- 11 Mar 15
As the Galwegian prepares to release his Thoughts To Words EP, Chris Haze tells Colm O’Regan about disappearing albums, ever-growing ambitions, and inspiration in the cereal aisle
24-hour shopping, we’re told, is the root of all evil; corporate consumerism at its worst. After all, what’s it ever done for us?
“I wrote my first song while working nights in Tesco,” grins Chris Haze. “Walking around with my headphones on – which isn’t allowed, by the way – during the graveyard shift. It’s mad to think how far things have come.”
With his new EP, Thoughts To Words, about to hit the shelves, it seems a good time to pause and reflect. Though it’s only four years since the surreptitious song-scribing-while-shelf-stacking, the Galwegian has worked tirelessly in the interim, knocking on doors and getting his name out there.
Chris shrugs. “Well, the polite way of putting it would be to say I’m persistent.”
And the less restrained?
“That I literally wreck people’s heads!” he laughs. “That’s what you have to do though. And, of course, it pays off; the radio stations that I couldn’t even get replies from last year are the first ones playing the single this time.”
Interestingly, though, if you head online to check out what the 23-year-old was pushing last time out, you’ll be disappointed. Despite the record garnering strong reviews and opening plenty of doors, Chris recently made the decision to take down his debut album World Outside.
“The work that went into it was amazing,” he explains. “But listening to it again, the production values are way off the level I’d want now; I felt it was wasted material.”
There’s no wasted effort this time around. Written and recorded over the past number of months – with the finishing touches applied during Guinness Amplify-funded studio sessions at the iconic Grouse Lodge – the new EP is a streamlined three tracks, where the emphasis was very definitely placed on quality.
“The album was written conceptually, so the songs flowed into each other. On Thoughts To Words, though, they’re three stand-alone numbers that could all be singles.
“I’m always trying to do something different,” he continues. “It’s nice to be versatile. There are days where I hit the studio with dance producers, say, and we’ll play with drum and bass songs or live synthesizers. I’m trying to bring as much to the table as I can – I don’t want people to listen and think, ‘It sounds like 20 other songs he’s done.’”
That’s not to say, though, that the parallels drawn between his ‘Don’t Wanna Fall Asleep’ single and the work of another young guitar-toting talent is rejected out of hand.
“I’d be a bit of an idiot if I said being compared to Ed Sheeran was an insult,” Chris smiles. “He’s one of the biggest superstars around at the minute. But he’s got there by doing his own thing, which is what I want to do. I want to leave my mark, my own vibe; make stuff that’s not already been made.”
The plan, as it stands, is to hit the studio again this year, with a view to laying down an album; before that, there’s the possibility of reconnecting with English hip hop artist Lexeee. One thing is for sure; a man who was rarely short of confidence is more driven than ever.
“I know from the feedback that it’s all moving in the right direction,” he says. “There’s a career in this for me; I just have to pursue it.”