Cris Cab's rise within the music circuit has been a steady one ever since he released his Foreword EP in 2011. With prominent support by none other like Pharrell Williams, the Miami native has convinced critics and fans alike with his catchy fusion of pop, reggae, and soul. Two EPs later, Cab has now readied his new full-length album Where I Belong, which marks a new chapter in his promising career. We met Cris Cab at Luisa Via Roma in Florence, Italy during the FIRENZE4EVER festivities. He opened up on his new album and his relationship with Skateboard P.
You just released your album a few weeks ago. Can you tell us more about your album and the title refers to?
So this is my first album and it’s called Where I Belong, and the title refers to me - it means the period of time between when I was 18 and 21 years old, which was a big time of self discovery, as I was trying to figure out what kind of music I wanted to do. Of course I always listened to reggae, but there was a lot more to consider like how I wanted to make it, what kind of message I wanted to send and who I wanted to be. So the title for me is very important. It means self discovery.
Sort of like a personal diary, right?
Who did you work with on this album?
I was very fortunate to work with so many amazing producers and artists on this album, but some of the people that I was able to work with include Pharrell Williams, Wyclef Jean, Dallas Austin, and of course my production partner PJ McGinnis.
This is your debut album, so how will it defer from your previous work and smaller projects?
For the most part, especially the last three years, we’ve been saving all the best music for now. We’ve been putting aside the best songs and - yes we’ve been releasing EPs and mixtapes - but our thoughts were ‘let’s save the best songs, let it sit for while, see how it lasts in the test of time and in a year or two if we feel its still good then it gets to be in the album.’
Are you content with the final product?
Definitely. I’m happy with the way it all turned out and I really enjoy the songs that are on there. I’m happy that the whole album feels like a story to me, it tells a story from top to bottom.
Tell us about your single “Liar Liar,” what are your thoughts on how it was received and its successes?
“Liar Liar” I’m really happy with. I’m surprised with how it took off and how well received it is around the world, and of course, I’m super honored to have such a great artist, producer and friend such as Pharrell on there. The song really comes to life with Pharrell’s bassline and the lyrics and the melodies.
What is the biggest misconception that people have about your relationship with Pharrell?
Misconception? That’s a tough one. I guess people don’t realize how cool of a guy he is. He’s very straightforward, and you need somebody on your team who will always going to tell you the truth, and Pharrell is that guy. He’ll tell you if he likes something or he doesn’t, he’s just very honest.
What would you say is the best advice that you’ve received from him?
The best advice I’ve ever received from Pharrell is that there’s no substitute for hard work, you know, you have to work hard to get to where you want to go.
What was your highest and lowest moment in your career?
One of the most memorable moments for me was when I had a show in New York and Wyclef Jean and Pharrell were able to come and perform with me on stage, that was a huge moment for me. As for lowest point, I don’t know if there’s ever been a super low point or anything too crazy, but I’ve definitely had times in my career where I was doubting myself and doubting what song to put our where to go next. The development years for an artist are very difficult.
I know you’re a big fan of the Dave Matthews Band. What would a collaboration between you and them be like?
It would be really great, I have a lot of acoustic guitar in my music as well, and I enjoy the way that Dave Matthews puts together his arrangements and his guitar riffs.
What would be your favorite song at the moment?
It would have to be “Marilyn Monroe” by Pharrell.
Have you ever had to face any creative conflicts?
Oh yeah, the difficult thing about being an artist is there’s a lot of people who want to help you and be on your team, and you have to decide who to listen to and whose advice to take and it’s very much a give and take situation.
Do you consider yourself a fashionable person?
Sometimes. Fashion is definitely a big thing for me. The way I dress myself is that I don’t try to wear anything too crazy, I dress fashionably but comfortable, and I make sure I’m more comfortable in what I’m wearing. That makes you more confident and subsequently what makes you look better.