Christian Lopez officially gained admittance into the music industry as a singer/songwriter when he dropped his debut EP, Pilot, at age 18. After that first collection of songs, Lopez was eagerly embraced by the Americana genre and he continued to produce music that paid homage to his West Virginia roots. Recently, however, Lopez felt an itch to break out of his original soundscape and create something truly electric.
On October 8, Lopez released his third studio album after a four-year hiatus titled The Other Side. Now 26 years old, Lopez has learned a thing or two about the industry as well as himself. In conversation with American Songwriter, Lopez fondly categorizes The Other Side as a “rebirth” of self.
“I was in need of a change of scene, change of sound, change of people,” Lopez says. “I left Nashville and went to L.A. and I started working with [producer] Robert Adam Stevenson.”
In L.A., Lopez and Stevenson nurtured their creativity, and the 12-tracks known as The Other Side were born. “[The album] has a lot of new sounds for me. In comparison to the last couple albums that I’ve put out, [it’s more] folk-rock,” Lopez explains. These new sounds were the result of Lopez playing almost every instrument on the record, outside of some expert help from drummer Carl Thompson.
Lopez also acknowledges that this is his first bonafide solo album and that the title track embodies this shift. “When it came time to name the album, it was a no-brainer for me just because that song wraps up the entire theme for the album, which is a rebirth,” Lopez says. “It’s my take at being as honest as I can without any rules, without any barriers, without anyone looming over me—just an opportunity to satisfy my own creative self.”
Another song on the record, “Sip Of Mine,” is “strictly about perseverance” according to Lopez. “It is a very important trait in my business—resilience, holding on to what you want to do [and] not letting anyone tell you otherwise. It was my statement of rebellion… that song was such a transition point for me because once we finished at the studio, I knew that there was no turning back.”
Lopez’s sonic rebellion was also accompanied by a stunning music video. “We just shot a ton of footage just trying to capture some of that jubilance. But of course, the intro coming out of the ocean and in the end and going back to the ocean, [that’s] different interpretations of your life itself. Coming in alone, livin’ in big, and then and then leaving alone.”
“Nothing Wrong” also has an astounding music video, but for another reason—Lopez starred in the “Nothing Wrong” video as a zombie. “We shot it as this zombie video because the song is a look inward,” Lopez explains. “Feeling like zombies is a feeling we all have to fight off sometimes on certain days.”
Additionally, “Braver” emboldens listeners to take on anything that they want to accomplish. Overall though, Lopez hopes that these songs will lend themselves to a more positive lens for listeners of The Other Side. “This album for me was a look inward, of strength finding, and things like that so if I can get anyone spiritually jacked up, that’s all that I care about. As long as I can help someone get through their day.”
Listen to The Other Side by Christian Lopez below.
Photos courtesy of Big Hassle Media