Sixteen-year-old singing sensation Chris Brown is blowing up the charts with his debut single "Run It!"as of this writing, it's been Number One for two weeks straight! Now, the R&B heartthrob has dropped his self-titled first album, which is sure to shoot up the charts. Scholastic News Online talked to the talented teen just weeks before the CD was released. Read our exclusive interview to find out more about this up-and-coming superstar. Here's what he had to say:
Q & A
When did you know that singing was what you wanted to do?
Chris: When I was about 13. You can tell yourself that you can sing, but when you get a reaction from people and they give you positive feedback and they actually think you can sing, you build extra confidence.
A lot of your music is about love connections. Have you ever been in love?
Chris: I guess that's what you can call it, or you can call it a strong like.
Once you started your career, did you ever have doubts or think that this wasn't the right thing for you to do?
Chris: When I first started, I had a lot of doubts because I didn't believe in myself. Then, when people started putting forth the effort and believing in me, I believed in myself more.
You talk a lot about how rap music today disrespects girls and you totally disagree with that. Tell us how you want your audience to feel when they hear your music.
Chris: I want them to feel like they have a friend to talk to. A friend is someone whose shoulder you can cry on, and they'll always have your back. Not just your friend for the moment.
Are your friends surprised about all of the buzz about you?
Chris: Yeah, they were really surprised. I think they believed in me and knew I was doing music, but they didn't know the extent of it. When they found out I got signed and saw my video on TV, they were in awe!
What do you think are the biggest issues that teenagers have to face today?
Chris: One issue is gangs. There's a lot of influence in joining gangsjust following the crowd and doing what your friends think is cool, and not being the leader or making your own decisions.
What's the biggest obstacle that you've had to face?
Chris: I think it was getting over my stage fright. When I first started out, I was totally scared of performing, but after the first couple of times, I was like, "Oh yeah, I could do this all day."
What's the most important thing that you've learned in the music business?
Chris: To get your publishing straight and get your writer's credit, because at the end of the day you can still get checks from writing your own music.
Did you write anything for the album?
Chris: Yes, I did. I wrote quite a few songs on the album. I've been writing rhymes and raps and stuff since I was about 14, but I actually started writing songs to sing when I was 15.
What would be your perfect date?
Chris: I would have to say probably going to the movies. I'm only 16, so my mom probably wouldn't let me take the car. She'd probably drop us off at the movies or something and then take us out to eat after the movies.
How would you describe yourself to someone who didn't know you?
Chris: Handsome, single, wonderful singer, talented, young, and focused. [laughs]
Last question: If you could make a flavor of ice cream, what would the flavor combination be and what would you call it?
Chris: I would have to say strawberry-cheesecake ice cream and it would be called strawberry-cheesecake ice cream.
Interview by Marie Morreale
(Photo: Courtesy of Clay Patrick McBride)
Chris Brown is available at record stores everywhere!
Look for Chris on the Billboard Music Awards on FOX. Check local listings for details.
Name: Chris Brown
Birth Date: May 5, 1989
Birthplace: Tappahannock, Virginia
Current Residence: New Jersey
Height: 6' 1"
Siblings: older sister
Musical Influences: Sam Cooke, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Bobby Brown, and New Edition
Currently on his iPod: OutKast, 50 Cent, Kanye West, and Ciara
Car: 2006 Range Rover
School Subject: Math
Books: The Harry Potter series
Childhood Book: Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss