Sussex Sounds: Ch-ch-checkin’ out Lil’ Chris’ new album

Lil’ Chris of ‘Rock Star’ fame talks about growing up in the public eye, the harsh realities of the music industry and working on his new album in Storrington.

“We ended up changing most of the really rude parts. It will have the same message, but it’ll just be innuendos,” explains Chris Hardman as he sits across from me in a music producer’s Storrington home.

JPCT 200214 Little Chris, musician recording new song in Storrington. Photo by Derek Martin PPP-140220-164716003

JPCT 200214 Little Chris, musician recording new song in Storrington. Photo by Derek Martin PPP-140220-164716003

The ‘rude parts’ he refers to is a new song ‘Your Mama is a Porn Star’ for his latest album.

It seems slightly surreal being in the same room with a 23-year-old Lil’ Chris - not so little anymore - but still retains his cheeky charm.

The Lowestoft musician emanates a glow of wisdom - he comes across surprisingly level-headed, regardless of the backwards cap and Dubstep tee-shirt he sports.

“Obviously my voice has changed and a lot of things about me have changed, a lot more things have happened to me, so I have more life experience, and many of these songs are about personal experiences... apart from ‘Your Mama is a Porn Star’ of course (laughs).”

JPCT 200214 Little Chris, musician recording new song in Storrington. Photo by Derek Martin PPP-140220-164540003

JPCT 200214 Little Chris, musician recording new song in Storrington. Photo by Derek Martin PPP-140220-164540003

It feels almost a life time ago that Lil’ Chris first exploded onto our TV screens in Channel 4’s smash hit ‘Rock School’.

Led by Kiss star, Gene Simmons, it was not until the second series in 2006 that the glam ‘rock god’ came to a comprehensive school in Lowestoft to transform a bunch of tear-away students into a rock band that would ultimately open for the likes of Judas Priest and Rob Zombie.

Despite his short stature at the time (hence the nickname Lil’ Chris), the Year 11 pupil stood out amongst the class and was taken under Gene’s wing to become the band’s lead singer.

“Things that Gene used to say always pop up in my head. I don’t want to be one of those dudes that’s stuck in the past, but it was a big part of my life and it’s something that’s always with me.

“The guy is worth £300 million dollars, he has sold 100 million albums, you meet someone like that and you get to spend a month with him, if anyone knows how to do it it’s got to be him. I’m not just going to put that experience behind me. The guy taught me a lot, he opened up to me, I was his friend.”

Once the show came to it’s conclusion, Gene presented to the 15-year-old the opportunity of a lifetime, but it meant leaving Lowestoft and his parent behind.

Read the full story in this week’s County Times’ WOW supplement - out now!