Behind the Music(al): Chris Mann

Update:  Chris has since premiered on THE VOICE.  Watch the video here.

The term “rock star” gets bandied about a lot these days  (sadly, the word “bandied” does not).  We’re all about calling our friends and/or selves rock stars for everything from having a homeless man stare at us creepily on the subway to having a homeless man expose himself to us on the subway.

In most cases, the use of such a phrase is, at best, a gross exaggeration.  Except when it comes to Chris Mann.

Chris Mann is a for-real rock star.  He’s worked with essentially everybody who’s important in the music industry.  He toured with Idina Menzel.   He was on some show called Glee.  His voice has been featured in a gazillion movies, his albums are all over iTunes, and he’s performed for (gasp) Oprah (gasp).

Check out his website, where you can download a free track.

Speaking of free tracks, you can download a free track of an acoustic version of Chris’s track “Drift” from our album on the Band Profile tab of our Facebook page.  Here’s a clip of the album version of the song:

Buy the album on iTunes.

K&D:  First of all, can you talk a bit about your background?  How did you first get into music?

CM:  I’m from a smaller town in Kansas and started singing by listening to old recordings of my grandpa (who sounded like Frank Sinatra).  I use to practice in the closet cause I was embarrassed about singing.  Eventually I took it public and started singing classically and doing local musical theater.  I moved to Nashville to perform and learn songwriting which took me to Italy (where I performed opera), New York and eventually Los Angeles.  I made my first pop record on Sony records and got involved in film and television singing on projects like Glee, Avatar, Sex and the City 2 and a bunch more.

K&D:  Who would you say your major influences are?

CM:  I love so many types of music but my favorites have to be Frank Sinatra, David Gray and Pavarotti.

K&D:  Any projects on the horizon that you’re particularly excited about?

CM:  Yes!  I’ve been singing a lot with David Foster lately which is a dream come true.  I’m writing my next album in LA and Nashville now which will probably come out next year.  Right now I have a few songs placed on TV which is exciting–you can hear my song “L.O.V.E.” as the season 3 promo for “Drop Dead Diva” on Lifetime and my song “Fireworks” in the new movie “Honey 2.”

Which of your songs are you most proud of?  Why?

Of my newer songs I’m most proud of “Beautiful Life.”  Its just really honest and true and I feel it’s message every time I sing it.  It’s about how life can throw you curve balls but we have to just keep getting up again and search for our own beautiful life.  It’s available on iTunes.

More after the jump…

You recently appeared on an episode of Glee.  Which of the characters on the show is most like the high school Chris Mann?

Yes I was in the original Warbler group with Darren Criss.  My first episode was the “Teenage Dream” episode and it’s been crazy watching it all explode.  Hmmm-I’m probably most like…Fin–the singing athlete torn between different groups of friends.  I just didn’t sing about it in the halls like him….

What are your major career goals?

I’d love to be an EGOT–Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony winner….better get to work!

Your voice has been featured in numerous films, including Avatar, Letters to Juliet, and Sex and the City 2.  How many times have you seen Sex and the City 2?  Honestly.

Ha–I’ve actually never seen Sex and the City 2.  I DID see the first one though.

You do a terrific job of utilizing social media to interact with your fans on a personal level, and have accumulated huge followings on Facebook, Twitter, and your blog.  How do you think that has affected your relationship with your fans?

photo by jbreed.com

Thanks!  I love staying in touch with fans who’ve seen me perform on tours or in LA and NYC.  I stay in touch with people who saw me a few years ago, even, on tours with Idina Menzel and India.Arie.  I really appreciate their loyalty.  The newest thing I do besides the MANNblog Monday on ChrisMannMusic.com is MANNchat Wednesday–a live show and chat on Ustream where I take requests via my facebook page and do an hour long concert from my place in LA.  It’s a lot of fun–people tune in from around the world and it’s nuts they’re up at 3am across the globe to chat in.

Any great over-the-top, self-indulgent, hotel-room-trashing rock star moments you’re willing to share?

I’m staying at the Holiday Inn for a gig in Montana this weekend!  CRAZZZZYYYY!

What’s the most embarrassing song on your iPod?

Selena Gomez – “Who Says”.  Sorry.  I dig it.

Who/What is your favorite…

Broadway musical –  The Fantastics
Album – David Gray, Life in Slow Motion
Sinatra song – All The Way
Muppet – I like smurfs
Singer/Songwriter most people probably haven’t heard of – Keeley Valentino
Stupid Youtube video – Bitch Pudding…look that ish up!
Lyric in a television theme song – What would you do-oh-oh….for a Klondike Bar!?
Vegetable – Kale. So healthy right now.
Bond villain – i thought it said BLONDE villain so i’m wracking my brain…ok BOND     villain…hmmm that bi*ch who killed her lovers in the sack…with her thighs.
Headline from The Onion – need to read up….way behind.

Just a sampling of Chris’s work:

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6 Responses to Behind the Music(al): Chris Mann

  1. Tal Weiss says:

    Chris Mann’s music is awesome 🙂
    Great interview! keep ’em coming!

  2. Jacqueline says:

    Chris is TheMANN!
    love him, love his voice, love his songs… L.O.V.E
    I’m one of the fans who has been following him for several years now & can’t wait for the next MANNventure! 🙂

  3. Pingback: Chris Mann debuts on the Voice | Kooman + Dimond

  4. Pingback: The Collected Works of Chris Mann on The Voice | Kooman + Dimond

  5. Love,Love Love the Mann ! When is he going to tour Down Under ? : )

  6. Toni Ann Natola says:

    Chris Mann is the best singer I have seen in a really long time. Recently I watched him on his televised TV concert. I so enjoyed him! Wish he came to Boston, Massachusetts soon! Best of luck!

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