Residing in San Diego, California, Hello Existence is the creative project from the gifted singer/songwriter C.J. Sanchez. Formally living in the Coachella Valley of Southern California, CJ moved to San Diego in early 2018. That year he released his debut EP “Vol. I” under the stage name Hello Existence and received much success. Known for his detailed lyricism and explosive live performances, Sanchez has been previously compared to Elliott Smith and Ryan Adams. He is currently working on his latest Hello Existence EP, set to roll out later this year!
“Cigarettes” by Hello Existence is everything you’d expect it to be and more. A satisfying head buzz, Hello Existence begins “Cigarettes” with a slow and steady melancholic rhythm. CJ expertly transitions into an upbeat and lighthearted melody to sweep you away. As a powerhouse vocalist, CJ’s raw energy and true grit shines its brightest during the spectacular hook. CJ sings “Your love’s a highway robber with a gun. And I know whatever I’ve got babe, ain’t enough. Oh baby, you know it ain’t enough... So pull your trigger and lay me down”, in a poetic lyrical surrender and so much emotion it bleeds through the speakers. Proving his undeniable lyrical gifts, CJ presents his heart and soul to his listener to form connections. Hello Existence has laid a solid foundation for future releases. Authentic to the core and bringing real music back to the industry, stay on the lookout for Hello Existence!
Check out “Cigarettes” here and read more in our exclusive interview below!
Hi CJ! Welcome to BuzzMusic, how did you choose the name Hello Existence? What does it represent for you?
One of my friends had said it during a conversation to describe their initial thought upon waking up with the sun in their face in addition to their first hangover. Another friend who was there looked over at me right away and said “That should be your name”. I sort of just chuckled and shrugged it off, but moments later I got a huge smile on my face and started shouting “That’s perfect!”. At the time it didn’t mean anything, it just sounded right. The name is ambiguous enough to where it can mean whatever you want it to, but for me it means realization— of self, life, everything. A true awakening.
Let’s talk about “Cigarettes”! We love the lyricism, you’re very talented. What’s the meaning behind this track? What inspired it?
Thank you. Hmm. Apparently I have a burning desire for my lover to gun me down haha. I don’t know. When I first wrote it, it was just a story. It still is just story, but the theme is always different. Sometimes it’s about letting go of something you know is bad for you. Sometimes it’s about diving fully into whatever it is that scares you. I’d be more curious to know what other people think it’s about. Songs are just songs until someone listens I think. That’s when they really become something and develop a meaning.
How did you get into music? What age did you start performing/writing?
My dad. He played a lot of great music when I was growing up. From Tom Petty and Neil Young to Led Zeppelin and Queens of the Stone Age. He plays guitar and got me one when I was ten. I started writing when I was eleven. There was a brief period of time in my late teens when I didn’t really touch my guitar. Definitely wasn’t writing or making anything new. Then around twenty or twenty-one something clicked and I dove back into making things. I didn’t start performing in front of people until I was twenty-two, but I love it!
What theme can we expect from your new EP later this year?
The goal for this next EP is to display as much of my own sound as possible. I’m still fairly new as an artist and haven’t really got to solidify my sound. I have so many ideas floating around in my head and I’m finally in place where I’m working with a producer and musicians who can really help me bring those ideas to life. I’m very excited to share it with everyone once it’s finished.
Can you describe your stage presence for someone who has never seen you live before?
It can be best compared to the angsty teenager singing sad songs at the top of their lungs alone in their bedroom (aka our best selves). I’m just kidding, but I do tend to put a lot into my solo sets. The aim is always to get lost in the performance during the set. At least during the songs. In between songs it just depends on my mood. Sometimes I’m really silly and loud. Other times I can be more reserved and shy I guess. Now that I have a band the shows are going to start getting bigger. The songs are all coming to life beautifully. I can’t wait.
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