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You Know, Lil Buddy


Chris Howard
Shane Dodd Photography

The following young man is an artist, producer, and songwriter. He is definitely someone you should know and watch out for. Lil Buddy is an accomplished musician from Nashville, TN turned artist and producer. He plays the clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, piano, and guitar. His songs I’m Fly, Like My Ish, and Guns N Roses, are sure to Get The Bass Pumpin!!! I’ll have to tell you about Lil Buddy’s friend and frequent collaborator Jae Robb and his track Get The Bass Pumpin soon!!! While She Got Me, Crazy, and Sexy One Nightstand will have the ladies rocking to the beat. His musical background makes for great tracks and an originality that music has missed for a long time. Be on the lookout for his mixtape Chillin By The Monkey Bars it is sure to captivate and entertain!!! Now without further adieu here is what you’ve been waiting for…

Who is Chris “Lil Buddy” Howard, the artist and the man?

Well Lil Buddy is the Artist side of me or shall I say the lyricist and Chris Howard is the musician side of me. If you’re asking who I am, then I am Christopher Howard.

What drives you to create, and what sets you apart from the “crowd?”

Everyday life drives me to create I’m not trying to down anybody, or make light of anyone’s situation but I don’t use drugs to help me create. I have never smoked anything in my life, yet I have drink before, but it has never been used in a studio manner. So my creations are pure and not driven by any substance. I don’t like to say that anything sets me apart from the crowd. I just look at it as I’m leading the crowd or hovering above it.

How did you come by the moniker of Lil Buddy?

No one ever remembered my name they would always be like “uggh lil dude you know ya boi who? ‘Lil Buddy’ man you know who I’m talkin about ‘Lil Buddy’ that does the beats.” So once I started hearing more and more people telling me that they couldn’t remember my name I took the first name that everybody would spit out.

Hip Hop means different things to different people, what is Hip Hop to you?

Wow controversial question Simply Put in MY OPINION a style of music or in other words entertainment. I think here recently people have gotten too hung up on ohh he’s not lyrical so he’s not Hip Hop. WRONG!!!!! In MY OPINION Hip Hop is something to get you to moving your HIPS and HOP around but that’s just me. I think a lot of artists get slighted so badly because of what certain people up north has made Hip Hop out to be.

What attracted you to Hip Hop and R&B and when did you decide to become a contributor to these art forms?

Well I started off playing in the school band. As I got better and with taking my music classes when I got home I started listening to the radio to learn how to play what was on the radio. So I wondered how hard it would be to make my own after a few trial and error years I started handing out my tracks. I got a wonderful response so through hard work and practice here I am today.

What is the extent of your musical background?

Well I started playing the clarinet as my first instrument and because I was young I considered it as a girly instrument. So I switched to the saxophone my 5th grade year, all the while I was learning the piano. I would like to say I am well accomplished with music still lots to learn though. I don’t think you could ever know it all but to answer your questions I can read music. And I can write music for just about any instrument.

Many “producers” are just people that can make beats. Just how deep is your knowledge of music; are you an accomplished musician, or musical composer?

Yes and yes umm I believe I can answer any music theory or appreciation question within reason about scales (Major, Minor, Pentatonic, Mixolydian, Aeolian, and etc.), notation, writing music, and performing music that involves instruments.

Who were your mentors and who influenced you?

Welp that would be several people I but I can sum it up to about 1 person if we are talking musically.

My high school teacher Mr. Richard Griffin would get the most thanks and respect; he was hard but he got the job done VERY EFFECTIVELY!
And I live by one of his rules that he told me “if you can’t have a live band stand behind you when you perform then your musical show is nothing!!!”

Not throwing shots at ANYONE JUST SAYING that’s only my opinion.

Image and perception are a very important for an artist. Describe your image and what you want people to take from your music.

My image is simply me! I know it sounds kind of cliché but that’s what I am ME! What I want people to take from my music is a good feeling and a happy day or night!

How important is it for a new artist to have an idol, and who are some people a new artist must know before entering the music business?

Well a new artist should have some kind of idol who it is doesn’t matter, but people they should know are the respected people in their craft and the greats. So you can know what you are up against and how to be greater and better than what came before you.

Who are the legends or greats artists that they should be familiar with?

Welp there are none in particular but it depends on the lane and genre of music you are pursuing.

How has your musical education and background helped you to rise above others in your field?

I am able to talk to people who are in a better situation than I am that can help me see I am more than qualified for what they are looking for. For example nothing personal but if you, me, and Stevie Wonder where watching a live performance you probably couldn’t pick out which guitarists is off beat, or out of tune, or if the drummer after his solo is landing back on the down beat, or the “1,” or if we were in the studio and Stevie Wonder says give me a sportsando what to do. Knowing the actual chord progression helps out a lot more when you have other people in the studio with you because you can say it’s in A minor 7 and the progression goes 1, 5, 3, 4, 1 and they will know exactly what the changes are.

When you are creating music be it producing a track or writing what are some steps in your creative process?

Well really there are no steps or processes. I just feed off of my experiences of life or of the day or if someone wants me to do a certain style of track. I picture myself in a setting where this type of music is played and what I want to hear then go for it.

How do you go about selecting sounds and designing your music, or picking subject matter for tracks you hear?

It’s all based on mood or the type of track that is requested

What genres do you listen to and incorporate into your music outside of Hip Hop?

Jazz and Classical always seem to lighten my day, but here recently I’ve been digging the rock scene and Johnny Cash Is the SHIT!!! I really dig his songs but I just started to listening to him I would have to say my favorite is Don’t Take Your Guns To Town.

