We had the good fortune of connecting with Chris Pierce and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chris, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
My journey as a songwriter and musician has been fueled by risk taking. Many years ago, at age 15, I developed a rare hearing disorder called Otosclerosis that led to the loss of hearing in one ear and partial deafness in the other, a setback that could deter many young musicians forever. The reality, however ignited my passion and determination all the more, forcing me to re-learn almost everything about sound that I had known prior to my condition. To me, music was and still is an unconditional companion. Every single time I step on stage or into a studio to make music, I take a risk. Will I hear the music? Will I hear the other musicians? Will I be able to communicate with the engineer and/or the audience? For me, the thrill of the unknown and my eternal love for music reminds me to reach beyond what is on the surface, to center and to pull straight from my soul with ever note.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I stand by the notion that music can cut through the isolated and static feelings for those of us worn down by the chaos of everyday life. For the past 30 years, I’ve been recording and touring all over the world as an independent artist sharing the stage with a variety of artists. My call in each note and each song is to unite us under one sonic roof and to encourage emotional vulnerability by singing loud, speaking up and rising up. My latest album called ‘American Silence’ includes 10 original songs about a wide range of issues including justice, oppression, homelessness, black self-love, racism, mass incarceration, Immigrant Transcontinental Railroad workforce, Native American boarding schools, and a tribute to the American statesman and civil rights leader John Lewis.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m a born and raised Angeleno. I can’t give away all of my special spots, but friends that visit usually get a good dose of local hiking, a drive up to Santa Ynez or Napa, Huntington Gardens, Taylors Steak House, Petit Ermitage, Hotel Cafe, Leimert Park, Amoeba Records, the Village in Claremont, Bar Jackalope and many walks around the neighborhood with our rescue dog Seña. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Extending gratitude always to my family, friends, tribe, healers and sources of inspiration.