Behind The Scenes: Chris Rasmussen longs to connect with his audience
An inside look into the real journey of what it takes to evolve as an artist. | Victoria Silva/THE CHIMES
Hearing anyone talk about their passions with absolute heart eyes and a stark white smile can be one of the greatest pleasures known to man. Biola alumnus Chris Rasmussen fashioned that pleasure this past week upon discussing his role in this world as a musician. Rasmussen graduated in May 2016, promptly dropping his first and only solo album called “Friction.”
THE ART OF VULNERABILITY
“I made that album mostly out of boredom and passion, I really just like writing songs. It’s a need for me. I’ve been doing it since I was 12 years old, it’s how I process life,” Rasmussen said.
From the beginning, he realized his need for the cathartic process of honesty and vulnerability between the chords of a well-processed lyric. He saw the absolute necessity in remembering the good, the bad and the ugly part of his experience as well as finding a beautiful niche of comfort within his songwriting.
“I feel a lot of things, and I don’t really know where to put them or how to say them in regular speech, so this is my way to say all that,” Rasmussen said.
Though he has struggled with self-doubt throughout his life, Rasmussen only needed a nudge in the right direction. Although this first project appeared DIY, he had ample support from loving friends and family. He expressed great thanks to his friend, Biola alumnus Nico Hernandez, as he fought through his trials with stagnancy and uncertainty.
“Shout-out to Nico Hernandez. I think he’s the reason the album is actually finished. He was like, ‘No dude just make it, people like it, you gotta finish it.’ So he was really the one to keep me accountable,” Rasmussen said.
Rasmussen stands for the concept of fervent community in the making of solid music—something he finds himself more connected to in his current band, Laureline. He finds the process of songwriting with his bandmates less daunting and intensely exhilarating.
“We’re writing pop songs. I wanted to write something that I hadn’t before, because as much as I love “Friction,” and the singer-songwriter stuff, it is the most exhausting thing. You have to be an exposed nerve all the time, and doing that by yourself becomes pretty gruesome,” Rasmussen said.
THE RIGHT COMMUNITY
Now he has the vital backing of friends as well as fellow collaborators to make his ardent love for songwriting less self-reliant. He finds himself not as limited to his own brand of ideas, and much freer to navigate the creativity found within the other minds around him. They also help keep him grounded and less fearful of the daunting world also known as the Los Angeles music industry.
He believes that writing music of the indie pop variety provides more excitement and joy in live performances. But like any other genre, Rasmussen finds it vital to speak on the subjects that often occupy his heart.
“I write a lot about religion. It’s kind of all I think about, I’m obsessed with it,” Rasmussen said.
Although his new music may include more energetic beats and less moody synth pads, the content remains real and raw. Chris loves to have studied in a place that shaped so many of his beliefs, a place where he met most of his best friends. Biola presented an uplifting and safe space of authenticity for him to foster his talents.
“Because of Biola I’ve had to ask myself really difficult questions that I wouldn’t have if I went somewhere else. There I found my love of Christ and Christianity, and I would die for that,” Rasmussen said.
With this genuine perspective in mind, Rasmussen hopes to continue making vulnerable music that connects with an audience. He wants to tell his own stories, but also identify with those of his fans. Within that line of thought he wants to respect the power of tactful discretion as a songwriter. As Rasmussen and Laureline continue their progress for their looming album, his mind continues to reel and develop exactly who he wants to be as an artist.
“I’m trying to figure out the responsibility of an artist. I get the privilege of writing whatever I want, but that’s a massive amount of power, and with great power comes great responsibility,” Rasmussen said.