My name is Chris Smith, I specialize in keyboards, production and composition. I have been the keyboardist for Grammy winning group, Jefferson Starship since 1998. I've written music for television for 30 years.
I have been the touring keyboardist with the Temptations, the Gap Band, Roger Miller, and Lou Bega. I have written music for The Academy Awards, CSI:Miami, Dog the Bounty Hunter, and MTV's Catfish among others. Have done musical arrangements for the Supremes, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Maxine Nightingale. I've sequenced tracks for the Tubes. I've recorded with WAR, Bloodstone and Jefferson Starship.
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Interview with Chris Smith Extra Chrispy Musi
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I recently did a session for LEWIS ROBERTSON at FANTASY RECORDING STUDIOS in Oakland. Just playing nice roots-y piano, rhodes and wurlitzer tracks. I came in completely prepared and the session went perfectly. Lewis is so fun to work with and his client was really talented. World class.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Concerts and up coming album with JEFFERSON STARSHIP, Writing music for KEEPING UP WITH THE KARDASHIANS and DISCOVERY'S MEDICAL MYSTERIES
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Lewis Robertson, as an engineer, producer, production manager and tour manager he is exceptional!!!
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: digital (clean crisp tracks) I do appreciate analog warmth.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: my very best creative efforts
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I get to see, experience and perform for the world. I have been to every state in the US and more than 30 foreign countries. My band and I receive VIP treatment around the world and I get to create awesome music. The friendships I have made in this business are lifelong friendships. How totally blessed I am.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: To do more records with them. I say "yes"
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That I can answer this question.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Questions regarding appropriate feel and style.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Let's make PRO music together!
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: When I am on tour with JEFFERSON STARSHIP I have done countless recordings (including ones used on the ACADEMY AWARDS and CSI:MIAMI) with only one piece of equipment , my fully loaded Mac Book Pro (I guess it's really 2 pieces of gear because I use an M-audio keyboard also). But if I ever were really on a desert island I would expect a sequencer made out of coconuts powered by an exercise bike.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: !986 - keyboardist/assistant conductor for ICE CAPADES 1989 - keyboardist for ROGER MILLER music director for HAMILTON, JOE FRANK AND REYNOLDS 90's - keyboardist for THE SUPREMES keyboardist for THE TEMPTATIONS music director for MAXINE NIGHTINGALE house keyboardist for Pacific Concert Group, which had me working with such artists as THE GAP BAND, DENICE WILLIAMS, THE MANHATTENS, PEACHES AND HERB, THE MARY JANE GIRLS, GQ recorded with WAR, BARBARA LYNN, BLOODSTONE, RARE EARTH, THE ASSOCIATION, SPENCER DAVIS, contributed original music to CSI:MIAMI, 30 SOMETHING, TIME COP, ALL DOG'S GO TO HEAVEN, DISNEY BLAST, 1998- through present began playing keyboards with JEFFERSON STARSHIP (of which I am currently a band member. band member with QUICKSILVER MESSENGER SERVICE write and produce television music for KEEPING UP WITH THE KARDASHIANS, CATFISH, MTV's REAL WORLD, THE ACADEMY AWARDS, DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER, sequenced tracks for THE TUBES and THE SUPREMES live shows.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Funk-Rock (with the ability to throw you some jazz if you desire)
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Stevie Wonder, his music thrills me.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Pay close attention to EQ and pan. We have 2 ears.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Rock, Funk, R+B
Q: What's your strongest skill?
Q: What do you bring to a song?
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Find out what the client has in mind. Get something impressive out in a timely manner.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Apple Logic 10 Native Instruments - Absynth-5, Battery-4, FM-8, Kontact-5, Massive, Reaktor-5 Yamaha - Motif-8, CP-1, CS-1, YC-1, DX-1 Roland - Juno-GI, 1080-4x, RD-300 Korg - Triton, Micro (Vocoder) Melodica Access to Piano, B3, Rhodes, Wurlitzer, (extra fee)
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Beatles, EWF, the Police, Chaka Kahn, Led Zeppelin,
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Stellar keyboard tracks in a variety of styles.