This interview originally appeared on EARSTYLE November 6th, 2008
EARSTYLE: First of all congratulations on Touch My Body.
EARSTYLE: Did you ever expect it to be so big?
Uhhh it kind of surprised me just a little bit. Haha.. I knew it was a great song, but the whole topping Elvis and all that, I was, yeah that surprised me.
EARSTYLE: So how did that happen, who hooked that up, how did you get that song to Mariah?
Well actually me and Mariah co wrote that together along with Tricky Stuart and The Dream
My relationship with Mariah was hooked up by Jermaine Dupri. I’m signed to him as a writer and after writing with different producers and everything perfecting my craft, I caught his attention and he signed me about a year ago. And he put me in with Mariah probably around July of last year and ever since then we’ve just kept working together and Touch My Body was one of the songs that we did. We wrote about eight songs together and that was one of the eight. It came out amazing.
EARSTYLE: You also have a few other songs on the album, is that correct?
Yes. I have Side Effects, Loving U Long Time, and Cruise Control.
EARSTYLE: Cool cool, now you also worked with another artist that’s really close to JD, Janet. How was it working with her?
That was very very humbling. She was just so sweet and soft spoken. It just kind of makes you check yourself if you come in the room with an arrogance about you and you see Janet Jackson being as sweet and humble as she is, it just kind of a reality check for anybody. It was amazing, I mean; she’s an icon and I’ll never forget that.
EARSTYLE: It’s crazy that you’re working with all these original R&B artists
Tell me about it
EARSTYLE: I understand. You’re bringing them back and putting them back on the charts. It’s just crazy. Everybody’s appreciating what you’re doing right now.
Well, God is amazing and I’m just blessed.
EARSTYLE: So, how did you get your start?
Oh I actually started out singing in different talent shows and open mics in ATL and one say I decided I wanted to try out writing a song. I had to really find my nitch, find what was comfortable for me and so with that I found out that basically for me, it was easier for me to write in a conversation form, like between two people and just put melodies and rhyme a couple of things here and there. I started doing that and working for different producers. I was working with everybody who was willing to let me in their studio. It was just development. I grew and later I met my management and about two years after that is when I signed with Jermaine Dupri and it’s been history ever since.
EARSTYLE: Now, are you from ATL?
Yeah, I’m born and bred.
EARSTYLE: That’s what’s up! So, your latest song, Dumb Dumb Dumb; it took off so fast. How did Chilli get a hold of that hot track?
Well actually I got the track from a group of producers, they’re called Battery 5 and they’re amazing. When I heard the track, it was instant. I think I was half asleep and I just put on my iPod, it was like four o’clock in the morning and I played it and it kind of woke me up. I literally sat up in the bed at four in the morning and wrote that song Next thing you know, we would play it for people and it was a hot song; I think it was meant for Chilli and I think that is why it didn’t go to anybody else but her. So when she heard it, it was instant. She came into the studio with choreography and everything for the song, we just recorded it that day and she was such a perfectionist and just a professional. You can kind of tell that she was a veteran in the music industry. There’s a difference with the people who have been doing it and the newer people. So, that was just an amazing experience to record that song with her and it came out crazy!
EARSTYLE: Everybody loves it!
Yeah I know! Everybody’s dumb dumb dumb. Everywhere I go people calling someone a dumb dumb. Hahaha
EARSTYLE: Yeah, it’s crazy because Chilli been trying to do the solo thing for so long and she put out a few songs and like this is the first one that’s really taken off. That’s a big accomplishment for both you and her.
It is; I’m excited. I’m so excited that she got this song.
EARSTYLE: That’s crazy. So, she said she wanted to work with you again. Are you two already planning some new collaborations or anything?
Oh yeah, yeah, we’re going to do a lot of things. It’s going to be crazy. We got a lot more coming.
EARSTYLE: I’m excited. All the Chilli fans can’t wait, because they’ve been waiting for this album forever.
I know, it’s a long time coming.
EARSTYLE: So, what else do you have planned for the future, what’s next for Cristyle?
Actually, I have a few singles out now. I did “I’m Grown” for Tiffany Evans featuring Bow Wow, so I’m excited about that. I did a song called “Google Me” for Teyana Taylor.
EARSTYLE: I love that song.
Ahh, thank you and um right now I’m just working on some brand new records and Beyonce things. I’m just trying to get in wherever I can.
Beyonce, mmm hmmm.
EARSTYLE: Ahhh, that’s big!
Yeah, the Misses. I’m a huge Beyonce fan. So, that’s very very big for me.
