Major thanks to Boone, NC based country-rock songwriter Chris McGinnis who connected with DCWS for an exclusive Q&A to discuss his newly released debut EP “Songs For You”. We got a chance to ask Chris about what motivated him to write and record the EP, how his time as a student at Appalachian State University has inspired his songwriting, and much more.
After reading our interview with Chris, be sure to stream his “Songs For You” EP on Spotify and connect with him on his social media.
Congratulations on the completion and release of your debut EP "Songs For You". What initially motivated you to write and record this EP?
Thank you very much! These songs were a product of solitude. I wrote them at a time when I was largely alone and having to sit down with myself and really figure out who I wanted to be and what I wanted to do. I had been writing songs for a while, but these were different. In realizing that they were unique to my own style, and even to the styles of my peers, I knew these were the songs that needed to be recorded for my first real project.
You're not just a talented songwriter, you enrolled as an English major at Appalachian State University. Would you say that your experiences as a student inspire your songwriting at all?
Absolutely. Studying literature has helped me figure out how to use words more effectively and efficiently. The luxury of living in a community of people my age actively trying to learn and better themselves inspires me to do the same.
You've listed Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Tom Petty, and John Prine as musical influences. What specifically about these four legends have you drawn from with your own music?
First and foremost, their lyricism. Each of those writers have crafted their own distinctive voices in order to reveal aspects about humanity that are totally familiar, but in a profound way.
With your debut EP now released, what are some of your goals musically for the remainder of 2019?
For the rest of 2019, I hope to be able to share my music with a broader audience. I really hope I'm able to book more shows in larger areas outside of my community here in Western North Carolina. There are a lot of cool bands coming out of Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill right now, which is a scene I'd love to break into. Hopefully I'll find some more songs along the way too.
Tell us about the music scene in Boone; are there venues for artists to perform and are you a local celebrity on campus?
There are a few neat venues in downtown Boone, mostly bars and breweries, that pretty evenly book local bands and larger national-touring acts. It'd be nice to have one more true listening venue that focuses on the music more than anything else, but it's a great town for music regardless. The beautiful thing about the Boone music scene is that there are a ton of student bands and almost always a house show to go to.
I'm nowhere near any kind of local celebrity, and that's absolutely fine with me. I'm just one guy trying his best to contribute to a diverse and thriving artistic community.