By Loriana Yaport
While some teenagers are getting ready for midterms, Cris Cab is getting ready to hit high notes in the studio. At the age of 19, this singer-songwriter has already worked with big artists like Wyclef Jean and has been mentored by the musical genius Pharrell. Having been raised traveling between Miami and the Bahamas, Cab’s musical approach reflects the styles from both cultures. With his newly released mixtape, Echo Boom, Cab mixes his soulful vocals with reggae and hip-hop, creating a sound all his own.
YRB: When did you realize that you wanted to pursue a career in music? Cris: I started playing guitar when I was 10 or 11 years old. I guess I really realized I wanted to do music when I was 14 [and] I had the opportunity to meet Pharrell Williams. He was a super cool guy, super humble. [He] basically told me, ‘Yo, if you wanna do music it’s gonna require all of your energy and all of your time. Essentially, there are a lot of sacrifices and stuff.’ At first I was like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah,” but really after he talked to me, it was like I truly realized this is exactly what I wanna do – and I don’t mind making those sacrifices to do music.
YRB: Being a new artist do you compare yourself to other artists? Cris: Not really. I’ve been fortunate. I’ve always kind of had my own style of music, my own genre of music, so it’s been pretty easy. There hasn’t really been a lot of pressure; it’s really easygoing. People let me do what I want to do, you know? I just make music that I love.
YRB: What artists inspire you? Cris: Bob Marley, of course. I grew up listening to Bob Marley. From Marvin Gaye to Incubus to Wiz Khalifa. I listen to a lot of music, so I’d say everything inspires me in a different way. Whatever’s playing you can take something [from].
YRB: You’ve recently performed at Webster Hall in NYC, what was that like? Cris: It was really fun. I played there twice. I played in a smaller room downstairs, then I was able to play in the bigger room upstairs. That was excellent. It was a great show; a lot of people came out and it was good energy. It was just a great experience. I was completely honored to be there with them.
YRB: You recently tweeted you were working with Wyclef, what’s that about? Cris: I just met up with Wyclef and he loved the music and was really into the project. We’ve been working together ever since. He’s a really cool and humble guy, hard worker. He’s got a lot of good music made and a lot of new stuff coming out; it’s exciting.
YRB: You’re working with a lot of big name artists lately and heading off on a tour with Gym Class Heroes and T-Pain for the “Snowstorm” tour. How’s that going? Cris: I’m super excited and it’s going to be a great show. I always look forward to a younger audience where everyone has a lot of energy. When it gets to the older audiences they just sit back more, relax – they don’t want to dance, and they’re just taking in the show. It’s a little easier when there [are] college kids and they’re just partying.
YRB: What’s it been like going from living in Miami and the Bahamas to now moving from hotel to hotel? Cris: It’s fun! I love traveling; I want to see the whole world.