Chris and the Kingsmen
Chris Ward is a Christchurch based singer/songwriter and producer. At the age of 8 he started his musical journey with piano lessons but after watching Eric Clapton ‘Unplugged’ with his dad at age 10, he was determined to learn the guitar. In high school Chris formed his first band and his style was massively influenced by artists like Jimi Hendrix, Ben Harper, Sublime and Bruce Springsteen. It is here where he started writing songs and singing as well. Chris attended Jazz School where he met the members of the new band he fronted called Picture. They wrote and performed all over the country and opened for bands like Op Shop, The Feelers, Jordan Luck Band and many more.
After a musical break, a series of life events brought Chris back to his musical dream of recording and producing. This is a solo project, with three of the songs co-written with longtime friend and collaborator Ben Crosson (Baby Blue, Take Control, Run and Hide), also a former member of Picture.
When Chris was going through the process of building his own studio, he was put in contact with producer TeMatera Smith (Troy Kingi, Tony Durant, Seventy One Sunset, Symphony of Screams etc.), who agreed to come down to Christchurch and provide some advice. During conversation Chris mentioned he had a small recording project of a few songs, and TeMatera offered to produce it, even though he hadn’t heard anything at that point. After an initial session where Chris demoed more material, TeMatera said “you have an album here” and the discussion went to how many tracks. It was settled on twelve, which would be recorded in two sessions. The resulting album includes very first song Chris ever wrote, as well as one which was only written between sessions.
When asked about the album, Chris said “It is in itself a journey through many aspects of life: love, loss, attraction, belief, it’s all there. I’m hoping people will listen to the album from start to finish and be taken on a similar journey themselves. Although we are all individuals, we go through similar experiences, and maybe this album will help guide people through. Music can take you to places and garner emotional responses, thoughts and feelings. It should move you in some way.”
Chris has also produced an EP for Lee Martin, a country/folk singer songwriter, and plans to produce further artists through his studio.