With over 60 million global audio and video streams on his evocative hit “Man Enough Now,” Chris Bandi is poised for his breakthrough in country music. The St. Louis, Missouri native has been writing songs since high school. He began making the trek to Nashville during his college days at Ole Miss, honing his craft playing small clubs and making the big move to Music City after graduation.
What songs/artists did you listen to growing up in St. Louis? How has their music impacted yours?
I grew up listening to everything from Garth Brooks to Prince. It really depended on who took me to school in the morning, Mom would listen to 90’s country (George Strait, Travis Tritt, Alan Jackson) and dad would listen to rock music or current 90’s pop music. Then being from St. Louis, I was a huge fan of Nelly. I feel like it has all played a part in shaping who I am and the music that I write.
Spotify’s “Songs I Grew Up On” Playlist-can you share how the songs you chose impact your music?
They have all been songs that I’ve fallen in love with and really tried to emulate with the music that I write.
Saw you played at MOVE Inclusive Dance, a studio for people of all abilities. If you were to make a playlist for those dancers what songs would be on it?
I would definitely make them something they could dance to! When I was there I played them “Old Town Road” and it was great to have everyone signing and dancing along!
You played at CMAFest this year. What is another festival you’d like to play?
When you write a song, how much focus do you put on your intended audience?
Honestly, first and foremost I try to write things that are true to who I am and what I want to say. I feel those are the best songs and just hope that somewhere out there, there is someone who can relate to the song or the lyrics!
How do you know when your song is done-it’s time to stop revising and put it down?
This is a hard one for me! Haha I have a hard time really everything thinking they’re completely done! That’s why I’m lucky to have a team behind me that I can bounce the songs off of and get their input!
What’s the best bit of advice you ever received regarding your songwriting?
The best advice I ever received was to write songs about MY life and to not try to chase a trend or what’s happening now. The truth will always win.
In terms of the overall composition, what is your favorite song and why?
As of now, I think “Man Enough Now” is my favorite song! From the day we wrote it, I knew that it’s what I wanted to say with my first single!
What do you do to inspire your creativity?
I try to observe as much as I can, whether it be something I’m reading, something I’m watching on tv or conversations I’ll be having with someone. Inspiration comes at the craziest times!
What was the inspiration for “Man Enough Now”, your co-write with Jason Massey and Jason Duke?
I was actually thinking about a previous relationship that I had been in and whether or not we would still be dating if I started that relationship now. I felt as if I had grown a lot since then and brought that title in to Jason and Jason and they loved it!
The song has 60 million plus streams on Spotify. What have fans shared with you is their takeaway message from the song?
It has really been crazy to see how many people can relate to “Man Enough Now.” We’ve had people tell us it has helped them get over a break up, or helped them realize to appreciate what they have before it’s too late!
What’s on your set list for your upcoming tour with Laine Hardy?
The setlist is going to have quite a few new songs but also some of the stuff we’ve got out on Spotify, including “Man Enough Now”!
You said “When I grow up, I want to be Kevin Costner.” Any plans to act?
I had been binge watching Yellowstone when I tweeted that! He’s seems like he’s just the coolest guy! I would love to act, not sure how good I would be ha!
Favorite place to fish? Largest fish you’ve caught to date?
I love fishing off the coast of Key Largo! I’ve gotten really close to a few folks down there and make it a priority to go as often as I can! I think my biggest was about a 30 pound Mahi!