Chris Renzema and Jervis Campbell performed in the forum at Oklahoma Christian University this past Friday night. To learn more about Renzema, click here.
How would you describe yourself as an artist?
“Probably more in the soul, gospel world is how I like to describe my music. I like to have a good time on stage, but I’m a more chill person in general.”
In as much detail as possible, could you walk me through a day on tour?
“When you’re at the beginning of a tour, you load up the van, or bus, with all your stuff, all the instruments, all the merch. Yesterday, we drove to a hotel, stayed there and woke up. Then we drove here [Oklahoma Christian]. After chilling in the morning, we do a load out, which is when you take heavier stuff out you’ll have on stage. We’ll do a soundcheck with all of our gear and make sure everything’s working. Then, once you do that, we do the show. Then you pack your stuff up after the show and get some food and then you go to bed at 12 to 2 a.m. exhausted.”
What is your favorite song to play live?
“I think it’s a song called “Teach Me Dance.” It’s really a fun one. I feel like people usually know it. It’s a song I’ve been playing for a long time that I wrote when I was in college. Still playing it today.”
What is one of your favorite memories from college?
“Honestly, just hanging out with people constantly was super fun. I think tour kind of feels like college in that way, where you’re just with all your friends hanging during the day, going out to eat and traveling together. I think that’s probably what I love and miss the most about college. Actually, two of the guys in my band, Nick and James [drummer and bassist], went to school with me when we moved to Nashville together to try to do music five years ago in college.”
What did you want to be when you were younger? Did you always want to be a musician?
“No, I actually never really planned on being a musician. I always loved it. But it was just more of a fun thing. I really wanted to be a pro soccer player; then, I didn’t become a pro soccer player. I worked in the IT world for a little bit before I decided to try and do the music thing.”
Outside of music, what do you like to do?
“I really like cooking; big, big into cooking. I like running. I really like Disc Golf. Disc Golf with my friends. Me and Chris play sometimes.”
What does your creative process look like when writing new music?
“For me, it’s when I’m resting, giving myself some free space, and I just start playing guitar. Now once I do that, I record my songs usually as forms of prayers or things I’ve been praying about. Then, if I have something I started, I hold on to the melody and build a frame for it and then start writing the song or prayer out until it becomes finished.”
What is your favorite part about touring?
“It’s the camaraderie that’s really fun. It’s a really cool career, being able to play music people come to see. You’re helping be part of an event people are getting out of their everyday lives for, it’s fun nights for people to share. [Touring has] been a fun way to live and have a career and see people impacted by the music I make as well. It is really humbling and special.”
Is there anything you would like to tell the students at Oklahoma Christian?
“I think we say this at any college show we play, but cherish. Cherish the time you have right now in college. I think it’s a really special moment of life where your responsibilities are pretty low. You can still stress out about the grades and the classes and the schedules. Try to find a way to enjoy that and try to enjoy the fact that you are hanging out with a bunch of people who are all in the same place together.”
Do you have any new music coming out soon?
“I do. With Nancy, my wife. We have a Christmas song coming out next month. That’ll be fun. First Christmas song ever. It’s called “Under the Tree.” In the new year, I have an album coming out.”