Bringin' It Backwards: Interview with Chris Mardini

About a year ago

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Bringin' it Backwards

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We had the pleasure of interviewing Chris Mardini over Zoom video!

Chris Mardini belongs to the rare breed of artists born to give voice to our most complex emotions. At just 19-years-old, the New York City-raised singer/songwriter has mastered the art of merging intense self-reflection with poetic social commentarya dynamic made all the more potent by his innate talent for crafting spellbinding melodies. A near-lifelong musician who took up guitar at age 10 and got his start playing Beatles covers at iconic venues like The Bitter End, Mardini sets his soul-baring songwriting to a singular collision of elements: the brooding urgency of classic alt-rock, kinetic rhythms of underground hip-hop, and impassioned vocal work of timeless singer/songwriters like Jeff Buckley.

Mardini discovered a love of seminal rock bands like Led Zeppelin as a child and later became obsessed with Nirvana, one of the most formative influences on his songwriting. After cutting his teeth playing covers at local spots like Arlenes Groceryand occasionally venturing down to Asbury Park to perform at the legendary Wonder Barhe started writing and self-producing his own material in his bedroom. With the arrival of his debut single Retrospective Outlook in September 2019, Mardini immediately proved the appeal of his unguarded honesty, and soon earned praise from outlets like Popdose (who noted that the ghosts of Nirvana, Odelay-era Beck, and mid-decade hip-hop haunt his music).

In the making of his debut album, Mardini joined forces with Grammy Award-winning producer Marc Swersky and recorded at New Jerseys Sound on Sound Studios with a lineup of veteran musicians, infusing each track with the same volatile energy of his mosh-heavy live set. Viscerally charged but intricately detailed, the albums galvanizing alt-rock fuses perfectly with Mardinis exploration of alienation and insecurity, self-sabotage and social pressure. In all of his output, Mardini showcases the sophisticated musicianship he first began honing as a kid growing up in the West Village. By channeling so much raw vulnerability into his songs, Mardini has ultimately found his way to a glorious catharsis thats palpable in every track he shares with the world. And while his lyrics often speak to the pain of isolation, he hopes his music might leave others with a powerful sense of understanding and connection.

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