Artists with destiny take your breath away from the first instance. It’s as if their talent is discernible just from a single note carried on its sonic wave to the brainstem of those in range. Once it hits, it feels undeniably incredible like a sensation lifts your body to the heavens and you’re hooked. It’s those type of artists that you always remember where you were or what you were doing when you first heard them. For me, one of those recent acts is CRi, the incendiary act breakthrough artist from Anjunadeep. He has returned with that titillating “Runaway” and — in conjunction — has announced his debut album, Juvenile.
Montréal is often overlooked when it comes to musical hotbeds. But that underserved notion seems to be withering away with the likes of A-Trak, Kaytranada, and Jacques Greene from the electronic sphere; Arcade Fire, Wolf Parade, and Men I Trust from indie, alternative sound, and even Leonard Cohen all coming from the french Canadian beacon. Knowing the history and having the knowledge of the incredible art scene, it would come as no shock that there are gems ready to explode and make their mark on culture. Undeniably, CRi is soon to join those previous names in success and influence on music. His past success, which saw him nominated for a Juno Award and garnered BBC Radio 1 support from Pete Tong and Annie Mac, are testaments to his talent and lay the foundation to become a household name.
“Runaway” follows in the footsteps of “Never Really Get There”, easily one of my favorite tracks of the year and a record that needs to be listened to. Seriously, stop reading, go listen, and then come back. It’s that astonishing. CRi was also a part of the remix pack for Ben Böhmer’s Breathing, and once again is another insanely fantastic record. These two songs reveal an artist with an understanding of who he is and the bravery to tell his story through his sound, unrelenting to outside forces or the de facto “it” sound of now. This notion — of course — extends to Runaway and the upcoming album.
On “Runaway”, CRi takes us on an exploration built by an energetic beat, synths with searing emotive prickles, and the angelic vocal of Sophia Bel whose voice is so pure that it wraps a blanket of warmth over you as you soar through the soundscape. What breathes through the sonic world is an atmospheric mystifying sensation of oscillating feelings. At times, there’s a sense of tranquility brought forth from hope. At other points, there is a feeling of nostalgic poignancy that beckons from past lives lived. It culminates in a truly magical world that fills your soul with undeniable feeling. The true mark of great music.
To have more insight into “Runaway”, CRi had provided us with these details:
“I have so many versions of this track, at least fifteen different versions, enough for an album in itself! After a few months of trial and error I ended up going back to the first version… but something was still missing. So I called up Sophia and asked if she wanted to come by the studio. It was a beautiful hot summer’s day, so we started drinking wine. I played the track and we just spontaneously started singing together ‘I run away with you’. We recorded it in a few minutes, and we had everything we needed. It had taken me almost three months to find the right version, and then in two minutes we had a great melody. It just goes to show that creation is unpredictable. Sometimes you create something incredible in a matter of seconds; other times you spend ages chasing down the “perfect idea”. This song reminds me of how important it is to let yourself go, to just let yourself get swept away without overthinking things.”
With today’s overindulgence of content served to us by algorithms and the machine, discovering and experiencing an artist with an abundance of talent and the ability to share it is truly something we should all appreciate. CRi is without a doubt one of those such acts and it’s clear from the first note of “Runaway” and the beautiful swirl of feelings it possesses. He’s an artist on the rise, but he’s already arrived with mesmerizing music that’s some of the best in the genre.
To stream “Runaway” continue down or follow the link here to choose your DSP of choice. You can also pre-order Juvenile by following the link here.