by Marcus K. Dowling
“I spent a lot of time growing up in the Bahamas. I learned how to play guitar there, and it absolutely has a lot to do with my sound,” says 18 year old Miami, Florida native performer and Pharrell Williams protege Cris Cab. His debut EP, Forward doesn’t portend a progressive sound, but the focused, prepared and excited mindset of a young soul crooner on the rise. His tour schedule sees him in the DC area at Jammin Java on this Tuesday, June 21st and in New York at Webster Hall on June 22nd as he continues to cross cross the country on tour for his debut release.
“Working with Pharrell has been cool. He’s a genius and to have him be open to and appreciative of my sound has been really helpful.” Cab met the legendary Neptunes producer at 16, and the rest has been a whirlwind journey. “I’ve got about 30 songs that are done and ready to be released. I’m recording new material every day and getting comfortable with my creativity.” Cab’s creativity trends in directions that are expected from a young man, as his debut EP is a constant tale of love, love found, and love lost. On the EP’s best single “Good Girls,” Cab states, “it’s a song about something that everyone has been through. You find a great girl, and you end up doing something stupid, and losing her. It’s a story I know I’ve been through, and all of my homies had as well.”
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Cab’s influences and those he aspires to work with read like a who’s who of traditional emotional pop standards with great production as the connective tie. “Obviously, there’s Bob Marley. He’s huge. Also, I like Dave Matthews, and Lenny Kravitz as well. I grew up on hip hop and R & B on the radio, too, so I love the Fugees. I’d really enjoy working with Jerry Wonder (Jerry Duplessis, a noted crafter of the Fugees iconic sound) and Ryan Leslie too. I want to work with people that can expand my sound.” Not content with just having these influences, when naming songs that people should use to identify influences for his sound, he strikes upon an all time legend. “Me and Mrs. Jones by Billy Paul. I’m a fan of the classic crooners, and there’s a lot of Marvin Gaye and Sam Cooke in what I’m trying to do.”
Cris Cab’s success will be built upon his ability to accurately tap into his creative vision. It is rare that an artist so young yet focused and self assured is able to have the requisite tools of music industry superstar status at his disposal. For Cab, it is a matter not of if, but when he will succeed at his goal of industry success.