One of last years Big Brother housemates is just about to drop his debut single. No, really.
Cristian MJC came sixth in Big Brother: Time Bomb, losing out on the top stop to Chloe. Who? Exactly. But Cristian hasn’t turned to rapping following his stint in the BB house, no. As he’s keen to stress, he’s been rapping since he was 16, and new track ‘True Colours’ blends pop and rap with the help of The Voice UK finalist Lydia Lucy.
I recently caught up with Cristian to talk music, Big Brother, and fans.
Vada: Your new single ‘True Colours’ is a collaboration with Lydia Lucy – how this this come about?
Cristian: The song was recorded [when] I was 16 and I wanted to wait for the right time to release it, then in the mean time I started working on loads of other different projects, so it kinda just sat on my computer for all those years!
Then whilst I was in Big Brother Lydia featured on the chorus and we reproduced the beat to give it a cooler vibe. The original sounds so different and very pop! I hugely preferred the new sound.
To me the song is reminiscent of old school R&B like N-Dubz with a female vocalist offsetting the rapping. Was this intentional?
Well during my high school years ALL I listened to was the old school grime pop stuff – Chipmunk was always my most played artist! I loved that whole N-Dubz, Tinchy Stryder sound, so yeah, that influenced me quite a lot, especially when writing that song in the school yard!
How would you describe the track? What’s it about? What were the inspirations?
I actually wrote it and recorded it all when I was 16 so it’s a throwback for me. I sound so different on it – a young me. It’s just been sitting on my computer all that time waiting to be released as I’ve been trying to work out my direction. It’s a really commercial summer tune with an edge, and a really catchy chorus.
Everyone wants someone. Whether that’s just to kick it with, or to be with. The song is about falling for someone who you just thought you were friends with.
What’s next? Another single, an album, a tour?
I have the follow up single ready to go! I have a few festivals and shows coming up also this summer. Not saying no to an album or EP yet, but for now the focus is just really pushing this single. I’m potentially planning a headline show soon.
Who would you like to work with in the future?
Scott Storch, Tricky Stewart, The Dream. They’re all known for hit after hit after hit!
Obviously we have to talk about your stint on Big Brother last year. How would you sum up your experience?
Learned a lot about myself! There are times I look back and miss the idea of just waking up and having no schedule, because right now I’m just manic busy, busy, busy! But also sometimes I do regret going because people think Big Brother came first then the music… but I was making music since I was 16, and I then went on Big Brother when I was 20.
Not watching the show prior! I have switched it on once or twice in the past so I know it’s about people living together doing tasks, but it is very much a case of everyone else’s business is also your business. If you don’t get involved in everyone else’s arguments, you don’t get air time. If you don’t get air time, you’re labelled as boring – I was that guy!
Who, if anyone (apart from Jasmine) do you keep in touch with?
I still speak to Nick, he’s a really decent guy!
Have you been watching the show this year? If so, who are your favourites?
I had been flicking it on and off occasionally but I’ve found it difficult to keep up every night as I’ve been on tour the last two weeks, so I’m literally too exhausted to be staying up until 11 at night when I’ve gotta be up the next morning at 6am to perform all day!
Not gonna lie, I do find Ryan entertaining. His accent is funny.
And finally, anything you’d like to say to the fans?
Yeah, please keep sharing my new music video and tweeting #TrueColours! We were trending on Twitter after my performance on Big Brother’s Bit on the Side on the 22nd! So that was crazy. Please, please, please preorder the single off iTunes. There are also two sick house remixes available on the single package on iTunes, so be sure to check them out!
Thank you to Cristian for taking the time to answer my questions, and to Kate Whitmarsh for making it happen. ‘True Colours’ drops on August 12th.