Singer and Songwriter Christopher Hawley

Today the Venice Paparazzi spotlight shines on Singer and Songwriter Christopher Hawley!

How many years in Venice?  I moved here in 2001 and did a stint in Hermosa for two years, then I moved back in 2003.

How many years have you been a musician, and how did you get into it?  I started playing guitar when I was 12 and began to write songs soon after that. I had been singing in the church choir prior to that.

Band’s Influences:  Little Feat, Bob Marley, Johnny Cash. 

Tell us about your music/band:  Music can be an agent of change. It’s also an element that brings people together. I want to bring as many people together as possible through music, to be the change that allows us to continue to understand one another and understand how connected we actually are to each other and to this planet.

I’ve been a hired lead guitarist in multiple projects over the years, and so, when accompanied by a band, rather than using only my own name, we’re called The Christopher Hawley Rollers, mostly to acknowledge that it’s not just the frontman on stage.

 We’ve released eight albums, numerous music videos, and held residencies at LA venues for over 10 years. Since the turn of the century, The Rollers have regularly toured the Intermountain West and performed throughout the US, everywhere from LA’s Greek Theatre to the dive in your hometown, parts of Costa Rica, Hawaii, Europe, Brazil, and Mexico. I’ve appeared both solo and with the Hawley Rollers at festivals such as Wanderlust, Lucidity, Topanga Days, and Hempapalooza. One year we were hired to be the band at at least one wedding per month, by couples who wanted my original songs played at their reception, and we continue to enjoy a 100% rate of couples staying together when we’ve performed at their wedding.

Your job in the band:  Guitarist and singer songwriter

What would you say has had the largest impact upon your particular style? Hearing songs and guitarists that I love and aspiring to create music that resonates in others that way.

What projects are your currently working on?  Just finished producing the Folk-n-Soak Music/Hot Springs/Yoga/Camping Festival. Now I’m working on some new songs at Studio West.

Photo courtesy of www.folk-n-soak.com

Past albums recorded:  

  • Naked Songs
  • Red Lights Green
  • The Roots of the Tree
  • Comes Around Again
  • Meditations
  • Rise and Shine
  • Live at the Stronghold
  • Zona Sur.

What advice would you give someone starting out in your field.  Don’t stop writing.  Copyright your work.

Favorite book, band or movie?  Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins 

What causes do you support?  Environmental, animal rights, and most social justice issues.

Favorite affirmation, mantra, or quote. Love your neighbor as yourself.

Finish off the statement “Music is…Love.”

What’s one thing we can do to make the world a better place?  Stop eating meat.

List 1-2 things on your bucket list, and 1-2 on your VENICE bucket list.  

  • Play the Hollywood Bowl and Red Rocks
  • Play the Venice Pier.

Venice Questions:

Describe Venice:  Constantly changing

Describe your perfect day in Venice:  Surf, yoga, music, repeat.

Anything else you want to share about yourself to the world? Fun facts or accomplishments.  

  • I’ve taught hundreds of people from all over the world how to surf at Breakwater over the years.
  • Recently single. 
  • Three years ago, I created the Folk-n-Soak Music Festival which happens tri-anually at a natural hot springs, and features singer songwriters and bands, as well as morning yoga.
  • I’ve jammed with members of the Chili Peppers, Police, Blues Traveler, and Foo Fighters and even rejected a job offer from Hans Zimmer.
  • I’ve opened for and toured with Jackie Greene, White Buffalo, Xavier Rudd, Rodrigo y Gabriela, and toured with Zach Deputy.
  • As a solo artist and with The Rollers, I’ve had music licensed by Fox, the NFL Network, and several independent films. The Rollers were featured playing two of my songs in a national commercial.
  • I’ve been practicing yoga for years, and that influences the way I live. “My yoga practice is old enough to drink at the bar. It has inspired me to be more conscious about what I consume. The idea is to put an increasingly smaller footprint on the planet.”
  • I learned to surf in Hawaii, and that was part of why I moved from Colorado to California. Surfing, like yoga, is a meditational workout. You’re trying to tune in to the waves and, ultimately, become one with Mother Nature. Both activities force you to practice being present, just like when you’re playing music.

List any of your favorite Venice businesses, event(s) or activities?  Too many to list but… Bank of Venice, Hama, Venice Paparazzi, Jay’s Rentals, Maos Kitchen, Fruit Gallery, Townhouse, Surfside,  and Hinano’s.

Who has the best Venice nightlife? Favorite places to watch live music?  Venice is lacking in that department but between Townhouse and Surfside there are some options.

What is your craziest or fondest Venice experience?  Too many… Full moon surf, naked open mic at Abbots Habit, fun shows that might have gotten a little crazy, including the one on my birthday documented on Live at the Stronghold

Any shoutouts or thank you’s?  Surfside, Hinano’s, all the folks who’ve supported our shows over the years, and all of the Rollers. Couldn’t keep this up without you!

Anything else about Venice that you would like to say?  Venice breeds tolerance. Nice place to come home to. Hard to leave and these days hard to stay.

Who should Venice Paparazzi cast the spotlight on next?  Your friend and mine Tom Elliott. 

How can one find you?

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