Alright, so first thing’s first; what name do you go by? Because I’ve heard different people call you different things so let’s just set the record straight here.
Onstage: Christopher Daniel, and… I guess it’s mostly been my music friends who call me D-Chaz; with family it’s Danny, and anyone else: Daniel.
What instruments do you play?
Guitar, a little bit of piano… a little bit of ocarina actually!
Are you a typically a solo artist or do you play with other people—in a band?
I’m usually a solo artist. I’ve done groups before and I was in a duo for a while, but as of now, mostly just solo [work].
Tell us about yourself as an artist.
I think I started singing back in junior high—I was listening to a lot of Christian music—and I was taking choir… The director was trying to give us guys an incentive to get better at singing and he said, “don’t you know that girls like singing?” So that’s where it started! I learned guitar—I only took classes for like a year and I just kind of taught myself the rest. That was back when I lived close to Redondo, and when I moved out here [to Riverside] I had just kind of done it on my own.
So how long have you been playing guitar?
Oh man… Eight, nine years now? I haven't really gotten all that [much] better—I mean I’ve just been able to play a little bit by ear… ish, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten.
But you play well enough to get yourself by as an artist? And I know for a while you were in the Studio Arts Ensemble at Norco.
Tell us about your music.
My music is mostly, I guess, indie pop. I used to do a lot of rock because one of my biggest influences was Linkin Park; I was involved in some rock bands back in high school… we weren't all that great. I write based on small things from my life—I try not to keep them too personal because I don’t want people to know who I’m talking about or what I’m referring to—[but] I’ll change things up, I’ll make up a little story or write from another perspective, but it all stems from something in my life…
I’ve [heard] from people that I do sound like praise music… or the Jonas Brothers.
Some of my other influences are Ed Sheeran and this group called Gunger. I try to write a little more… kind of like them because that’s kind of what I’ve been going for.
Tell us about your time at Norco, in the Norco Music department.
It’s been a lot of fun and really stressful. I think working in the studio has been my favorite part, just because you get access to a studio… Overall, Brady and Kamerin have just been really encouraging and have really pushed their students… It’s been really fun.
Do you have a favorite memory or experience from being in Norco Music? I know you already mentioned that being in the studio was your favorite part.
I can’t really think of one right now… but like, every time I’m in the iso-booth… It’s like my element. The first time I was in MUC—it was I guess before they started doing solo stuff so like if you had your own song and wanted to record by yourself, they hadn’t done that before—I had recorded at a home studio before I registered for MUC and the guy I recorded with took Pro Tools with Brady, so he was close with him, and Brady heard my song and that’s when he told him to tell me to get into MUC. When we each had to play in front of the class at the beginning of the semester, I played that song and I guess hearing it live is when Brady got the idea like, “oh, let’s start doing solo recordings!” So I got to do mine and it was just me and Brady; they didn’t have the iso-booth back then so it was just right in front of the sound board on the desk. It was really cool, it was almost like my first bonding moment with Brady… I’d say that’s my favorite memory.
What are you doing now as far as school, anything musical or professional?
I’m not so much studying music, I’m just kind of doing it on my own. I don’t have too many gigs lined up, but I’m doing a video series this weekend—it’s like an interview/performance series with Kory Garrett. Right now I’m studying in Valley College for something else—water technology—that’s completely random from music.
Do you have any hobbies outside of music?
Gaming, I’d say. Netflix, cooking… I’m [actually] not too much of a gamer I think because I don’t play that many games, but I do play a lot. I put in hours. I do write songs still—I have this thing on this website where I write music for people and they pay me; it’s all done online.
Do you have any goals that you’ve set for yourself, either short-term or long-term?
I do want to put another EP out, if not an album, in the future. That’s why I’ve been writing and recording… So as far as music goes, that’s it.
Is there anything else you’d like to add? If there’s anyone reading this interview, is there something you want to say, something you want people to know about you?
I do have an EP that I put out a couple years ago… It seems to have gone unnoticed, but it’s on Spotify, Amazon, iHeartRadio, iTunes—it’s under Daniel Chavez, the EP is called Tonight, so yeah. GO LOOK IT UP!
- Clarity written by Devin Renee • Devin Renee (vocals) Brady Kerr (piano) Christopher Daniel (acoustic guitar) Adam Jauregui (bass/cajón)
- Octavia written by Christopher Daniel • Christopher Daniel (vocals/acoustic guitar/piano) Big Man (vocals) Brady Kerr (programming)
- Ghost written by Christopher Daniel • Christopher Daniel (vocals/acoustic guitar)
Out of the Darkness | Into the Light
- Footsteps written by BigMan and Daniel Chavez • BigMan (vocals) Daniel Chavez (vocals) Brady Kerr (programming)
- Giants written by Daniel Chavez • Daniel Chavez (vocals/backing vocals/guitar/programming) Crystal Chavez (piano)
- Look Up written by Eduardo Arvilla, Daniel Chavez and BigMan • BigMan (vocals) Daniel Chavez (vocals/piano) Jourdan Montano (vocals) Eduardo Arvilla (lead guitar) Ryan Hickman (rhythm guitar) Steen Kevett (bass) Jake Kelley (drums)
- Fiend For Love written by Dennis Vong • Dennis Vong (vocals) Fluid the Prodigy (vocals) Daniel Chavez (acoustic guitar) Brady Kerr (piano/programming) Steen Kevett (bass)
- The Longing written by Kory Garrett and Kevin Allen (vocals/drums) Kory Garrett (rhythm guitar) Daniel Jimenez (rhythm guitar) Alex Zimmer (lead guitar) Steen Kevett (bass)
- Like Wolves written by Tony Aleman, Jordan Macias, Michael Tafoya, and Vidane • Michael Tafoya (vocals) Daniel Chavez (guitar/vocals) Tony Aleman (guitar/keys/bass/programming) Dominic Valenzuela (guitar) Jordan Macias (guitar)
- Dying Candle written by Daniel Chavez • Daniel Chavez (vocals/guitar/programming) Tony Aleman (bass) Brady Kerr (programming)
- Speak Up written by L!R@, Matthew Hobbs, Big Man, and Courtney Redwine • Big Man (lead vocals) Daniel Chavez (vocals) Courtney Redwine (backing vocals) L!R@ (guitar/vocals) Dominic Valenzuela (guitar) Marshall German (piano) Louis Ojeda (bass) Kevin Allen (drums)