Would like to be able perform with the accompaniment of a symphony or orchestra?

Yes, yes, yes, yes!!! I would love it! I actually would strive to have all my performances done with a band of some sort, but for certain I would like to have the Nashville Symphony back me on a song that would be a dream come true!

In your city how is the Hip Hop scene and how receptive is your city to new artists?

Not so, its building, its doing alright now, but the city is not so receptive to new artists until they have made a song with someone famous kind of ass backwards as I like to say.

Does the nightlife and club scene allow for new artists to blossom and showcase their skills?

Yes and no a lot of clubs don’t really show too much love. You got Lovenoise and few other spots but other than that they make the artists pay to perform, and that’s pretty jacked I think if they are trying to come up.

What would you like to see change in your city?

The openness of attitudes toward hip hop acts. A lot of venues are closed minded to the genre.

It is important for artists to play a part in own success cultivating a “grind” or “hustle” how strong is your “grind” or hustle?”

I can’t really answer that question I believe I grind or hustle hard, but I guess you’ll have to ask around to see. Because if you ask anybody that question I’m pretty sure most of them will say “I grind hard as hell” when it’s more so not.

Currently, do you have any new projects on the market, or any upcoming projects people should lookout for?

Well I currently have a lot of things in play, but one I can speak on that’s going to throw people for a loop is an actual rock band doing rock songs with me and my verses being done.

Are you touring and what are some venues you’d like book for performances?

No I am currently not touring, but I have something in the works, and that’s going to change really soon. If you check my blog you can stay updated to the date of where I am just about at least by tour dates and performances.

What venue or venues would symbolize success and reaching a pinnacle in your career?

I would like to sell out the Sommet Center in my home town of Nashville, TN. I feel like when I do that I have reached one of my many dreams.

The internet and social networks have proven to be a very good way for artist to connect with fans and industry insiders.

Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace are all good sites to be on. I think the internet is the next best way to get you out there other than TV. It has helped me out a lot the past few weeks reaching out to people I can’t without having to go through so many people, I can get a direct connect.

How are you capitalizing on the seemingly endless capabilities of the web?

I think so but there are some options out there that I am currently in deals with SO I can’t say that I am using it to my full potential.

The industry as of now seems to have switched from major labels to independent labels. On which side do you hope to land, or does it matter to you?

It doesn’t matter my success is given from the man upstairs so wherever He puts me, be it major or minor, I will Prevail Greatly.

Many artists upon entering the business get “jerked” or feel swindled in their contracts. How are you preparing yourself to not be swindled by a label?

Welp I read as much as I can about the music business, and I am A HUGE FAN OF GOOGLE! If I don’t know it I will Google it in a heartbeat; plus I have surrounded myself with very knowledgeable people so I can suck up as much as possible.

What are some ways for an artist to avoid being shelved?

Be good at what you do and KNOW YOUR CONTRACT!!!!!

How important is it for an artist to be diverse in their business dealings, and how can too many side jobs hurt an artist?

Well being diverse helps you attract all types of fans from different situations you aren’t normally in, and different genres mean more fans which equal more success.

Your music varies greatly from lyrically conscious music, to love songs, to club bangers; how difficult is it to make these transitions?

I don’t think it’s too difficult. There’s a different thought process when making these songs, but the transition is a bit tedious if you aren’t careful they all could sound the same.

It seems that you frequently collaborate with Mann, Blu P, and Jae Robb. Are you all a part of a group, movement, or label together? How did these creative relationships come to existence?

Welp yes and no, once again we are all not a part of a label together, but I like to keep the people who started off with me around as do they. So it’s kind of like a family more so then an actual business venture, but who knows as time passes anything could happen. These dudes are geniuses they always seem to keep me excited about doing a track with them. The ideas are ENDLESS!!! I met all of these guys through the beginning stages of my career when I wasn’t doing so great, and they continued to work and be positive while working with me.

In the song Crazy you and Mann collaborate for what seems to be a hit that the ladies will enjoy. What was your process for creating this song and concept?

It was actually a song I wrote while I was thinking about this chick that I dated in high school. We separated because she had to move away, and it was sort of the feeling I had while I was with her when she moved away. So it all kind of came easy though in the song I kind of exaggerated the situation a little bit it was based on a true story.

Recently you were afforded the opportunity to create a theme song for an internet show. Are you currently able to speak on the details of the show or is it this still being negotiated?

Yes and no, not sure if it made the cut but if it did you will definitely know!

The tracks I’m Fly, Like My Ish, What It Is, We The Ones, Take A Shot, and Guns N Roses are very confident club hits that are guaranteed to get the club hype. Of these which one makes you give the most energy when performed, and which one is your personal anthem?

Well my personal anthem would be a mix of Like My Ish and I’m Fly, but as far as performing the songs I give all my songs the same energy because they all fit me personally.

Of all the songs in your catalog which songs will the fans hear first, and which songs already have a strong fan backing?

I would have to say I’m not sure which songs will be heard first but Like My Ish seems to have the most backing right now.

Lastly who are your top five all time best producers, singers, and rappers?

In No Certain Order and outside of myself for two categories

Pharrell Williams  Mary J Blige                Ludacris
Quincy Jones         Matthew Santos        Jay-z
Kanye West            Christina Aguileirra   Kanye West
Rick Rubin              Tina Marie                  Common
Timbaland              Trey Songz                  Nas