EARSTYLE: You’re so blessed
I really really really am. I say that every day. I kind of have a conversation with God like, “What did I do to get this job?” Well, whatever it is I want to keep doing it. Cause it’s amazing.
EARSTYLE: Since you brought up “Google Me.” In your songs I notice you use like, new technology and what’s hot for the moment. Like in Touch My Body, you bring up You Tube. “Dumb Dumb Dumb” I think I caught a line about Nintendo Wii or something.
EARSTYLE: Is that like a staple for Cristyle?
Ummm..I guess you can say that. The way that I write, I write like people talk. Like, if somebody would be sarcastic and say You Tube or if someone was being sarcastic and say something about Nintendo, I would incorporate that into the song. Actually Mariah came up with the You Tube line. And when she said it, I was like, are we really gonna put it in? But it’s everybody’s favorite line. I like that about her too because writing when it’s realistic, when it’s just real thing that you would actually say to somebody, it all goes over pretty well. Like, you would actually call somebody a “dumb dumb” and I would want to write about that. So, that’s kind of a thing I like to do.
EARSTYLE: So, did you also come up with the Wendy line?
Ahhh…the Wendy line. I didn’t come up with the Wendy line. It was actually a joke that we were making and you know, we actually joked a lot with the whole song. A lot of things that came out on there was funny, it was pure joking. The same thing with “Google Me.” I was sitting down with Jazzey and Dean, we were joking about being popular and people saying that they don’t know you and he was like, “Well, you can google me!” And it was in that moment that we were like, you know what? I bet you won’t say that, I was daring them; I bet we won’t put this in the song and he was like, I don’t know. I’m telling you, that’s it right there. Google Me.
EARSTYLE: It’s funny because I’ll be listening to the radio and then Touch My Body comes on and if it’s not a Wendy Williams radio station, they’ll block out her name. I just crack up each time.
Yeah, they do block that. I thought that was kind of funny when I heard that blocked out for the first time.
EARSTYLE: I had to turn it up and wait for the next verse to come up, I’m like maybe my ears are just playing, maybe they had to take it out or something. I don’t know; how about they just replace it with their name or something.
Hey, you know what; that would have been funny. Hahaha. That would have been cute.
EARSTYLE: I saw a video of you at V-103, with Chilli. Looked like ya’ll just had a blast.
Oh yeah, that was fun. It was like hanging out after school.
EARSTYLE: So, that was your first time at a radio station, is this all new exposure for you?
That was definitely new. That radio station, I was scared out of my mind. I didn’t want to break nothing. I saw all these wires and little mechanics and I was like, I’m not touching nothing. I’m just gonna sit here and talk.
EARSTYLE:_______the wrong word about that
I know right, I realized that later. Lord, they’re gonna have me going crazy in here. But we had a good time.
EARSTYLE: That’s cool. That’s cool. So, I usually do a game called this or that. So, I’m going to tell you a word and you tell me the first thing that comes to mind or I’ll give you two options and you pick which ever is your favorite. So, you ready?
EARSTYLE: Touch My Body
You threw me off on that one, big kid
The breakout year
EARSTYLE: The presidential election in 2008
EARSTYLE: All the way. EARSTYLE.net
Really really….let me see…you said the first word that came to my mind right? Hard. Cause this is very hard. This is the first time I’ve done this. This is really exciting.
EARSTYLE: I’m sure much more of this is coming for you. Trust me on that. You’re about to blow up. I stand behind you 100%
Thank you. Thank you very much, I really appreciate that.
EARSTYLE: Alright, Beyonce or Destiny’s Child?
What you mean?
EARSTYLE: Do you like her as a solo artist or in a group?
Ooohhhh. You know what? I was a huge fan of the group and I’m a huge fan of hers to. I would have to say both.
EARSTYLE: Creep of No Scrubs
EARSTYLE: Summer or Winter?
EARSTYLE: Love or Lust?
EARSTYLE: Alright alright, concert or church?
EARSTYLE: OK, I need to get one more in, You Tube or Google?
Eartsyle: Well, thank you. Actually, can I get a shout out for the site? You know a quick, little something something for my site EARSTYLE.net. Just give us a quick shout out and I’ll put it on the site actually.
This is Cristyle and I’m chopping it up with EARSTYLE.net!
EARSTYLE: Cool cool, thanks. Well, thank you so much for this interview. It was real nice talking to you.
EARSTYLE: Make sure you keep in touch with me, keep us updated and EARSTYLE will definitely have the latest Cristyle ready for the world.
You got that, I’m above yall now. Hehehe
EARSTYLE: Do that, I got no problem with that. Do that, do that. So, you take care and enjoy the rest of your day and all. Stay blessed.
Thanks Zay. Bye.