We had a chance to interview Kristopher. A Floridian singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist whose latest release, a cover of Ariana Grande’s infamous ‘Into You’, managed to steal our hearts and leave a lasting impression. We asked him some questions, to get to know more about his craft, his plans, and what goes through a musician’s mind when they’re working on a cover that’s different from when they work on original music.

  • First of all. Congratulations on the release of the beautiful cover version. Why did you choose this song in particular? As it is substantially different from the musical landscape you crafted on the cover. Did you seek the challenge proposed by the style difference?

Thank you so much! “Into you” has always been a special song to me. To start, Ariana Grande is my idol and her Dangerous Woman album came out right as I entered college and began my adulthood. To me, the album represented freedom and confidence. “Into you” specifically was a song that I felt captured the exhilaration and excitement of pursuing a relationship with confidence and determination regardless of the opinions of those around you. Even with these reasons though, I wanted this cover to be more casual and allow me to experiment with the sound. The original is a pop masterpiece in my opinion so I really wanted to bring a new perspective.

  • As a multi-instrumentalist, which instrument do you usually find yourself going to? In instance for a live performance. How do you choose to utilize this instrument in your works? Do they have to feature? Or maybe not, if they don’t particularly serve the music?

Ooooh that’s a really good question.

In all honesty, I’m not very good at playing any instrument and singing at the same time. When I sing I try to focus on the emotion while maintaining the right breathing and technique. It leaves very little room to also worry about the quality of whatever instrument I’m playing. I hope to change this soon-I’m practicing!

For recording and writing purposes, I stick with strings mostly. They’re the instruments I’ve been playing for the longest and in my own opinion, not many instruments can compare to the versatility of a guitar or the sound of a cello or viola.

So far I haven’t had a song with a featured instrumental solo. That will definitely change and I have a couple of songs releasing soon that definitely showcase the instrumental more here and there. It really comes down to how it serves the song and if the lyrics are more important, or if the soundscape is what is stimulating emotion.

  • Late introduction time. Could you share with us a little about your musical story? When and how did it start? What were some shaping moments in your musical journey (if there are any)?

My parents got my siblings and me into music from a young age. I took lessons after school from second grade on. I was taught instruments like piano, viola, and flute, then continued to pick up other instruments as I developed an interest. I was in orchestra, choir, and did musical theater throughout my childhood all the way through to high school.

Honestly too many shaping moments to count however, what convinced me to pursue a career in music was meeting an independent artist named Siân Cross. Not only is her music absolutely incredible but it also inspired me to take music seriously and consider releasing the music I wrote.

  • How would you compare working on covers with working on original pieces? Is there anything that goes through your mind differently with each case? Do you look for particular challenges in each scenario?

I personally find covers way easier to do. I think about what the song means to me personally and what perspective I want to bring. The lyrics and music are already written so it really comes down to performance. Original music, although more personal and in my opinion, more satisfying, is way more complicated because it doesn’t exist yet. You are creating something brand new without any reference usually. Lyrics, atmosphere, music, emotion, etc. the art of it is more complex and riskier but leaves you feeling way more satisfied when it’s finished.

  • Do you think artists who work on covers should focus on delivering the messages of the original song intact? Or should they work on adding hints of their own personalities to the recording, even if it alters, or even completely changes, the original? Which of those 2 schools you think creates a more compelling cover song?

I think it’s very important for artists to add their own personalities to a cover. I believe covers are meant to bring a fresh perspective. When I write my own music I’m not expecting, nor do I want, every person listening to relate to the song in the exact same way. Covers are great because it shares with the world and the original artist if they ever see it, what the song meant to this person doing the cover. How they saw themselves within it. As long as the cover is respectful of the original artist’s creativity (not changing the lyrics for example) a cover with a fresh take and new personality is always more compelling. A lot of songs in my music library are covers!

  • What are your plans or ambitions with music? Any releases coming along the way? More covers? Tell us more about what’s coming next for you.

My debut album, Liar, is in the process of being released over time. The next single, “Indigo Sky” will be released in late October. What’s exciting about Indigo Sky is it also has a music video to come with it. My first music video – which is super exciting and I can’t wait to share it with everyone. I also have several other original projects planned that will be making their way out in the next year.

Hopefully next year live performances will also be a possibility.

Thank you so much for listening to the music. Really great questions! Thank you for having me.

We want to thank Kristopher Houck for taking the time to answer our questions, we hope they were curious enough for him, and that they provide our readers with an insight into his artistic mind.


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