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Meet Christopher Mills of Christopher Mills Music in North Texas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Christopher Mills.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’ve always been into music. Always. I grew up around it. And I went through the normal channels you would expect: Church choir, piano and guitar lessons, marching band, the whole nine yards. But I think I was 22 when I sat down and finally wrote my first original song. I let my best friend hear it and that was it. It was off to the races. After that, it was all about getting a band together, booking shows, writing and recording more music. I put 2 successful albums under my belt with my first band, Eleven Dollars.

But then, life happened and it pulled me away from the music and pulled my band apart. I found myself living in Fort Worth working multiple jobs to make ends meet. I had to put my dreams on the back burner and push through for a few years but it all worked out. As my wife and I improved our circumstances, music came back into my life. I’m fortunate enough to have a wife who knows my passion and who pushed me back to playing music. I was noticed playing a few local open mics and that turned into regular shows all over Texas and Oklahoma along with invites to appear on American Idol, The Voice, America’s Got Talent and Rising Star as well as contacts with contacts with real industry professionals like Jarett Reddick (Bowling For Soup), Andrew Tinker (Formerly of Polyphonic Spree, songwriter), JD Beck (JD Beck and Domi) and AJ Flores ( Formerly of Kumbia Kings). and I recorded my first solo EP entitled Bare Bones as well as a single, “How Much It Hurts”.

When my daughter arrived in 2016, of course, I slowed down again but I want her to see that a person can always chase a dream. I’m in the process now of writing more original songs for a new EP and booking shows for 2020. There’s a lot more to come for me.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I’ve played full, packed houses but I’ve also played to empty rooms. I’ve had moments where I could sit down and music and words just came to me and then, times where I sat staring at a blank page for hours and nothing came. There was a point where I had to stop playing music and get my life together. My wife and I were living in a one-bedroom apartment, both working multiple jobs just make ends meet. At that point, I didn’t have time for music and it showed. Not having a creative outlet for myself turned into depression and frustration and put a strain on my most important relationship. The one with my then-girlfriend, who would later become my wife. But we pushed through it and it made us stronger.

Then, there was a dark period that really set my mind that I have to keep making music. There were 2 parts. First was losing a close friend and former bandmate. Doug Benscoter had been a close friend and songwriting partner. Up until that time we had talked about getting back together and his passing hit everyone in that group hard. Second was a shooting at a Dallas Cowboys watch party that not only took away some close friends but also could have taken my wife, my daughter and myself. We had been invited and probably would have gone were it not for my wife dropping her phone in a puddle earlier that day, destroying it. It was a reminder that all of this can be taken away pretty quickly and we still carry that around even now.

What do you do, what do you specialize in, what are you known for, etc. What are you most proud of? What sets you apart from others?
I’m a Singer, Songwriter, Performer, Musician and Producer. I write original songs but I’ll also remake and cover other songs from different artists I enjoy and give them my own personal spin. I get asked all the time what kind of music I make and I like to use a phrase that a friend gave me. Texas Soul. I enjoy just about every type of music but I feel like my sound focuses on Folk, Country and 90’s Alternative and since I’ve been told that I have a very soulful voice I fuse all of that together to get Texas Soul. I think that combination is what really makes me different. Bringing in so many different styles means I can play something for everyone at show. And for me, the highlight of being in music is performing. If you’re playing in front of 2 people or 2000, cover songs, original songs, large venues or private parties, whatever you’re doing as a musician, if you enjoy performing that will come through to your audience.

Most proud? I would have to say a few things. One would be longevity. I’ve been making music for almost 20 years. I’ve played to empty rooms and packed houses. I’ve produced music independently and I’ve been signed to a record label. I’ve made records that won awards and records that did absolutely nothing. In such a difficult industry as music, longevity can speak volumes. Another would be my growth as a musician. I feel like the writing I’m doing now, in regards to the music itself as well as the lyrics, is much stronger and more in-depth than what I was writing before. Not to mention I’ve had time to refine my songwriting process so there is just more creating going on and much more variety to what I’m doing.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Perseverance. To make it in music or to even keep performing on any level you have to have confidence in yourself and your abilities. You have to be able to hear the word NO and not let it stop you. You have to be able to take criticism, both constructive and otherwise and not let it get under your skin. Honestly, I think perseverance is a good trait to have in just about anything you do, but if you’re going to be a performer, it’s essential.

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OtherRed Photography

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