As the music industry contracts, and onlookers therein watch anxiously, hoping it will expand, people like Christopher Paul Stelling become increasingly more significant.
Because Stelling is a talented musician who does not need the music industry to survive. Music videos are nice, radio play would be nice, and getting that track into a film soundtrack or TV show would be wonderful, but the most essential thing—entertaining an audience, simply with a guitar in hand—is what may matter most.
Stelling is a singer/songwriter with superb guitar skills, a one-man show who has often been likened to a modern-day troubadour, and a productive player who’s spent the few years extensively touring. He cuts a striking figure as he energetically performs, but even without the visual cues, the music—as typified by his upcoming Labor Against Waste album, his third but first for ANTI- Records, a label that has distinguished itself via its prestigious signing. It’s due in June, and it’s very good indeed.
We caught up with the man at South By Southwest last month—in fact, he was this year’s very first Up Close session shoot while down there—and were impressed by the intensity of his performance, his skills on the guitar fretboard, and the character which displays itself both in performance and in our later interview. He’s one interesting man, this Christopher Paul Stelling, and very much worth hearing.