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Meet Christopher Powe

Today we’d like to introduce you to Christopher Powe.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My musical career started at a very young age. I started on the drums at three years old and then switched over to the clarinet in elementary school. My mother then pushed me to pick up the alto saxophone in middle school, and its been my main instrument ever since. I played in my high school jazz band which furthered my love of music. I also played at a community arts center in Leimert Park called the Fernando Pullum Community Arts Center. The center has provided me with multiple opportunities, such as performing with Ciara and Missy Elliot at the 2018 American Music Awards, opening for Earth Wind and Fire, playing with singer/songwriter Aloe Blacc, etc.

After graduating high school, I attended a music intensive summer program in Boston, Massachusetts at Berklee College of Music, where I met incredible artists from all over the world. Then I went back to Berklee in the fall to start my undergraduate studies. I met and played with many artists from all over the world. I even had the opportunity of going to New York City twice to play shows with artists I met at college.

Now that quarantine has me back home in Los Angeles, I am taking time to relax, but also put more time into the things that I wasn’t able to fully do while being in college. I’m putting in more time into developing my craft than I was able to before. Whether that may be practicing the saxophone, flute, or piano, learning different music production techniques, or writing music. I am also keeping myself busy with collaborations with different artists that I met while in college.

Has it been a smooth road?
There has definitely been hiccups along the way, but I was always able to get back on track. As an artist, there is always the drive to push the boundaries of what is popular or trending. Especially being a musician, I am always searching for how I can stretch my voice through my horn. And this doesn’t happen overnight. It’s the hours of practicing and rehearsals that nobody sees where this discovery and transformation takes place, what musicians call “being in the shed.” The greats who we put up on pedestals, like John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, etc. were always breaking boundaries and expanding their artistry. And as artists today, it is our job to do the same.

I use to compare myself to other musicians I admired and that would always get me into musical funks, where I didn’t want to touch my horn or play anymore. I would always go to my family for advice, and they were always supportive of me. They would always push me to better myself and have helped me become the person I am today. I also would always ask myself, “Can you envision your life without music being at the center?” The answer would always be no, and that has helped me push forwards with my artistry and love for music.

There have also been moments where I thought about quitting music because of self-doubt. Before my senior year of high school, I thought I was going to pursue a career in marine biology and just continue to play music as a hobby. There were many people who told me that it was foolish to think about going to Berklee and that I shouldn’t pursue a career in music. And I use to believe the naysayers. But It wasn’t until I performed for the American Music Awards that I was sure I was going to pursue a career in music. After that, things started falling into place. I got accepted to Berklee, and my experiences in my first year there have shaped me to be the artist I am right now.

Can you give our readers some background on your music?
I am a musician studying at Berklee College of Music. I am majoring in Music Business/Management and minoring in music production. My primary instrument is alto saxophone, and I am currently teaching myself flute and piano.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love the layout of Los Angeles. It never feels like you are in the same city, one part of the city may look and feel completely different than another part. And after growing up my whole life in the city, I know there are still areas I have never been before. I also love the diversity of the city. There are so many different cultures that you can immerse yourself in when traveling throughout the different parts of Los Angeles. Finally, I like the weather. Even though being on the east coast for school and experiencing actual seasons was fun, it’s nice that LA has good weather year round.

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