Contra Chris: My Double Life
Contra Chris is a thirty-six year old events specialist who currently works from his home in South London creating music as a hobby.
Contra Chris (also known as Chris Cole) was born into a middle class family from South London, where he grew up. He first started making music a few years ago, when it was just something for him to do in his spare time away from his full time job. He even has his own YouTube channel, called Chris P, where he uploads his music free of charge for anyone to enjoy. Taking a look at his YouTube channel, I got a feel for his style of music: it was unique, but likeable at the same time.
Growing up in London was challenging for Chris as he found himself getting into trouble which he says was due to him “being involved in the wrong crowd at the wrong time”. But despite this, he managed to get away from his bad habits from being with these group of friends and instead invested his time and energy into finding a job.
He now works full time as a drape and events specialist where he sometimes helps set up equipment for small musical events for artists. He says that this is what influenced him the most to start song writing and where he discovered his passion to make music. Although he never pursued music as a career, he instead uses it as a hobby for him and a way to “escape from reality”.
Chris uses his spare time to understand his passion for music. He chose to focus on the hip-hop genre, creating this ‘Contra Chris’ ego to fulfil this rapper identity, but maintaining this ‘other’ identity has proven to be challenging to Chris who described it as having to “live a double life”.
Whilst I was interviewing Chris for my profile, I noticed this act he had put on when he first met which I thought was to make himself appear more like a rapper: lots of hand gestures, the way in which he spoke, his shabby clothing – but towards the end I saw a change in his posture and attitude, he was much more friendly and calm. It was like he became a complete different person when he was in his ‘Contra Chris trance’. It eerily reminded me of that Hannah Montana programme with Miley Cyrus when she’s living two lives, but in real life.
Maria, Chris’s partner, describes his work as “something he is really passionate about”, and hopes that one day he will become recognized for what he does and that “he is really hard working. . . both in his real job and for his hobby”.
One thing that stood out to me was the fact that Chris isn’t as young as most rappers and music artists we know of today. He told me that because of this age difference between him and his target audience (between the ages 18-30), he finds it quite tricky to keep on top of his music and with the latest trends. But that doesn’t stop him from wanting to discontinue his hobby – if anything, it makes him want to get the word out even more, to prove that people his age can do what most of the music industry does.
Coming to the end of my profile of Chris, I’m looking forward to seeing how his work progresses and what plans he has instore for the near future.
A link to Chris’s soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/chrisponefortheroads