THE CJ is a singer, artist, and musician from Great Falls, Montana. They are hitting the music scene strongly with a cover of Christina Perri’s famous song “Human”. In this release, THE CJ is channeling the power behind Christina’s voice while also making it their own. This is the first of many songs to be rolled-out by THE CJ, future music being all-original!
Can you share a significant turning point in your music career that helped shape your artistic direction?
I can’t think of a specific turning point really. I guess mostly when they asked for my biggest inspiration and wanted to hear about women. I mostly listen to males. And the only person I could think of off the top of my head at the time was Hayley Williams of Paramore.
How do you approach the songwriting process? Are there specific themes or emotions that you aim to capture in your music?
I just put my feelings and my experiences out there when it comes to writing. Writing is a great creative outlet for me.
What role does music play in your life outside of being an artist? How does it influence your day-to-day experiences?
I listen to music all the time and I love to go to concerts. I have different songs for different moods and all songs invoke something different in me.
Are there any non-musical art forms or disciplines that inspire your creativity as a musician?
Aside from music, I find myself influenced a great deal by books. I don’t read a lot, but when I find a good book, it’s like I can’t put it down.
Photo Credit: Ricky Stokes
How do you find inspiration? Are there any specific places, experiences, or moments that spark your creativity?
I find inspiration through life and my experiences. It fuels my art. There’s not any specific moments I wish to get into, but the things I go through are what I write about and sing about. A lot of my favorite songs are about things I relate to.
Can you describe a memorable collaboration experience you’ve had? How did that collaboration influence your music?
I haven’t collaborated with a lot of people yet, but I have met some musicians who I look up to and those experiences were amazing. It reminded me to do what I love and that I’m going to have an awesome time doing it!
What steps do you take to continuously develop and refine your musical skills? Do you engage in any specific training or practice routines?
I’m always singing, in my car, when I’m out walking, with the kids I babysit. And I love singing scales up and down, because it distracts my brain and it helps me track my notes!
What was your inspiration behind covering ‘Human’? What made you choose this particular song?
I actually had a hard time choosing a song to cover! A good majority of my favorite songs are by men who are not in my vocal range. But then I remembered how much I loved Christina Perri when I was younger and how much fun I had singing her music at talent shows, so singing her music going into my music career felt right.
Can you share a specific hurdle or challenge you faced in your music career and how you overcame it?
My mental health got in the way of a lot of things for me. It even resulted in a brief hospital stay. But I came out of the hospital feeling like a better person. The hospital I was at equipped me with the skills to handle my mental health in a better way. And I felt much more prepared to pursue all of my dreams and do all the things I thought I couldn’t.
What role does storytelling play in your songwriting? Are there any narratives or personal experiences that have deeply influenced your music?
I love telling my personal story through other means. My experiences with mental health, school, and my identity are huge influences on my music and what I write about.
Photo Credit: Steven Williams