Florida native makes debut at Okeechobee Music Fest

OKEECHOBEE — For Jacksonville native Christian Paul, Saturday, March 7 marks a momentous occasion — when he takes the stage at the 2020 Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival, he’ll be performing songs from his debut EP for the first time in his home state.

Photo courtesy of Daniel Prakopcyk
Jacksonville native Christian Paul makes his stage debut at the 2020 Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival, held in Sunshine Grove, Okeechobee. Christian’s debut EP will be released on March 20th.

According to his biography on his Facebook page, Christian is a natural born musician inspired by the sounds of Sam Cooke and Curtis Mayfield. The 20-year-old singer/songwriter brings to his music a “soulfulness that belies his age.” His first single “Chapter” dropped in late January 2020, and his self-titled EP debuts on March 20 with five songs. At the age of four, Christian was gifted his first drum set, and from there, he set about teaching himself other instruments including the piano and guitar.

When asked what inspired him to become a musician, Christian cited growing up in a household where music was constantly being played. “My parents had an affinity for true musicianship and great songwriting. From a young age, they encouraged me to dance, play instruments, and sing! This is really all I’ve ever known,” he explained.

Christian’s creative process for writing songs varies. Sometimes he draws inspiration from events that actually have taken place in his own life, and other times, the inspiration comes from things that have happened to other people. Hypothetical scenarios offer that elusive spark of creativity as well. Christian typically begins by laying down chords on piano or guitar, then he improvises different melodies over the top until he maps out the song’s structure.

He would consider it an honor to write and perform a song with Jacob Collier, a London-based singer and multi-instrumentalist whose style fuses jazz, classical music and pop, among other influences. Christian enthused “I have so much respect for his musicianship and think we could really create something special. He’s also extremely engaging and captivating live!”

A musician can’t exist alone in a bubble, and among the many songs on his own playlist, Christian listed a few of his most loved, most played tracks: “Them Changes” by Thundercat, “Falling” by Harry Styles, “Second Emotion” by Justin Bieber, and “Me and Those Dreaming Eyes of Mine” by D’angelo.

One song Christian wishes he’d written that has been written by someone else is “Jealous” by Labrinth. When asked to elaborate on why, he offered “I used to live in LA away from my parents when I was 15, so I remember listening to this song whenever I’d leave from visiting them. It was a tough year to say the least, but it all worked together for the best!”

Photo courtesy of Daniel Prakopcyk
Inspired by the sounds of Sam Cooke, Curtis Mayfield and Prince, 19 year old Christian Paul has always had a soulful, artistic sparkle inside of him. He looks forward to taking the stage at this year’s OMF.

One of the highlighting features of the Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival, returning this year from a short hiatus, is the mantra “Be Here Now.” Beyond being the names of the three main stages where musicians perform for eager festivalgoers, the mantra exists as a “way of life” for the festival. The OMF website defines it as the community coming together to “live, laugh, listen, sing, dance, learn, create, meditate, downward-dog, eat & drink, explore, give back, and ‘Be Here Now.’” Christian says he can really appreciate this mantra with how frequently he has to travel for work. He has to constantly remind himself to be present in every moment.

“I can really appreciate this mantra being that I travel frequently for work and constantly have to remind myself to be present in every moment. It’s so easy to just get swept away in thought about what tomorrow holds, but I choose to take advantage of every moment as it comes. By no means am I perfect in this, but it’s definitely what I strive for!” he said.

Christian can be followed on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @ thisischristianpaul and his debut EP can be pre-saved through http://smarturl.it/presaveCP.

Listen to his single, Maria here: smarturl.it/CPMaria.

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.

Facebook Comment