Home grown talent, Chris Rose, is carving a career for himself in the music industry. He shows how hard work, dedication and industry connections can really pay off…
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am 20-years-old and I went to St Paul’s High School in Port Macquarie. I grew up bodyboarding and surfing around Port, mainly at Lighthouse Beach. I grew up skating and hanging out with mates.
When did you know you wanted to be a musician, and who are your musical influences?
I have always been a singer, and I began singing at local talent quests like Wauchope Talent Quest and St Paul’s School Variety Concerts. I pretty much just got gigs around Port through hassling people. I once asked Reggie D (a local musician) if I could sing one song at the Tacking Point Tavern, and he willingly accepted my offer. I sang an old Roy Orbison classic You’ve Got It, and the crowded pub of around 300 people screamed for more. I went on to sing more covers.
I wasn’t exactly the most disciplined student at school, and I spent most of my time obsessing over bodyboarding. I have always been obsessed with different things and put all my time and thoughts into that one idea. I left school at about 17 and started working for my dad, Mark Rose, at the Dent Doctor Smash Repairs. I was an apprentice spray painter under my boss Leroy Soars at Port Spray Painting Services.
I worked for about two years, until I decided that I was going to go back to TAFE and finish my HSC. From there, I began to research every avenue of the music industry business, something that I still love to do in my spare time. I found out about the Talent Development Project, a prestigious talent program held at the Sydney Entertainment Centre for public school students. Although I was a bit older than most school students and I wasn’t exactly at school, they still accepted me.
I began travelling to Sydney to attend a two-day workshop each month. At these workshops, I met consultants such as Alex Lloyd, Angry Anderson and A&R reps from many record labels. My musical influences vary. They are not always my influences because of who they are as an artist; but most of the time I am influenced through the song and the structure and how the song may have that perfect hook that you find in a hit song.
In recent times, I have drawn a lot of inspiration from Thirsty Merc, Crowded House, Ryan Adams, Boy and Bear, Amy Winehouse and Fleetwood Mac.
You played with Thirsty Merc when they toured Port Macquarie. What was it like playing to a big home crowd?
I recently supported Thirsty Merc in Port Mac and in Forster. That was an amazing experience and a lot of fun. Playing to a big home crowd is really great, because a lot of people know who I am – and I think Thirsty Merc’s road crew were even suprised at the response.
I hope to do it many more times in the future and would love to bring my band to Port for the Festival of the Sun next year.
You’ve also played as a supporting act for Keith Urban and Bob Dylan. What’s the highlight of your career been so far?
I’ve done some small shows in the Foyer at the Sydney Entertainment Centre on my own stage before the Eagles, Bob Dylan, and Keith Urban, and this week I’m playing before the Mötley Crüe. These are always fun, and I get to go and see how the pros do it for free – and I get a lot of exposure.
The highlight of my career so far would have to be my graduation from the Talent Development Project at the Sydney Entertainment Centre in August this year. I performed an original song titled Nowhere Land in front of 4,000 people. That was an amazing experience – not just for the 3 minutes I spent on stage, but the months of preparation we did leading up to the event.
You’ve just released a new debut 4 track EP. How was the experience recording, and what’s the feedback been like?
I also recorded that very song at Sony Music as part of the Talent development Project album titled Young Scribes. My single is also available on iTunes. I hope to record more songs very soon and some exciting opportunities are arising.
I have recorded a 5 song Demo with Phil Eades at studio 7 in Port Macquarie, with help from my long time friend Scott Stevens on guitars and bass, and he also helped produce the EP with Phil and me. This was a lot of fun – getting into the studio with Jarrin Pennial (drums) from local band Barrel House. It was great experience and taught me a lot about recording and songwriting.
Have you had any airplay yet?
I have had a little bit of airplay. I have done some live songs on Star FM and Wauchope community radio, as well as Bondi FM in Sydney. I recently did a great interview at FBI radio in Sydney. Allan Jones from 2GB radio is on the board at the Talent Development Project and he was so impressed with my song, he has been playing it on air. I have recently had a live interview with him on his morning show. This has been amazing, and Allan is really helping me get my career started. He has some amazing contacts.
What does the future hold for Chris Rose?
The future is pretty busy for me. I’m now living in Sydney playing music full-time, and I try to write songs as much as possible. I try to look for inspiration anywhere I can. I’m constantly developing my guitar and vocal skills.
Rai from Thirsy Merc has really inspired me to learn to play the piano, so I think that’s on the cards. And besides that, I’m just booking my band and playing as many shows as we can. I also rehearse every week with my band at Top End rehearsal studios in Marrickville, Sydney.
I have 3 amazing players backing me. Shane McGrath, a TDP graduate, is an absolutely phenomenal electric guitar player – I consider myself really lucky to have him in my band.
I also have an extremely talented bass player, who is a one of a kind person and player. My drummer, Luke Dixon, is fantastic. He teaches drums for a living and is extremely tight. I consider myself extremely lucky to have found such a gun rhythm section. Our Stage name is Chris Rose and The Thorns.
I would love everyone to check out our music online via Facebook. We would also love people to go onto our Triple J Unearthed page and listen to Nowhere Land. Also: write a review. This could give us a chance at airplay on Triple J, and there is also a chance for a Mid North Coast artist or band to play at this year’s festival of the Sun.