1. Wait, I thought Chris was going solo…is 7th Ave going to be his only pursuit from now on?
Not at all! I’m a bit of a workaholic and like to have a lot of things going on at the same time. I fully plan to continue to release solo projects including videos from Shine, a new piano CD, a Christmas EP this fall, and an a cappella hymn CD next spring, and don’t forget about my #thinkins! (As well as things like sheet music books, DVDs of my videos, etc.) I have the freedom now to craft my own timelines and schedules and I plan to fully utilize that to my utmost capability. This is just one of my projects, and I’m really excited about it for the future!
2. But…why leave an awesome group just to turn around and start ANOTHER awesome group?
Well, it’s hard to answer that exactly as these things are very complicated. I really relished and desired the freedom to explore my music and all of the various options in front of me, and that wasn’t going to be a possibility if I stayed with the status quo. I wasn’t going to be able to do ANY other projects as long as I was in Home Free. I’m structuring 7th Ave as something that we can enjoy and build, making something greater than the sum of our parts, while at the same still having the freedom and ability to be ourselves and have other interests and pursuits outside of it. I’m looking forward to developing awesome new solo material for myself, but I love making music with other people too! It gets tiring listening to just me all the time.
3. How did this come about?
While contemplating my Home Free retirement I was brainstorming all kind of different ideas and projects. After having a great time with Adam Bastien and my sister Tristin at my CD release party I knew I wanted to do more with them, which led to the idea of putting together a show group for cruise ship or corporate work. I knew Kelley through the a cappella grapevine and contacted her to see if she’d be interested in rounding out this quartet and just seeing what may come of it.
In early March Tristin and I saw Kelley in a show out in LA and were just blown away by how good she was. After seeing that, my eyes got wide and I realized that we needed to think WAY bigger than just a show group and more into the mainstream music scene/ YouTube etc. We’ve been collaborating ever since, slowly figuring out what this is going to be, and now that I’m freed up from Home Free obligations I have the time to fully explore it. The full attention of Chris Rupp can get a LOT of things done.
3. I feel like some/all of these faces are familiar – who is everyone?
Well…there’s me! Hopefully you know me already…
Tristin Rupp – my lovely and talented other sibling! Tristin has been modeling/dancing/acting/singing out in LA for the last several years and I knew immediately that I wanted her on board. I like working with my family! (And am pretty blessed to have so much talent within it!)
Adam Bastien – Adam is currently singing with a company out in New York doing corporate and private parties. We met him on a cruise ship years ago (a common theme for HF!) and he subbed in with us multiple times, and even auditioned for season 3 of the Sing Off with Home Free. He’s one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet (and so dang cute!), rivaled only by our next addition…
Kelley Jakle – Kelley was on seasons 1 and 2 of the Sing Off (SoCal Vocals and Backbeats respectively) and plays the role of Jessica in both Pitch Perfect movies. She’s the biggest sweetheart ever and also one of the most talented gals out there. I can’t wait for everyone to get to know her more!
One of my biggest criteria here wasn’t just talented people…it was NICE people. I know how important it is to be relatable and genuine, and everyone here really is. You’re all gonna love this group!
4. What kind of music can we expect from 7th Ave?
Good question! We’re not even 100% sure yet. There won’t be one set and defined genre, though the style in our first single, No, is a strong influence. We plan to do a lot of heavy vocal harmony in our songs, which lends itself well to both country and jazz, but we have such strong and diverse musical backgrounds that there should be a rich blend. Over the next year we’ll be figuring that out along with you as we try a lot of different projects. I think it will make itself clear as we go along.
5. When will you have a CD out!?
I am hoping to release a Covers CD this fall of all of the singles we’re doing now, with plans to do a full length original album next year.
6. When are you going on tour?!
No idea! No one knows who we are yet, so there isn’t any demand, hah. We’re going to be doing a lot of choreography as well in our videos and eventual show, so I think there will be a lot of interest sooner than later in what we’re doing, as our videos will showcase what to expect from us. Best case scenario would be spring of 2017, with the more likely answer being that fall.
7. Will 7th Ave be on Patreon? How is that going to work?
Still figuring this out, but short answer is yes. The plan right now is for me to release two videos a month on my channel, one of my solo stuff and one of 7th Ave. 7th Ave WILL have its own Patreon as we work to expand our fan base beyond my personal one, with the goal of being independent as soon as possible. For now, we’ll be dual-releasing the 7th Ave content on mine and 7th Ave’s Patreon accounts, so you can just continue supporting me for now. If given the choice, I’d much prefer you to just continue on my channel, but if you’d also like to nominally support 7th Ave you can just sign up for the $1 level. (I get a bonus from Patreon for how many patrons sign up in the first month, so I encourage you to sign up for the $1 level!) I think this is the best plan for now. If you have any questions or concerns please let me know – I want to be as responsive and helpful as I can as we all work through this! Which leads me to the next question that some of you have been asking:
8. I love your music, but I don’t know if I want to support 7th Ave as well. Can I just support you individually?
Yes! If you cap your Patreon pledge at just one video a month, that will be the same as only supporting me (for as long as I’m releasing one of mine and one of 7th Ave’s videos per month). I’ll still give you both sets of perks, though, in the hope that you will grow to love 7th Ave as much as I do! And really, think of 7th Ave as just another of my solo endeavors for now – this whole project is coming from me (i.e. my inspiration, my finding the right people, me putting together the music, me conceptualizing the videos). I want this to grow and have the whole band be avid contributors, but as we get going, especially with all of my background and experience, I’m running the show, so you’re really just seeing a larger extension of me!
Bottom line: For now, there will be one solo video and one 7th Ave video per month released on my channel. With that in mind, you can choose to cap at one video or two! I want 7th Ave to take off on it’s own, as soon as possible, and hopefully bring in a brand new fan base. When that happens, I’ll go back to two videos a month on my channel of just me. Me me me. Of course, if and when I decide to make a change to the video releases, I will let you know so that you can adjust your pledges to reflect what YOU want to support! Thanks y’all, as always. Your support means the world to me.
9 Will you be playing piano/guitar?
Yes/no/maybe? In our live show my focus will be singing and dancing, but I’m sure we’ll have moments where I sit down at the piano or play the guitar as well and give the band a break.
10. Where is the band based out of?
Well…I guess just the internet right now. We’re in MN, LA, and NYC currently, so it’s kind of all over…
11. Are the songs for sale?
They will be yup! The usual digital sites, iTunes, Amazon, Cd Baby, Patreon.
12. Why 7th Ave?
We had a lot of different ideas but none of them felt right. Ultimately I threw out the name of the street I live on and for whatever reason it just clicked. It’s musically ambiguous, which doesn’t tie us down to a style, and has a certain undefinable coolness factor to it as well. There’s also a slight nod to Prince/MN as he sponsored a famous nightclub called First Ave.
13. Who styled you?
Our lovely South African friend Zanne De Meillon styled our first three videos as she was in the US for the Home Free Patreon Party. So cool!
14. I want to follow all your social media accounts – how can I find you?
15. Is this what you really want? Cuz I want to support whatever you want.
YES. All the YES. The last 6 months have been incredibly stressful and difficult to work through…but last week out in LA shooting the vids with these guys was one of the most enjoyable weekends of my entire life. I can’t even begin to tell you how much happier I was, it almost made me want to cry. I hope that you all are willing to follow me on this journey too and give it a chance – I won’t let you down.