An R&B artist born and raised in Richmond released his debut album Wednesday.
Chrxs Jang, born Christopher Jang, has a first collection filled with smooth vocals over catchy beats. It’s called "Online Famous."
“I’ve always loved classical R&B. Now having people like Drake who … put a rapper’s cadence to a singer’s melody. My style has taken that direction. It comes naturally to me, that way of singing,” he told the Richmond News while working on edits to a music video.
Scrolling through the 27-year-old’s Instagram account, you can watch him croon his original numbers and pick up an acoustic guitar for unplugged covers of popular songs.
The album’s name, the same as one of its tracks, refers to a love interest that seems unattainable, Jang said.
“When you see that girl on Instagram that everybody follows but nobody can have … it’s written towards her I guess. She’s a fantasy.”
He teased that single in advance of the release, plus others “Get it On” and “Said Your Name,” where he swings between shaking off a lover and asking for her forgiveness.
He says he looks up to artists like Drake, Ty Dolla $ign, Hubbo, Saint Soldier and more.
During a recent performance in Kelowna, another rapper liked Jang’s performance and thought he’d be a good fit at his label. Jang ended up signing with Real Solid Entertainment Inc., and flew to Toronto where he recorded the dozen-or-so songs on the debut record.
“I’m feeling really good about it. It’s exciting,” Jang said. “And it’s crazy because there’s only going to be 13 songs on this one. But I have, like, 40 songs on the backlog.”
Jang has been musical his whole life, and says he usually writes songs by first finding a beat and freestyling to it to come up with a melody. He puts words down later.
“Even when I was a kid, I was just singing along to everything. I’d remember a tune in my head. It’s the thing that would stand out the most to me in life,” he said.
Jang was briefly signed to a record label along with his twin brother as a teenager. But then, life got in the way of music.
“Getting a job, paying bills … I stopped believing in myself.”
He credits a move to Kelowna in 2016 to live with his older cousin with convincing him to focus on his craft.
“He worked on my mentality, my mindset. He was like dude you’re so good at music. Why aren’t’ you following your passions?”
Jang decided to take on a stage name because he was worried Chris would be too common.
“People always have told me to use my real name because it sounds like a celebrity name,” he laughed. “But there are so many Chrises out there. So I added the X to make it a little saucy.”
The album can be streamed through services like Apple Music or Spotify, and purchased through iTunes.
Editor's note: The original version of this story indicated Jang planned to drop the record in January. It was updated to reflect the album's actual release date.