Now the stories are starting to come full circle.
[Image via FayesVision/WENN.]
His is the most talked-about audition of X Factor U.S.! In case you missed it, watch it above!
Perez recently caught up with Chris Rene to ask him everything we and YOU wanted to know!
Check that out… after the jump!
Perez: Wow. Wow. Wow. I was not expecting that from you! You gave, in my opinion, the best audition of the premiere. What kind of response have you gotten from people? Has your life changed instantly?
Chris: Oh my God. Thank you. Yes my life has changed miraculously and instantly. Umm Oh My God… So My phone started blowing up right after and even before it aired on the west coast I was getting texts from the east coast from numbers I don’t even know saying “Chris we just saw you. Oh my gosh you killed it and this and that and the other. And then when it played on West Coast time, everyone I know from Santa Cruz to LA was just texting me and even right now I have 116 unread text messages because they keep flying in. Flying in!
Your performance became one of the most emailed stories on my website! Were you confident going in to your audition or were you nervous?
So there was definitely a lot of confidence there because this was a chance to change my life, and so I had to have the strength and confidence in my heart ready for this whole thing. But let me just say there was a lot of nervousness going in front of the judges. These are all giants in the industry. These are juggernauts man. Knowing that I just came out of rehab and I’m an addict – this is me, you know? I’m just showing the world this is me, take it or leave it, but I had no clue what the heck it was going to be. There was that but then there was also what I know in my heart, which is me, and I know what I got. I just thought, alright I’m going to give them a piece of me and I hope they like it and that’s what I went out there with. And when it came time for them to respond in the middle of the song and as the song started ended and people started feeling it. And when I was done it was like a wave of angels giving me a massage on my soul or something.
It was a pretty risky decision to perform an original song. Why did you decide to do that?
I chose that song because it has a lot of meaning. It’s very current, it’s what’s going on in my life right now and I really couldn’t learn anyone else’s songs. I didn’t feel confident going out there singing any other artist’s song and I didn’t think I would be able to show them who Chris Rene is or a piece of what I am, you know? I felt like that was it and that song would touch people like it touches me.
Have you been working on music and writing for a while?
Indeed, indeed. I’ve been working on music since I was 12 years old. I’m 28 now, but this last 2 years has been a real big progression for me listening to the top 40s on the radios and hearing different artists. Getting inspired by TI, Rihanna. I’m listening to Lil Wayne, Drake, Kanye West. I’m listening to these guys and incorporating a lot of that into my style and my message. I’ve been working a lot on music: writing my own songs, producing my own beats and stuff.
Do you rap as well as sing?
Yes. I rap and sing - and to make it easy I guess you could say that I make it ring!
Vocally, how do you think you rank compared to some of the other contestants?
Vocally um I don’t know, I know like Marcus is incredibly incredible. I was like “damn man, you’ve got some special soul, you’ve got some ancient beautiful stuff in you dude and you need to share this with world.” Now we’re in the competition and we just want to be ourselves and see what happens. But vocally I think I’m pretty good, but I have a lot to learn - a lot to learn.
What do you think your odds of winning are?
It all depends on my performances and what happens as the show move forwards and if I make it to the next round or not. It depends on my performances.
You were pretty fresh from rehab when you first auditioned. Doing a show like X Factor brings a lot of pressure. Do you think you can handle it?
It did bring some pressure. For a normal person they would be tripping out, and I’m definitely not a normal person. I love love this! I love ALL of this. I love the good, the bad, the ugly – whatever it comes with, I signed up for this when I got on the stage and sang that song. The pressure is kinda not really there today. The excitement is there and the motivation to work hard and to see what happens on this road is definitely there.
Do you go to meetings/have support?
I don’t have to but I choose to and that’s a part of my recovery process. There are a couple of different things I do on a daily basis and it definitely helps me stay level and it’s a beautiful thing.
I wake up, I pray, I ask God to help guide me on my daily journey from there I eat breakfast, clean up, go out if I have a job and go out and do ahauling job and then I’ll hit a meeting and then I’ll come back and play some ping pong with some friends because we have ping pong table at my SLE (sober living environment). We check in with each other on a daily basis. It’s beautiful.
It’s pretty simple, my day is pretty simple.
How or why did you first start experimenting with drugs?
I don’t really know why – I think it was just something to do. It was just there. I started experimenting for just the fact of trying it and thatlead into getting addicted. I wanted to quit but I couldn’t and it kept going for long time and then everything got really real and reality hit me. I got in a bad car accident and almost died and my life flashed before my eyes and I was really scared that I was not going to be around for my son and my family and I didn’t want that to happen. It was really scary for me and reality struck.
And I came to a realization that I was either going to keep using and die, or stop using and live. And I chose to live, and that’s why I got clean and sober.
Being on the show, are you required to stay clean/submit to random drug testing?
I’d submit to random drug testing at anytime. I’m in this for life.
What artist do you see yourself as? I think there's a Mike Posner vibe to you.
I see myself as me, there is just so much potential to what it can be and who I could be in terms of what it could sound like. Man I just see myself as me who has been inspired by the greats. I’m a lover of music.
Have any celebs reached out to you?