Posted on May 24 2018
This week we released a special product, the Summer Nights Sample Pack Volume 1 loaded with chill jazzy summer feels, featuring accomplished trumpeter Chris Stevens. We got a chance to sit down with Chris to hear a little bit about his musical background and the process behind recording for this release.
How did you get started in music ultimately choosing trumpet as your main instrument?
As a kid I was actually a drummer and my brother was playing trumpet. The ironic thing is that he ended up invading my territory and became the better drummer therefore making me pick up the trumpet. I stuck with it and ended up doing a year at Berklee School of Music and then finishing at Temple University. My brother became a touring drummer that now has a tour bus company while I have also been afforded great opportunities to play as a touring musician as well.
Who are some of the acts you’ve toured with?
Well while I was still in school I did extensive touring with Tye Tribbett and during this time I learned and grew so much as a musician, composer and performer. I was able to write some songs on guitar while also arranging musical sequences and creating horn and melody lines. I’ve also been able to perform with Eric Roberson, who has been important to contemporary soul music for a while now being one of the most accomplished independent artists in the genre.
Describe your approach to playing on the sample pack; what was your process?
I was just trying to keep up honestly, ha! But specifically I wanted to focus on good accompaniment adding special moments to help tell the overall story. Instead of just shredding and showing everything I could do through each change and sequence I really just wanted to place tasteful touches throughout the compositions. On parts of the sample pack, like “Creeks on Cobbs,” you can hear me using my trumpet mute to achieve a sound appropriate for the laid back theme that was established. My recording set up is very simple and stripped down consisting of my Zoom 85 recorder, and when I used the Harmon Mute a SM 98 Clip on Mic, right into Logic Pro X.
What are you currently working on and have coming up in the near future?
Well upon me making a guest appearance in La La Land I made some great connections with people, one being the guy who played Jazz Flute on Anchorman. On my upcoming project with my band Vertical Current I have him playing sax on the tune. The name of the record is “The Future is Bright,” and we recorded it all in one day for the most part. The name came to me after I sat back and heard the music excited for what's to come with it all!
What’s some advice you would give to musicians and producers coming up in the industry?
I would tell them to make sure they enjoy it all! If you’re confident and love what you do that will translate to the listeners. We can truly touch and inspire people deeply with what we do but it’s important to take inventory to make sure we are first enjoying it ourselves!