Christopher the Conquered

Christopher the Conquered

 Des Moines, Iowa, USA
SoloAlternativeSinger/Songwriter

I am a songwriter, recording artist, singer, performer, and pianist. I partner with my instruments and other musicians to tell stories through song that carry myself and my audience together to a place of reflection, where we can see who we are individually and how we fit together as a whole. My approach is directness, humor, and satire. Musically, I utilize rock and roll, informed by the American Songbook Tradition, jazz, and the blues to create soulful pop songs.

Biography

Christopher the Conquered wants you to read between the lines. That said, he’s got a damn good reason for naming his full-length debut album, I’m Giving Up On Rock & Roll [Maximum Ames Records].

“I’m not referring to music,” he explains. “It’s the idea of Rock & Roll as a metaphor for misrepresenting yourself. Living behind a mask or a façade is not a healthy way to live. That’s what I’m giving up on. People love Rock & Roll, and I love Rock & Roll. However, the person I am onstage is also the person I am offstage.”

It’s this sort of pure honesty that defines the album’s nine tracks, and it’s also why Christopher made some serious waves in 2015. The Iowa singer, songwriter, and performer has crafted a declaratory musical statement that’s impossible to ignore. In the summer of 2015, he shared the stage with Natalie Prass and handed her an early copy of I’m Giving Up On Rock & Roll. She in turn passed it on to Ryan Adams who took to Twitter and Instagram calling the album, “Crazy and incredible.” Soon after, Christopher landed on the front page of Reddit and in Billboard as the title track and single “I’m Giving Up On Rock & Roll” quickly passed 60,000 plays on Soundcloud. This properly set the stage for the album’s 2016 release.

“I wanted this to be a cohesive experience that takes listeners on a journey,” he goes on. “This album strips everything back; this is me.”

Mapping out the skeleton of the record from the piano melodies to the horns in his Iowa basement, Christopher had architected a clear vision by the time he entered Ardent Studios in Memphis with producer Patrick Tape Fleming. As a result, they cut the entire album to tape in just nine days. 

The music segues from pensive lyricism to heavenly horns and resounding keys on the likes of the elegiacally gorgeous “On My Final Day.” 

“I always want people to really focus on the lyrics,” he says. “The song is about contemplating the way you spend your time and the one life you have. It comes out in a positive light asking the question, ‘What impact did I make?’”

Everything culminates on the delicate strings and guitars of “I’m Not That Famous Yet” where Christopher’s self-effacing philosophizing reaches divine heights as expansive as his vocal range.

“I was in a bit of a jealous mood,” he admits. “I was watching a band, and I wrote this in response to the silliness of the interplay between the audience and the artist. After I wrote the song, I sorta snapped out of it and realized that group worked their asses off up to that point and brought joy to every person in the room. Now, I get excited for another artist’s success because it means there are opportunities for me to do what I want to do.”

Christopher has known what he wanted to do since growing up in an Iowa town of just 1,300. Without even an antenna for the family TV let alone cable, he became obsessed with music through listening to Motown and classic rock & roll with his parents and repeatedly watching Disney classics like The Lion King and The Jungle Book on repeat. He taught himself drums, trumpet, piano, and guitar, even auditing a college Jazz History class at just 12-years-old alongside his dad. He also found music via faith. Living in a devoutly religious home, he spent a lot of time in church. 

“Our church was full of music, and I even played for a while as part of a worship group there. The experience taught me the power of music to connect with people on an emotional level. That spiritual feeling is something that has stuck with me, and that I try to inject into my performances.”

Throughout, Christopher architected a sound that’s both poetically ponderous and theatrically bombastic. Now, he’s officially sharing it.

“This album isn’t for me,” he leaves off. “The art happens when you’re alone at the piano. I got my satisfaction from that part of the process. Now, I’ve created something for the world. I want people to reflect on their lives and what they’re doing when they listen to this and feel happy. There’s no reason to live under any pretense or obligations other than your own passion and love. The album is about that.”

In the fall of 2015, I'm Giving Up On Rock & Roll made its radio debut as a CMJ Top 20 Most Added Album and breaking the CMJ Top 200.

Lyrics

Everybody Rains

Written By: Christopher Ford

Everybody rains it's how we deal with pain
You know God invented crying so that we would go on trying
If you really let it out, pour it all into a shout
Well, you always feel so mellow when you got a salty pillow
And if you take issue you should also grab a tissue
'Cause when your cheeks get hotter well your eyes will provide water
And if it just don't stop you can always blow your top
But sooner or later, ya gotta face it that rainin' does erase it
Alright now

Everybody pours it's how we ask for more
So get down on your knees boy, and beg her pretty please boy
And when she sees you drippin', it'll send her heart a-trippin'
She'll be jumpin' and backflippin' just to have you back again
Yeah, oh oh oh oh, here we go now

*spoken interlude*
Aw how ya doing, Christopher?
Not so good
Oh really? That's too bad!
Yeah...
Well you know what my momma always used to tell me
What'd your momma used to tell you?
My momma told me that everybody rains, everybody rains, everybody rains
***

Everybody's gray, (that's right!) that's okay (it's okay!)
It's just the way we were made
So if you're in need of some company
I'm sure there's someone blue who'd sit next to you
But if a friend can not be found, you know who'll always be around
This little grey cloud
To rain on you!

*scat section*

It's gonna rain on you
Yeah!

Discography

  • I'm Giving Up On Rock and Roll - 2016
  • A Passing Melody - 2014
  • The Fate Of A Good Man - 2012
  • You're Gonna Glow In The Dark - 2009
  • I Guess That's What We're Dying For... - 2007
Lyrics: http://www.christophertheconquered.com/giving-up-lyrics/

Set List

Sets range from 30 minutes to 3 hours. May include covers, but typically all original music. See stage plots for various live show arrangements.

I regularly perform solo or with varying configurations of musicians backing me.