We had the good fortune of connecting with Chris Hief and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chris, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Growing up I was surrounded by artists. I have always looked up to the entertainers in my family… I guess you could say I have always admired their work. I have always chosen the unrealistic approach towards my career choice. Having been heavily involved with theatre in high school, being on a stage was like a second home for me. I was using that medium as an outlet for my budding creativity and it was so therapeutic. Honestly, what made me the happiest was listening to the laughter. It was also hearing the applause at the end of the show, whether it was an off performance or our best one yet, there was always positivity filling the room. I set my sights toward an acting career in my college years as I was going to school for a degree in Business, as well as Film & Media studies. In 2015 I decided to drop out of college to put my best foot forward to chasing my dreams of being an actor but I wasn’t aware of what I would experience that would shape the rest of my life: Electronic Dance Music. in the beginning of 2016 I said “Goodbye” to acting and dove head first into learning how to make EDM. Fast forward 4 1/2 years later and I am still going strong. I chose an artistic career because it IS my therapy. Its my release from the world in addition to my impact. My grandmother always told my mom that I would grow up and change the world; I now believe that my music will help me carry that sentiment for her. I want my career to have a bigger impact than a standard 9-5 job. I want to create the same positivity that I experienced while performing and share it with the world. The music industry may be a difficult road to navigate but the journey pays in dividends in your growth. Will Smith once said “I don’t have a plan B’ because it distracts from plan A” I always remind myself of that, to keep on chasing.
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.
The District 13 project started at the beginning of 2018 and has progressively evolved year after year. Many of the key elements to the story of District 13 involve dystopian narratives and community driven environment. It’s the citizens District 13 that make it what it is today. My road to where I am now involved passion, patience, and pursuit. I wanted to put these thoughts and feelings into a physical medium so that others can feel them too. It took reminding myself so many times to not rush my art – “quality over quantity” ya know? And it took a lot of trial and error – like taking risks, trying new things, and putting in the hours to keep growing. My most recent release in August was CAKESTEP and that was my favorite release to date. I took on the challenge of self-releasing the track and learning what to-do and what not-to-do when putting out music. I am most proud of that release so far because I invested in myself and that process helped me learn some valuable lessons along the way. Marketing can be challenging … lets’s just say that. I am so excited for what the future of District 13 and also very humbled by the opportunities I have been given along the way. I’ve had the pleasure of releasing a couple of tracks with Badkill Records based in Las Vegas and Slept On Records here in AZ. In Addition, I’ve welcomed citizens to District 13 while opening for headliner such as Trampa, PhaseOne, Virtual Riot, Tisoki, and even rocking the Full Moon Festival mainstage with 2SOON. I want the world to know that, you are all welcome in District 13. It’s a beautifully twisted city – wanna visit?
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Week long trip? Well first we would make a drive out to the Grand Canyon just so you can view how expansive it is. Next we would stop in Sedona, home to many energy fissures. I’ve personally used Sedona as relaxation spot and as a way to help recharge my batteries. If you are into hiking, I would recommend Humphrey’s Peak – the best hike I’ve been on to-date. After a day of chilling around the house, the weekend would be upon us. We would head to Shady Park to eat their famous ramen and enjoy their beautiful venue. We would go to a show at Sunbar and enjoy the perfect blend of: “underground warehouse” and modern club. And lastly check out First Friday where they showcase all of AZ’s local artists and shops! Phoenix is also home to many Speakeasy bars, if you have never gone to one, I HIGHLY recommend them.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Robert Lafayette, hands down. When I started the District 13 project he was the one that gave me my first shows and believed in my potential. in addition to that he taught me so much of what I know today with the music industry. Not only is he an inspiration and a teacher; he is a close friend of mine. I don’t know where I would be in my career with how his guidance and friendship Another shoutout is to my roommate and close friend Price Sandoval. he is one of the realest people you will ever meet. Not to mention, this dude is one of the hardest working individuals I know. Him and I share a studio and I always see him grinding away; this man is next. Another mention is Tyler Rittenhouse, aka Tritt Visuals. This guy has been an absolute MONSTER with a camera. His raw talent combined with his drive to constantly out do himself is what will cement him as my photographer forever. This is dude has has been a loyal friend and a gracious ally in life. Honorable mentions are Hari Kari, Dylan Heckert, the Half Dead boys, Blake Huish, Endopez, TheBigStabes, and JUR…. there are so many others but only so much time. ya’ll mean the world to me.
Other: Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/district13sound Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0d99x6ojcb1hzgZfr5LgJS?si=ngqKofGLR4Ol6UfKEiWKrg
Tyler Rittenhouse – Tritt Visuals