For Los Angeles-based Christopher Gallant, better known by his surname alone, music is a vehicle rather than an end product. Unlike most fellow rising musicians, his goals aren’t based around sales, co-signs and social media followers. In fact they aren’t really based around music at all. Gallant’s concerns lie in self-improvement and nurturing his connection to the world, and the universe around him.
Gallant’s debut album Ology – which means “study of” – is more about the process of self-discovery he went through while crafting a bunch of songs about topics ranging from relationships to insecurity, faith to self-awareness, than it is the stage he shared with Elton John at Apple Music Festival, his spot on Jools Holland or even his recent performance at The White House. While he is humbled and appreciative of all that he has achieved with the album, and his burgeoning career in music – for him it’s about taking small steps towards being his best self.
And yet it’s not surprising that, almost as a by-product, others are connecting with the 23-year-old’s music. His breath-taking vocal range gives him a vast palette with which to deliver his lyrics, which he does over unpredictable instrumentals that draw from progressive rock and electronic music as much as they do R&B. While the heavenly sonics might transcend what’s conceivable your average Joe, the subject matter that Gallant bravely and candidly extracts from his innermost thoughts brings things crashing back down to earth – a quest for self-discovery that we can all relate to.
Gallant is no longer talking to himself, whether he likes it or not…
How do you feel about the way the world’s been absorbing Ology over the past six months or so that it’s been out?
So far the response has been good. I’ve been on tour most of the time so it’s been great to see the audience night after night and you kind of see first hand the relationship that they have with the stuff that I’ve been putting out.
If you could choose something you wanted people to take away from listening to the project, what would that be?
I made the project with the philosophy that I would learn a lot about myself. I’ve had to get over certain things and it’s a learning experience for me personally, so I wasn’t really thinking about what other people would take away. It seems like people are taking away something that’s really personal and I’m glad that anyone’s listening to it at all.
So what did you take from that learning process?
I released an EP a couple years ago called Zebra that I put out as I was moving from New York to LA. The difference in my overall state of mind – I changed dramatically. When you’re going through something that weighs down on you and affects the way that you go through your everyday life, you go through the process of trying to analyse exactly why you feel that way, why you’re reacting to something in one particular way versus another way. Just psychologically it makes little improvements. I noticed a drastic difference in the way I worked on that EP before and then after. I would say a very similar thing happened during the creation of the album Ology, it’s just very incremental improvements in your relationship with the universe.