Chrissy Spratt is the Capital’s own R&B talent, with celebrity appeal. The singer/ songwriter has been working on her craft since she was young, and continues to capture audiences with her soulful covers and original music. She’s a true artist, who has opened for the likes of Fetty Wap and Snoop Dogg, and who effortlessly combines personality, style, and music in both her songs and videos.
Chrissy shares her personal reflections as a rising artist, and her best advice for other talents in Ottawa.
You were born and raised in Ottawa. What was it like growing up here for you?
I grew up in the south end of Ottawa. I was a pretty average girl, doing things a normal kid would do. When I started my music career, I didn’t really know I was starting a career. I just really wanted to sing. I had a small setup in my room and I would record myself and write music for fun. As I started to take music more seriously, I thought that I had to leave Ottawa if I wanted to make it. I ventured here and there over the years, but I realized that I loved Ottawa and so I stayed. I decided to focus on building my social media presence and sharing my music through these platforms, which is something I can do from anywhere in the world.
When did you realize that you wanted to get into music? Who would you say are your biggest inspirations?
I always knew I had a passion for singing, even as a child, but I was too shy to sing in front of anyone until I was 13. I had a really amazing teacher at the time who pushed me to join our school talent shows. She would let me use her classroom to practice during lunch hour and really nurtured my talent. I don’t know where I would be today without her. Some artists that inspired me growing up were Mariah Carey, Destiny’s Child and Whitney Houston, to name a few. I think that’s where my love for R&B and pop music came from.
What do you think separates you from other artists in Ottawa?
I think every artist that comes from Ottawa is so unique. We’re such a diverse city that’s full of talent. I tried a lot of different sounds and styles while I was trying to figure myself out. My natural and true sound is soft and sweet and I didn’t like it at first. I was shy in the music I was making. I wanted to sing powerhouse songs and pop-y club music because that’s what was in. The first time I realized that my sound could be cool was when I started hearing artists like The Weeknd and Billie Eilish come out with their unique sounds and voices. For the first time I felt confident in my sound.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career so far?
This business is about more than just talent. Networking and connecting with others in the industry is really important. It’s become even harder now with the industry becoming so saturated, people are doing the craziest things to get noticed. I’m a very introverted person by nature. My social battery is drained after a few hours, even when I’m hanging out with my closest friends. I could stay in my studio for days on my own and be happy. Navigating through people in this industry has always been a challenge for me.
Back in 2018 you opened for Fetty Wap in Ottawa. What do you remember from that experience?
Any time I get to perform it’s such a rush. There are so many feelings going through my body at any given moment. The nerves before the show are sometimes unbearable, but then I get on stage and all of that goes away. 15 minutes feels like 15 seconds. The Fetty Wap show was definitely one of those moments.
Tell us about your experience touring Canada with Snoop Dogg? How did this opportunity land for you?
That tour was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had! One of my close friends and fellow artist, Peter Jackson, invited me to join the tour. I didn’t have much information about the tour except for the cities I’d be performing in, the dates, and a set list. When I got to the first venue I was shocked because I realized we were going to be performing in arenas – something I had never done before. I knew these shows were going to be big and they were! As nervous as I was, I enjoyed every minute of it on and off the stage.
What are your favourite restaurants in Ottawa?
I love dining at Somewhere. They have a beautiful patio in the summer, the food is delicious and the atmosphere is just right. Also, if you’re into sushi like me, Tomo has the best sushi in town.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received in your career so far?
Probably to stay true to myself. The artists that are in it for the long run are the ones that don’t change who they are to follow a trend. I’m not saying not to try new things, but it should come naturally and just feel right.
What is your best advice for aspiring artists?
One, be consistent. Two, it’s not always about the numbers. And three, take everyone’s opinion with a grain of salt.
What is next for your career?
I want to keep working on new music, travel and connect with other artists. It’s definitely been a challenge staying creative and inspired these past 2 years with Covid so that’s what I really want to focus on this year.