MP! recently caught up with the brilliant Chris Mears for a chit chat about life as a diver / upcoming DJ. Check out what he said below (including a confession about being a huge One Direction fanboy – exclusive!)
How did you get into music and DJing, as it is pretty far from professional diving?
It’s quite a long story! I had a really scary experience when I was 16 which I very nearly didn’t survive and it left me with my trademark torso scar. In the time it took me to recover I was pretty much bed bound. My cousin is quite an established producer who’s written for the likes of The Vamps, and we sat down together day in, day out messing around with music software until I was well again. I really enjoyed it and saved up for my own kit and equipment. Turned out I wasn’t too shabby and signed with management and a booking agent, then the rest sort of spiralled from there!
You’ve recently remixed the new One Direction smash ‘Steal My Girl’, how did that come about?
I loved the track, and the really fancied the challenge of trying to take the vocals and marry it with my sound- something more upbeat and dancey. We had a chat with a few people to see if it was possible and once I had the vocals from the boys, I sat down with my friend Adam Turner, who is another producer and remixer and we set explored what we could do with it- and this is the finished product!
Are you a secret One Direction fanboy at heart?
Definitely, and anyone who says that they aren’t is lying! When we were on tour in Mexico recently, I would just randomly say ‘And we…’ and everyone on my team would join in with ‘..dance all night to the best song everrrrr’ -it was one of the few songs on the radio out there and sooooo catchy!
Music coming to the UK in the future, what sound are you aiming for?
I draw a lot of influences from the likes of Avicii and Calvin Harris.. Avicii’s mood, but Calvin’s production. At the same time I’m trying to create my own unique sound so that people will hear a track and be like ‘ahh thats a Chris Mears tune.’ I can’t wait to collaborate with some of my favourite artists too!
If you could work with any other artist, who would it be?
I’m big on female vocalists with unique voices. At the moment I would love to work with someone like Ariana Grande or Paloma Faith. I have an endless list though!
Who do you want to win the X Factor?
Following that female vocalist hype, I’m big on Lauren Platt, she’s so natural. I quite like Only The Young too!
Christmas is coming up – do you have any plans?
I get a WHOLE 3 days off training over Christmas so I’m gunna head down to my parents and enjoy a proper roast with my brother and sister.
How are you planning on juggling diving and a music career?
It’s tough, and it’s something I’m forever trying to find the perfect balance for. I can’t do as much as I’d like with the music at the moment, due to the intense training and competition schedule which limits the amount of performances and media that I can do. I write and produce in between sessions at the pool, do gigs on my days off and tour during my time off. For now diving is my priority, it’s my job and my goal is the 2016 Olympics in Rio. In the meantime I’m growing my music, working with the label and trying to squeeze in as much as possible. It’s so exciting though!
Where do you see your self in 5 years?
Hopefully I’ll be doing music full-time and living in London and/or L.A. Realistically probably not diving? Rio 2016 will have happened and also the Commonwealth Games in 2018. I’ll be nearing the end of my professional career as a diver, and hopefully by then I’ll have put out some awesome records with some exciting artists, and I’ll be able to throw myself 100% into the music.