes sense. I’ve been trying to keep a cool head about it. [I'm] not trying to be overly excited. I’m ready to do the thing.
How did your parents feel about you dropping out of school only 13 credits away from graduation? I had decided I wanted to be a musician [before] I dropped out of school. My parents felt the same way. They didn't encourage me to drop out, but they fully supported the decision. "You should be doing this," they said. I’m hoping to get that piece of paper some day, but I'm not really worried about it. They're the type of parents who bandwagon around to all the midwest shows. I’ll definitely be seeing them quite a bit. I love that they follow me.
How do you connect with your fans? Social media is huge for every artist these days -- it's a way to instantly connect. If there’s any sound that people hear in life that they like, they immediately look [you] up and follow [you] day-to-day. It’s crazy to think about how it used to be. I enjoy talking to my fans every single day. I try to make time to go through my DMs and have that personal connection. It’s more genuine and a cohesive and everyone’s included type thing.
Who are the people attending your concerts? My fans are just the same as me. It’s crazy. My fans are genuine [people] who like positive messages and music. They’re working towards the right things in life. I try to switch it up and I like having every song have its own energy. I don’t have to stay to stay in the realm of pop. It’s whatever energy the song calls for is the type of energy I put into it.
What are you most excited about? I love doing what I'm doing. I put my emotions and everything [I] believe in into my art. [This is a] crazy lifestyle that I get to live. I’ll be pushing for this [career] as long as I can.