Taking his talents from South Florida to Atlanta is producer, singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Chris Hart, who recently released a treat for the years with his new single, "Are You There?."
When Hart first started learning his way around the guitar at the mere age of ten, learning by ear was the only way to achieve the sounds of his influences like Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and AC/DC. After moving to Atlanta, Hart began exploring more melodic r&b and jazz-like approaches to broaden his horizons.
The self-taught musician and producer takes immense pride in complex chords and arrangements, which listeners can hear in his latest single, "Are You There?." This song is a bright, anthemic, and high-energy experience that sings of wondering if someone really cares for you after all the confusion and turmoil they've sent your way.
The new single, "Are You There?" kicks open with a bright and filtered electric guitar riff that quickly breaks down into a dreamy and beachy sonic atmosphere where each instrumental brings its own vibrant and rich flair. Listening to Chris Hart's energetic and charismatic vocal delivery, he expands on those confusing moments where he questions if a lover really cares for his wellbeing and time.
We admire how Hart opens his heart within his conceptual and emotional lyrical content but blasts through our speakers with wailing electric guitar melodies and tightly-wound alternative-rock instrumentals to keep the energy high and mighty. Taking us to the outro, Hart brings us around the anthemic hook one last time while sending us off on our journeys to clarity.
Ask the questions that really matter with some inspiration from Chris Hart's latest single, "Are You There?" now available on all digital streaming platforms.
We love the relatable meaning and high-energy groove within your new single, "Are You There?." What experiences inspired you to create a song about love's confusing moments?
Thanks for having me! For me, this song isn't about romantic love, or at least that's not where my head was when I wrote it. My wife and I have actually been together since we were in high school! This song to me was more about the feeling of loneliness or abandonment that I get when thinking about people or friends who I used to be really close to and now I just don't hear from anymore. There are people who you think will just be in your life forever, and you don't realize at the moment that over time people grow and change and their priorities just shift away from each other. It's just part of getting older and it happens to everyone, but it can be a terrible feeling when you're scrolling through Instagram or something and you think, "wow I haven't talked to this person in like a year and we used to hang out every day." And it's not one person's fault over the other, it's just what happens gradually sometimes. It definitely happens romantically all the time, although that's usually a more dramatic change. I'm glad that the song can be interpreted that way too! It means I did a good enough job at not making it TOO specific to myself. That feeling of abandonment can land anywhere on the platonic to romantic spectrum. I think what I was trying to get at is that when you look back on those relationships, and you see where things are now, it's hard not to wonder if your relationship/friendship was ever real at all or if it was actually a result of convenience or something along those lines instead.
Why did you want "Are You There?" to deliver this exciting and energetic sonic experience, even though your lyrics take on a more emotional and confused approach?
I think that's just the way I write! if you were to look at my music projects and compare them to my notes and lyric books you'd probably think it was from two different artists. To me, faster music is more exciting to make. I like to sit behind the computer and bob my head along. But for whatever reason, the lyrics that come to my head always have some twinge of sadness or confusion. I think it's just the way I think about the world. We live in an era where we're more connected than ever but it can be very overwhelming and isolating, so those thoughts are more present in my mind. Writing happier lyrics feels kind of contrived to me sometimes like I'm not being honest. I also write lyrics independently of the actual instrumental parts. It's a little backward, but lyrics come to me sporadically throughout my life, and instrumental music-making is more of a start-to-finish type of thing where one idea can blossom into a whole song pretty quickly. I'll have a whole track laid out before I even think of lyrics for it. But I think having an upbeat song with more down lyrics makes for an interesting experience for people. And I think the process of making music like that is a way for me to cope and get through my own issues when I'm feeling depressed or anxious. Since I produce everything myself, it's a fun challenge trying to get my sadder lyrics to mesh well with a funky pop song or a rock song like "Are You There?" I'm definitely not the only artist who does this, but who knows? Maybe it'll become one of my trademarks or something.
Which genres and sounds would you say you're most comfortable performing? Where would you say "Are You There?" lies on that spectrum?
I'm most comfortable performing funk and R&B music. It's right in my wheelhouse. Guitar is my main instrument, and I love laying down a rhythm part and just blending into the band. You get your chance to do solos and show off a little also, but then you just fall right back into that pocket with the group. "Are You There?" is a bit of departure from that for me. It's more straight-ahead rock music than I usually play but there is a groove underneath that you can definitely dance to. Going forward, I think I'll probably blend a little more into the funk and R&B sound again. It's a style of music that I know myself and listeners can have a lot of fun with. The projects I've started since finishing this song are more in that lane so I'm not going to fight that instinct. I'm still early enough in my career that I can try different things and see what gets people interested, which is really exciting.
What was your main goal in terms of the experience you wanted to offer listeners when hitting play on "Are You There?" What did you want them to feel or realize?
I definitely wanted them to feel the energy right away. It starts with this jangly guitar riff that I tried to make sound almost like a ringtone like someone's calling you and it's about to get real. Then the song just takes off. "Are You There?" is really catchy and I think the sadder and kind of angry lyrics might catch people off guard. It's like a danceable breakup song. I want people to feel that this song has tension and release in it between the verses and the choruses. The way that the main guitar has the same rhythm throughout has this buildup effect that kind of explodes when the chorus kicks in. I want people to feel that, and more importantly, I want people to listen to the lyrics and recognize that everybody has felt that loss or loneliness to some degree. You're childhood best friend, your first love, your family, etc. Whatever it may be, not everybody is in your life forever, and there's a real intense emotion that comes with realizing that. There are a lot of questions that you probably have, and when they don't get answered you can start to feel like no one is listening at all. It's a more relatable song than I realized when I first started writing it.
What's next for you?
I'm working on a few more songs at the moment! I want to release 3-4 more songs before the end of the year so I can put a setlist together and hopefully try to start playing some shows with my own music. I play in a few bands around Atlanta but I'm ready to start doing my own thing and getting myself out there even more. This year is all about productivity, so I want to hit the ground running!