Cris Gunther Bears his Soul with His Latest Album
Written by Vaughn Eric Stewart
Hi, Cris- How did you get involved in music?
Hi, Vaughn! My dad and brother were professional singers, my mom was a competitive dancer, and I started performing in nightclubs and talent competitions when I was 8. Performing was the family passion, and I’m happily carrying the mantel now. And coming from a challenging childhood, music was my refuge and still is. I’ve had a lifelong love affair with its enormous power to make us dance, sing, feel, connect, reflect, cry, smile, grow, understand, heal, let go, and carry on.
You’ve been busy the last few years.
After Co-Winning the inaugural Randy Jackson, Babyface, Kenny G, and Walter Afanasieff talent competition, ISINA, and winning the 2018 Hollywood Music In Media Award for Best Message Song / Social Impact for “Never Give Up”, do you feel you’re finding your voice now?
Actually, I think my voice is finding me, which is strange as I’m really not sure who’s leading who now. And as hard as it’s been to get to this level of artistic development, I feel like I’m only beginning to scratch the surface of my potential and higher calling. And the true reward is in the daily walk of learning how to be a better human being, and hopefully as a consequence, a bolder, more impactful artist.
If you had to give an aspiring singer one word of advice, what would it be?
Aside from being a good person and becoming the most authentic artist you can possibly be- I strongly recommend learning how to build your career from the ground up from a managerial and administrative perspective, and by establishing a strong digital foothold as well. You must think of yourself as an entrepreneur and learn every single facet of the business while growing your fan base and streaming organically, and this will strengthen other areas of your artistry and attract the right bees to your honey.
Are you involved in other projects right now?
I’m still recording my upcoming third album, and finishing a book that I’ve been working on for several years now. I’m also toying with some new screenplay ideas with a friend, which is very exciting.
Of all the characters you’ve played, what roles do you most Identify with?
I love sinking my teeth into richly complex underdog characters who’ve struggled or endured a lot to overcome fear, injustice, repression, traumas, and abusive relationships. On the lighter side, I also really enjoy romantic and comedic roles as laughter and love are truly the best medicine.
How has your family and friends reacted to your life as a recording artist, actor, and writer?
A select few are very supportive, believe in me, and celebrate my victories. The others are silent and appear to be indifferent. I’m not really sure why that is.
What are some of your grandest ambitions as an artist?
Career wise as far as music goes, I’d love to record and perform with Janet Jackson, Pink, Adele, Billie Eillish, Harry Styles, Bruno Mars, Rihanna, Lana Del Rey, and the Weekend.
In terms of acting and writing, I’d like to have a meaty role in Anne Rice and AMC’s upcoming The Vampire Chronicles– and it would be a huge honor to see my book or screenplays come to life on the big screen, in stage and film musicals, and a tv series.
On a personal level, it would be wonderful to master the art of self-love, and to meet a soul mate to share my life with and start a family one day. I’d like to adopt as well.
On a different note — how did the impact of Covid affect you?
Personally, it’s taught me that boundaries and disengagement from toxicity are key to mental health and positive productivity. I’ve also been learning that the people who stay in touch care and matter the most and deserve my utmost respect, care, appreciation, and attention. And, I’ve also learned that nature and human connection and touch are essential to our physical and mental health balance.
Do you look at the world differently now?
For me, the pandemic has exposed all levels of corruption, injustice, and hypocrisy from the highest levels of government, business, and society. And most infuriatingly from an American perspective, our health insurance and pharmaceutical industries’ criminal price gauging and coverage denial, which most adversely affects middle class Americans is one of the biggest and cruelest abuses of power I can think of.
Is there a person in your life that will always be real to you no matter how successful you become?
I’d say there’s less than a handful of relationships that I can consistently count on and can’t foresee ever changing due to any type of material success. And I’m grateful for them every day. But, my relationship with God and my faith is the most predominant in my life.
What do you like to do alone in your spare time or daily routine to stay healthy — physically, mentally and spiritually?
Nowadays, I try to only do things that only bring me peace and joy, such as listening to music, going to the park with my dog, getting as much outdoor activity and exercise as possible including swimming and running- and I greatly enjoy setting daily goals and self-improvement stuff. I’m also focused on eating the right food now and starting to enjoy cooking for the first time.
As we are a fashion/celebrity magazine, what’s your personal fashion style?
It’s pretty eclectic due to my ever-shifting moods and inspiration, but to simplify it with quick references, maybe I’m somewhere in the same universe as early Elvis and Prince, Jared Leto, Harry Styles, and Neo from the Matrix films, but with my own quirky nebulas and black holes dancing around?
What’s your most inspiring fashion story?
For sure it was the time I was scouted by Steven Meisel at a Kate Moss birthday party in New York City many years ago and I ended up on the first page of one of his Italian Vogue-Versace stories. And then Meisel had me on hold for a big Calvin Klein campaign and it appeared I lost favor when they either found out I wasn’t in New York or that I’d gotten my long blond hair cut. And that was the beginning and end of my modeling career.
We are called Cool America. What do you find cool about America?
Its strengthening social justice awareness and activism, rapidly expanding cultural diversity, and its innovative entrepreneurial spirit. And despite all of its gender and racial inequalities, and socio-economic and healthcare inequities- I believe it’s still a country engaged in some serious soul searching, and striving to be its unrealized best self.
What do you find cool about yourself?
I believe in deep soul connection, lifting others up, and finding solutions that benefit all and not just a select few. I’m also a passionate truth seeker, collective thinker, and self-love advocate who rarely gives up on anyone or anything unless God forces me to cause it’s a dead end.
What are the meanings behind your new 2-part single, “Compass Love”, and your upcoming album, C-Gun’s Beatific: The Wedding of Heaven and Hell?
“Compass Love” is about wrestling in the mud with our fears and rising to the stars to do the self love tango with God and the Universe as our faithful Co-Captains.
And about the album title- ‘C-Gun’ is a nickname an old friend gave me, and I’ll have to leave the rest up to the listener’s imagination… I think it’s more exciting that way for everybody!
“Compass Love” is out now on all platforms. C-Gun’s Beatific: The Wedding of Heaven and Hell is set for a Fall 2021 release. Visit www.crisgunther.com for more details.