Q&A with Chris Colston


Warner Chappell Music songwriter Chris Colston has certainly been carving out a strong path for himself over his past few releases by sticking to a simple formula of delivering catchy songs that pull the listener in and get them singing along; “Hate Me in My Hometown,” “Goodbye Gasoline,” and his latest, “Livin’ Like This.” We recently had the chance to check in with Chris and chat with him all about his new single, songwriting, the Texas music scene and how it affects him today, and much much more!

(Interview by: Jeffrey Kurtis/photo by: Jason Myers

Single Review: "Livin' Like This"



 1) Tell us a little bit about your new single “Livin’ Like This.”

In my opinion, this song is truly a summer anthem song. It’s a song you want to crank up loud on a boat at the lake or at a party with your friends.  We’ve been playing for live audiences and it’s one that the crowd sings back to us every night. It’s simple but catchy at the same time. 

2) The song was written by Michael Carter, Ben Hayslip, and Jameson Rodgers, however you’ve said that it really does define who you are, both on stage and off stage. How important is it to you when you’re picking songs from outside writers that they match exactly who you are as an artist and person?

When I’m not on the road playing shows, I’m home with my family, fishing, hunting or anything outdoors. That’s just who I am. When I heard this song for the first time, there was no doubt I had to record it. I think it’s important to write or choose songs that are true to who you are. If I’m singing about something that I don’t believe in, fans can see through that, and it won’t translate. Every song on my upcoming EP is authentic to me and I’m excited to release it this summer.   

3) Sticking with the songwriting aspect. When you do write your own songs, what is that process like for you. Lyrics first? Melody first? A combination of both?

I’m a writer at Warner Chappell Music Nashville, so I do most of my writing in Nashville with other co-writers that I have a lot in common and vibe with. Usually, I come in with a song title and if it’s something we think is worth exploring, we’ll write it fairly quickly, especially if we are on a roll.

4) You worked with producer Brandon Hood on this song. What did Brandon bring into the studio that really helped you shape the overall sound of the song that might not have otherwise been a part of it?

First, Brandon Hood is one of the best producers I’ve ever worked with.  We just click. We understand each other’s ideas and he’s been the mastermind behind the overall structure of the songs on the EP.  I think one thing he brings to the table is his connections to A-List musicians he brought in to play on my EP. These guys are the best in the world, and that doesn’t happen very often for a “good ole boy” like me from a small town in East Texas. His overall quality and passion as a producer really shows on this album. Just press play and you’ll understand where I’m coming from.

5) The song follows “Hate Me in My Hometown” and “Goodbye Gasoline.” In what ways will people see a different side of Chris Colston on this song in comparison to those, but also…what similarities will they hear?

You’ll hear a lot of similarities to my previously released music. I’ve always loved a simple, right down the middle commercial sound, but there’s also some deeper subject matter in a few songs on this EP that allowed me to be vulnerable as a songwriting.

6) You’re a native of Texas, which of course is a very vibrant music scene. In what ways do you feel that growing up around such a richly diverse music mecca helped influence you the most?

The Texas scene is the reason I’m where I am today.  I grew up listening to legends and got to see them perform live on any given night. I’ll always be thankful I get to tour in Texas and learn from the best.

7) From what we know about Texas…live music and performances are incredibly important to an artist success. What does your live show offer to a fan that just spinning your music doesn’t?

During my live show, you not only get to see me, but you’ll experience the energy of our entire band, which has a big sound. We can be loud and rockin’ at moments and then we can be subtle and melodic, all in the same set. Plus, you might get to hear the stories behind the songs we perform, which you don’t get just listening to the song by itself.   

8) You’ve shared the stage with amazing live artists – Koe Wetzel, Parker McCollum, Eli Young Band, Casey Donahew -  what did you learn from watching them that you’ve since been incorporating into your shows to add new dynamics to your performances?

Everyone you listed, I’m fortunate to call my friends. I’ve toured all over with them. They taught me that when it comes down to it, it’s the music that changes everything. Also, the live shows must be spot on – there’s no room for error. Those guys are the best and biggest in the business and there’s a reason for that. I’m thankful to have had a side stage view of their shows where I could learn from the best. 

9) Switching to your personal life for a question. Congratulations to both you and your wife Peyton on the birth of your baby girl. How has becoming a father changed everything for you, including your perspective as an artist?

Thank you so much.  Being a dad is the greatest feeling the world. It’s an amazing feeling to know I’m responsible for raising her and teaching her everything I know.  I think family is the most important thing you can have in your corner and I’m proud to be a daddy.

10) What is the best piece of advice that you can offer an aspiring songwriter/artist just trying to break into the music business?

Write the best songs you can. Go watch a live show of someone you look up to and learn from them.  A live show can teach you more than any university can. In my opinion, it’s the best trade school you can attend.  Also, don’t be afraid to write about someone else’s idea in the room. Two heads and ideas are always better than one.


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