Interviews, Music
Feb 16, 2023

Artist Q+A: Christian Kuria

Christian Kuria is coming to the legendary Troubador here in Los Angeles on the 25th of February, we sat down to chat all about his new music with him. Check what he has to say about his Sophmore album ‘Suspension of Disbelief’ below.

PPLA: This is your Sophomore album now, how do you feel it differs from your first?

CK: Perspective and experience. When I was making my first EP, I had no little to no expectations; not only regarding public reception, but also just creatively. It was my first real time pulling together a group of songs for a project. By the time I started working on Suspension of Disbelief, people were beginning to respond to my work, and an audience was developing around my music. Creating a body of work for an engaged listenership is a different experience than the first shot.

PPLA: What songs from your first album still resonate with you, or do you find yourself still relating to that era in its entirety?

CK: My whole life I’ve gone through distinct phases, so in a lot of ways, I feel like a very different person than who I was then. That being said, I still really appreciate all of the songs that came out of that time in my life. 

PPLA: What was the most challenging song to create on your new album?

CK: I think ‘Toroka’ gave me the most resistance. It took me a while to find the right verses. Also, figuring out the chord changes in that song was a real puzzle. Once it came together, it was super satisfying.

PPLA: What message do you hope your fans take away from this album?

CK: Everything I’ve written so far has been an expression of self or experiences I’ve had. I’d be satisfied knowing that fans simply related to these stories, or appreciate how beauty can be a derivative of pain and hurt.

PPLA: Have you music influences shifted or changed as you’ve grown as an artist?

CK: Absolutely. I’m hopelessly influenced by what I listen to and the music my friends show me. Every song I’ve made can be traced back to another song that inspired it. The shift in creative direction over the last two projects is a reflection of the changes in the music I’m listening to. 

PPLA: Where is somewhere that you haven’t performed that you hope to soon?

CK: I hope to perform in Kenya. My dad was born and raised there and I have a lot of family living in and near Nairobi. It’d definitely be a full-circle experience for me.

PPLA: What have you learned about yourself as an artist during the creation of this album? Do you think that also translates to the sound listeners can expect in this new release?

CK: I’d trade quantity for quality every time. It took me two years to create this project, and in an industry this fast-paced, that span of time was the source of a lot of anxiety. I think I’ve come to a peace with myself, knowing that I have to take my time if that’s what the music calls for.

PPLA: Do you have anything or ritual you absolutely must do before stepping out onto the stage?

CK: Nothing too specific. In the moments leading up to performing, I just try to return to my inner child so that I never forget what it felt like to dream about getting to do this. 

PPLA: Are you reading anything at the moment?

CK: I’m in the middle of Lori Gottlieb’s Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, but mostly just a heap of podcasts. 

PPLA: Go to food at the moment?

CK: I am obsessed with Indian food right now. There’s a lot of crossover with Kenyan cuisine that reminds me of my childhood.

PPLA: Favorite activity to reset your mind and energy?

CK: Going on walks around my neighborhood has always been a lifeline for my mental state. When I’m writing music, going on walks in nature help give me perspective for what I’m working on. 

Image Courtesy of Artist

Check out Christian’s music here, and make sure to snag a ticket to his upcoming Troubadour show if you’re in LA!