Music can break borders and unite people everywhere.
Cris Cab realized that while touring the world in support of his 2014 full-length debut, Where I Belong. Co-written and produced by Pharrell, the album’s breakout single “Liar Liar” would go Top 10 in 9 countries (including Germany and France), reach triple-platinum status in The Netherlands and platinum in Italy, and accumulate nearly 50 million YouTube/VEVO views and over 41 million Spotify streams.
As his international profile rose, the Miami-born singer and songwriter performed on bills alongside Lorde, Bastille, Ellie Goulding, Trey Songz, MAGIC!, and supported Pharrell across Europe during the Dear G I R L Tour in addition to hitting the stage at the Governor’s Ball and the official Fashion Rocks Macy’s after party. Along the way, he appeared on TODAY Show and Access Hollywood, drummed up critical applause from the likes of Esquire, Complex, Nylon, Huffington Post, Billboard, GQ and many others as MTV proclaimed him an International PUSH Artist.
All of this globetrotting exerted a profound creative impact on his second album, New Beginnings [CMG Records].
“On tour, I was performing tunes from the last project in Europe, and it was a big test of how what I’m creating in the studio works live at a concert,” he says. “When you’re on stage, you instantly see the reaction of thousands of people, so it helped me understand how to create music that could capture that energetic rock ‘n’ roll power, but still keep the natural reggae vibe I’ve always had.”
Inspired by the Rolling Stones, The Police, and Talking Heads, Cris dove headfirst into writing music at the top of 2015. He spent a month in Miami and another month in The Bahamas working on ideas before heading to Marathon Studios in the Hollywood Hills. Teaming up with producers such as Dre Bombay, Dallas Austin, and Pharrell, he ignited a new sonic spark through infusing a soulful upbeat rock ‘n’ roll swing into his patented reggae pop. Personally co-producing six songs, he would even perform guitar, bass, piano, and drums throughout the album.
“We started playing at faster tempos and rhythms, and everything came together naturally,” he goes on. “It started forming itself. That speed added a new dynamic, while the reggae element came instinctively for me. It’s music that doesn’t ask a question; it tells you what’s happening. The energy is pushing through you and moving you forward.”
Painting a wild picture of a one-night stand, the first single “Bada Bing” gallops along on horns and handclaps anchored by an island-style strum before building towards an infectious show-stopping refrain. Breaking ground, Cris released versions of the song tailored to different countries. The French version boasts a verse from rapper Youssoupha, while the German recording includes a guest spot from the group 257s.
Elsewhere on the album, the sunny synth shuffle of “Solid Ground” highlights his impressive vocal range, while “Turn Out The Light” tiptoes between a funkified bass line and propulsive beat. Second single “All The Girls” sees Cris join forces, quite appropriately, with Mr. Worldwide himself and fellow Miami native Pitbull. Together, they stir up an undeniable banger that’s both simmering and scintillating.
Now, New Beginnings kicks off the next chapter for Cris, and he’s armed with a sound that will resound all over the globe.“I’ve gotten to a place where I finally understand where I want to go with my music,” he leaves off. “This is who I am, what I want to represent, and what drives my vision. I’m controlling the energy. It’s a rebirth. When people hear it, I want them to walk away feeling like they’re not alone. I want to spread a message of positivity to everyone. Music brings us all together no matter where we’re from.”
CRIS CAB’s tracks