Many people say that music is the window to the soul. This is particularly true in the case of nomadic musician, Chris Lister.
Lister is a man of the world; he has lived in numerous countries and continents, which have inherently influenced his artistic endeavors. A singer/songwriter at heart, Lister uses his music as a form of self-expression, celebration and a vessel for telling stores about his life experiences. His songs are about real life events, relationships and travel – subjects that we can all relate to at many points in their lives.
Currently based in Singapore, Lister has also lived in Tokyo, London and Frankfurt. Despite being born in Britain, Lister does not consider himself to be British – instead, he adapts to new places and lives for the present, living and breathing a truly international lifestyle. In additional to being the sole songwriter, Lister is also a visual artist, designing all of his own album art and promotional material.
Lister’s first exploration into the world of music was at age 12, when he picked up a guitar and started to play and sing. He cites his father as his main inspiration; also a guitar player, whose record collection was full of the old-greats, Bob Dylan, Muddy Waters and David Bowie, among others. Dylan’s songwriting in particular spoke to Lister, and he realized that he didn’t just want to sing – he wanted to sing about things that people care about. Some 21 years later, Dylan is still one of Lister’s favorite musicians, alongside many other acclaimed songwriters such as Jimi Hendrix, Billy Corgan, Bob Marley, Johnny Cash and David Gray.
When recording and performing live, Lister works with a team of seasoned musicians including Fadz Dean (bass guitar), Emma Loh (drums and percussion) and Chee Kee Chien (lead guitar). Lister himself plays rhythm guitar and is the lead vocalist. As a collective, they perform under the name of Lister. Performing as a full band allows Lister to further explore different styles and genres, setting his reflective lyrics against a different backdrop. Like his nomadic tendencies, there is nothing predictable about Lister’s sound – there are no limits to where it could go, and it is evolving and adapting constantly.
It is Lister’s introspective writing, honest delivery and his desire to create connections and to celebrate life through his art that make him such a unique artist. His songwriting is articulate and soulful, reflecting on universal themes that are so easy to relate to. His soulful nature and sensitive writing make Lister standout amongst the crowd – he is a true artist with something to say, and he says it through song, with an understated confidence.
Lister’s first album, Empty Time was released in 2009, and is a collection of tracks largely rooted in the subjects of travel and relationships. The retrospective title track “Empty Time” tells about Lister’s own experience on living a nomadic lifestyle. Other highlights include “With You,” an emotionally charged song about relationships and change, and “No Money, No Honey.”
More recently, Lister released Acoustic Sessions featuring acoustic versions of old and new songs. Lister is currently working on the full-band follow up to Empty Time, entitled Hard Times. This new album focuses on Lister’s own experiences, and is a reflection on the human condition. Lister’s ambition is to share his music with the world, and Hard Times will certainly introduce his unique brand of introspective storytelling to a wider audience, who will be listening with ears wide open.