Chris Keller is art in perpetual motion, but it is motion with a purposeful, passionate pursuit. So it should come as no surprise that the 25-year-old master of the mix should be drawn to the power and purpose of America’s centrifugal core city, none other than the Big Apple. The pull and the push of its pulse is at the heart of the place he intends to call home.
“Studying with Brett in Nashville I’ve learned a lot about technique and voice, artistry, and how to rock,” Chris said. ” In the past I’ve been able to sing anything from rhythm & blues, Broadway, but just a few months ago in New York it all clicked.”
Good Times In New York
Chris recently spent some time in New York working with Brett Manning Associate Deborah “Zuke” Smith. Zuke lives what she refers to as “the country life” in north New Jersey. But when these two get together it is their collective drive and desire that sets the stage for changes high above and far beyond what’s better or best for anyone brave enough to saddle up success and ride it into the light of a rising star.
Chris and Zuke are putting together the promising presence of a New York based, Brett Manning Studios with an East Coast edge.
Chris, who admits to a love and passion for big cities, worked with several of Zuke’s students and spent two days teaching just off of Times Square.
“These were the best lessons ever,” Chris said. “Even one of Brett’s students worked with me for a two-hour session and then emailed Brett to talk about magnitude of the experience.”
Golden Circles Of Connections
Through Zuke Chris met Bon Jovi producer/engineer Andy Snitzer as well as Manhattan based producer/musician/songwriter, Rich Mercurio. Rich has produced and written for various record and television projects and has recorded and/or performed with artists including Enrique Iglesias, Jewel, Chris Whitley, and Michael Bolton.
“Rich is a drummer for lots of Broadway bands and was working on a session with his girlfriend, Tabitha Fair,” Chris said of the woman who sang at President Obama’s inauguration. “She liked my voice, the vibe and energy. Tabitha had a Times Square late show and was missing the low guy’s voice for backing vocals. I was asked to step in.”
Investing In Image
His experience in New York has had a profound effect on image issues. Chris now takes more care in appearance, investing more time and money in shopping for wardrobe to look good, sharp and professional. Going shopping with Zuke certainly didn’t hurt!
“I also want to get my photos done well, get them done the right way,” he said.
He’s also excited because Brett is excited for Chris and Zuke to take on the task of building Brett Manning’s Empire State presence in the City.
Chris is grateful for his time in Nashville, but he feels it has run its course. Upon his return to Nashville he realized how something had changed. He felt so perfectly at home in New York, thriving on its energy, diversity, cultures, arts, and the creativity of the people, like Zuke.
Mover + Shaker + Career Maker
“I like the fact that I’ll be going to NY not as a starving artist but as someone making things happen, making money, and making a positive difference,” Chris said. “I’m looking forward to getting back up there so I can do some more scoping out.”
Chris and Zuke are also looking forward to Brett’s Master Class in New York that he will do to help kick things off.
Hitting The Heights Of Bright City Lights
There is clearly a wiser, wilder whirlwind of wonder about Chris these days. A light clearly was switched on during his most recent visit to New York. It is that laser light in Chris that along with Zuke’s fiery flashes of focus that will serve to brighten Broadway talent and blaze with brilliance thorough the boroughs, burbs, and beyond.
One thing will never change about Chris is his commitment to excellence without compromise.
“My goal is to make you a better singer,” he said. “And I want everybody, myself included, to enjoy a life of singing to the fullest potential.”