8 Songs, 28 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Unlike most contestants on The X Factor, the first season's third-place winner, Chris Rene, comes from a historically musical family. His grandfather was Leon Rene, a famed songwriter who churned out such hits as "Rockin' Robin" and the doo-wop ballad “Gloria." In his first recording for Simon Cowell’s label Syco, Chris opens with the modern-day R&B pop hit “Chains,” an uplifting and amorous serenade that bounces with beachy buoyancy. As Rene had a hand in writing this song, it’s easier to believe him when he sings, “This ain’t no fairy tale/I made lifelong friends in jail/I’ll love them till the day I die.” (When he auditioned for The X Factor, he was a trash collector who'd just finished a 30-day program for alcohol and drug dependency.) “Rockin’ with You” is more rooted in contemporary pop, but it’s mixed with plenty of hip-hop swagger in the beats. Over this, Rene soulfully sings about rising above his past by looking toward the future with hope. The EP closes with “Young Homie,” a song Rene wrote and auditioned with.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Unlike most contestants on The X Factor, the first season's third-place winner, Chris Rene, comes from a historically musical family. His grandfather was Leon Rene, a famed songwriter who churned out such hits as "Rockin' Robin" and the doo-wop ballad “Gloria." In his first recording for Simon Cowell’s label Syco, Chris opens with the modern-day R&B pop hit “Chains,” an uplifting and amorous serenade that bounces with beachy buoyancy. As Rene had a hand in writing this song, it’s easier to believe him when he sings, “This ain’t no fairy tale/I made lifelong friends in jail/I’ll love them till the day I die.” (When he auditioned for The X Factor, he was a trash collector who'd just finished a 30-day program for alcohol and drug dependency.) “Rockin’ with You” is more rooted in contemporary pop, but it’s mixed with plenty of hip-hop swagger in the beats. Over this, Rene soulfully sings about rising above his past by looking toward the future with hope. The EP closes with “Young Homie,” a song Rene wrote and auditioned with.

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About Chris Rene

The grandson of Leon René (songwriter of early R&B songs "When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano," "Rockin' Robin," and "I Sold My Heart to the Junkman," among others) and son of Googie Rene (a recording artist who assisted Leon with the operation of the Class label), Chris Rene spent his teenage years in California as a guitarist and vocalist in Diversion. The band released an independent album in 2000 but split a few years later, before it was able to complete a follow-up. Rene went the solo route and released Soul'd Out, featuring a sound that mixed contemporary rock, R&B, and rap, in 2009. As a contestant on the United States' first season of The X Factor, Rene -- by then a waste collector who had just completed a 30-day program for overcoming drug and alcohol dependencies -- auditioned with his own "Young Homie" and worked his way through the competition by performing songs by Marvin Gaye, the Police, Bob Marley, and Alicia Keys. He made it to the final but finished third. The singer subsequently signed a recording contract with Simon Cowell's Syco label (through Epic) and issued "Young Homie" (produced by J.R. Rotem) in March 2012. The song fell just shy of the Billboard Hot 100 chart and preceded his second solo album, scheduled for release later that year. ~ Andy Kellman

  • ORIGIN
    Santa Cruz, CA
  • GENRE
    Pop
  • BORN
    December 25, 1982

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