Host Jessica Koussevitzky was at Hyde Beach Miami for Cris Cab’s epic performance from his latest album “Where I Belong”. Watch highlights from the evening as Jessica catches up with fans and the artist himself.
On the surface, Cris Cab is a 21-year old singer/songwriter/producer breaking on to the scene with cunning good looks and a voice that grabs the attention of any and all listeners. Look deeper though, and you’ll find an artist who’s got a resume that even some of the most accomplished of acts could only dream to have, backed with a genre bending style that’s currently bringing him recognition worldwide.
Growing up in Miami, Florida, Cris’ was just like the other boys in school at the age of 10, enjoying some fun in the sun, playing in the sand and fishing with his father. But his life’s direction would take a sudden turn when a classmate named Brett brought a certain item in for a show-and-tell… his very own guitar. More than intrigued, Cris fell in love with the instrument and eventually convinced his parents to get him one of his own.
Fast forward 5 years and Cris was still as in love with his guitar as he was the day he got it. At 15, Cris was writing songs and hanging out in the bars of the Bahamas, freestyling for patrons while his father was fishing the seas. It was here that his love for reggae music was born. Eventually, a family friend caught wind of Cris talents and decided to bring him to the studio to meet a man that would later become his personal mentor… none other than Pharrell Willams.
Initially, Pharrell had some words of wisdom after listening to Cris’ bedroom recorded demos, giving him writing tips and telling Cab about the sacrifices that would need to be made in order to chase the rock star dream. Taking those words to heart, Cris spent the next year working tirelessly on his craft while his friends were out having fun. At 16, it was yet another mutual friend who brought Cris’ newly recorded music to Pharrell. This time, Williams was so taken back by Cab’s growth and ability to take direction that he instantly took on the roles of mentor, collaborator and friend.
It wasn’t long before Cris was releasing his own original work. Following the release of an EP titled Forward, it was yet another industry kingpin who chose to enter Cris’ circle… Wyclef Jean. The two would soon meet while Cris was on tour in New York having previously talked via phone. Wyclef quickly became a second mentor, saying, “Playing with Cris is like drinking water. It just flows.” With mutual respect, Cris states “Getting to work with Wyclef has changed the way that I think about recording. He has a very distinct approach to the way that he records. Working with Wyclef made me learn to think outside of the box.”
Soon came the release of a mix tape titled Echo Boom, which would wind up leading to a deal with Mercury Records. It was the major label who then released Cris’ debut single “Good Girls (Don’t Grow On Trees)”. The track was a new take on a previously released version, this time with a feature from hip hop heavyweight, Big Sean. Additionally, Cris would wind up working with other top tier talent such as Mike Posner, Dizzy Rascal, Shaggy and super producer, Dallas Austin.
2013 proved to be a pivotal year for Cab. With a mixtape release titled Red Road, Cris took his momentum on tour where he got to share the stage with the likes of O.A.R., T-Pain, Gym Class Heroes and Collie Budz. His song “Paradise (On Earth)” was hand selected by Lebron James to be featured in the popular video game NBA2k 2014 along side hits by Jay-Z, Eminem, Robin Thicke, Imagine Dragons and more. Meanwhile, his online fan base continued to grow rapidly as he hit the #1 spot on Twitter’s Emerging Artists chart. And as if that wasn’t enough, Cris also put the finishing touches on his debut album, Where I Belong.
According to Cab, “This album is the culmination of two years worth of my best songs. This project is coming of age story. It’s about relationships, falling in love, heartbreak and getting back up again.”
The lead single from the album is the song “Liar Liar”. Pharrell not only co-produced the track, but also lends his vocals and appears in the video for the tune. Currently the song is heating up the airwaves all over Europe having hit top 10 status in 40 countries, including #1 in France, #2 in Germany and #3 in Italy. It’s also now triple platinum in sales in the Netherlands. Additionally, he is was chosen as the MTV International PUSH Artist for the month of March and the Bell Media Featured Artist of the Month (also for March). Due to the success overseas, Cris has spent some time there visiting radio stations, tv shows and playing concerts in front of as many as 25,000 people at a time. He’s had the opportunity to share the stage with Ellie Goulding, Lorde, Bastille, Ariana Grande, Iggy Azalea, Nico & Vinz, O.A.R. and Rebelution to name a few. Cris will also be an opening act on Pharrell’s European arena tour this fall.
It only seems to be a matter of time before Cris Cab becomes a household name himself. As one of the most exciting emerging talents in the industry, the modern day crooner’s debut album contains Cab’s signature reggae infused pop with hints of acoustic rock, hip-hop and soul. Where I Belong is currently out in Europe and will be released in America on September 2nd.