Today we’d like to introduce you to Chrxstal Sarah.
Chrxstal, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I grew up surrounded by music and listening to my mother sing. I remember listening to a lot of gospel and Motown music. I was a pretty sassy toddler and was always trying to sing or make a lot of random noise. My mom even told me that I was being loud in a grocery store once and based off of the tone of my voice a woman told her that she knew I was going to be a singer! I’m not sure what happened, but all of that sassiness left when I hit six or seven, and I got insanely shy.
But once my mom found out I could really sing, all bets were off. She literally dragged me to the church doors screaming and crying because she wanted me to be in the choir. I’ll never forget that day! From there it was just a whirlwind of the arts – church choir, school choir, acting classes, dance classes, guitar and piano lessons, musical theater. I learned to love it all, but music is what really stuck. I didn’t start writing my own music until I picked up the guitar around 12-years-old.
From there, I got into production and attempted to learn more about the music industry and where I could find my place in it. I surrounded myself with as much music as I possibly could, I even joined a DJ club and started deejaying while I was in college. I can’t imagine life without music, and I’m so grateful that I’ve even been given the chance to continuously create and inspire people with it.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I’d say I’m still in the beginning stages of my journey as far as trying to “make it” in the industry, but so far it hasn’t been smooth. I think all independent artists feel that way, though. It’s a beautiful struggle I suppose. Making music enables me to meet some of the most talented, eccentric people and create incredible art.
But a lot of us are constantly worried about where we’re going to get the money to fund our next projects if we can ever live comfortably off gigs, how long it’ll take to be able to actually sustain ourselves off of music alone. There are a lot of “what-if’s.” Not to mention the mental health issues that a lot of musicians face when constantly digging into themselves for public consumption.
It’s not always easy when you’re constantly worried about whether you’re good enough or if the struggles will pay off in the end, The only thing that gets me through it is knowing that I would never want to live without creating music and when people tell me my song inspired them or got them through a rough time. If I can bring healing to people through my music, that’s something I’d never give up.
We’d love to hear more about what you do.
I’m a singer/songwriter and producer. One thing I definitely wanted to do was dabble in a bit of everything. I never wanted to be stuck asking anyone for anything. I wanted to be able to drop a song all on my own if I wanted to. This is why a few years ago I bought everything I needed for a home studio and purchased FL Studio. I would definitely say I’m a singer who produces and I’m not a pro at mixing or mastering, but I never wanted just to be the “cute singer” who didn’t know what the hell was going on in the studio or didn’t have a hand in the crafting and finalization of her own music.
I say this also in regards to my music and its genre. If I had to give my music a genre, I’d call it alt-R&B, heavy emphasis on the “alt.” I get really annoyed with myself because R&B has made such a huge comeback and it would probably be easier for me to stay in that lane and get noticed quicker. But I love all types of music – folk, ambient, rock, pop, hip hop, indie, etc. – and producing taught me that I’m attracted to the weirdest, most unusual sounds. Deejaying got me into electronic music, and I often feature on a lot of EDM tracks, which has bled a bit into my own sounds.
Honestly, I also worry a lot about being a black girl and trying to do all of this. The world has a very specific way in which it views us. I’m still in the process of trying to bridge it all together, but I’m learning to appreciate what sets me apart rather than trying to confine it.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I think the most important quality or characteristic intrinsic to success is authenticity. People say it all the time, but it really is true. There’s only so long you can keep up a facade or wear a mask.
You won’t be able to sustain a career off of trying to be someone else. And why would you want to? One thing I cherish so much is the fact that my listeners know me better than anyone in the world. Better than my friends and family.
They get all the inner-workings of my mind and thoughts, my opinions, beliefs, my fears. When people tell me they can relate to my lyrics and emotion, it’s honestly the best feeling in the whole world. It makes me feel less alone and less crazy.
- Website: https://soundcloud.com/chrxstalmusic
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: chrxstalcreates
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chrxstal/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/chrxstalcreates
Jaclyn Moy, Alec Luu, Red Heart Media