Meet The Makers: Chris Grant

Published: Tuesday 18th Jul 2017 by David

Welcome to another edition of Meet the Makers, the TGJ original feature which pulls you behind Pop’s velvet rope and introduces you to the brains behind the scene’s operation.

Today, as his work with Beyonce makes him one of the most sought-after visionaries, we catch up with Chris Grant to find out how and why he became the star’s go-to guy.

 TGJ: What were your creative influences growing up?
There are so many. I’d say the main ones were Michael, JanetPRINCE, ‘Nsync and B2K. At the time I wanted to be an entertainer so those acts inspired me musically and visually.

I was born in the Bronx,  New York. Once my family and I moved to West Palm Beach Florida I did every talent show and performed at every South Florida fair. It wasn’t long before people asked me if I taught at any dance studios or did private teaching and that’s how I got into it. Sean Green from Sean’s Dance Factory actually gave me my first opportunity and I was also in a dance group called Full Out and taught at a another dance studio called XCL owned by a beautiful lady named Miss Fisher.

TGJ: Fascinating! This led to creative directing?
Chris: Yeah it did. My grandmother spoiled me (laughs) she got me the computer I wanted which came with music and editing software, so I got into mixing music and adding live effects to my performances. People would go crazy over my mixes, choreography and show concepts and that’s when I became aware that creative directing became something I could possibly thrive in. As all of this was happening I auditioned and was selected to be on Diddy’s ‘Makin’ Da Band’ and made it to the Top 16 with the help of LaurieAnn Gibson.
TGJ: How did your meet Beyonce?
Chris: Frank Gatson spotted me on ‘Making da Band’ and we ran into each other shortly after IN New York. I’d admired his work for years without knowing it. I was extremely excited when he invited me to Miami and asked to see my work. So, I took two of my closest friends Mikey and Roben and showed him my version of ‘Single Ladies’. The official version was out at this point. I was flown to LA days later and asked to teach at Beyonce’s ‘I AM Tour’ auditions. She walks in and Frank asked me to perform my version of the song. When I was done she told me I was “unreal” and the rest is history.

How he’s helped to reshape her performance style in recent years?
There’s no pressure to, but there is definitely an effort to cover all bases and make sure we’re moving forward and not backwards. We recently revamped a lot of the older choreography and added dance breaks to make it more fun and up to date. It’s exciting because there’s a lot of ground to cover and it keeps things fresh. To be honest, we really create moves off of vibes which makes working with B as fun as it is. No egos, no over-thinking, just fun, artistry and creativity as a team.

As for talk that the industry’s standard for acts hoping to follow in Bey’s footsteps have been lowered in recent years?
We’re in a different time and that’s alright. The only way to be the best is to study the greats, rehearse and perfect your craft. Beyonce’ does that and understands it all. The secret to Bey’s success is the balance she has between having fun and turning up while committing to a message she’s passionate about and wants to convey.
So, what’s next for the gifted 20-something?
I’ve been listening to a lot of new artists I’m excited about, Victoria Monet is one of them. She’s really talented so I’d like to work with her. Professionally, I’d love to pursue acting, directing and exploring more of myself within entertainment. Personally, (laughs), I’m trying to buy a house man. I just want to be happy…more than anything.

Interview by David Asante.

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  1. Kesha Pray July 18, 2017

    Wow!!! I didn’t know he had done so much.

  2. Kehlani Maraj July 18, 2017

    Rihanna should hire him. Her moves are stiffer than a inmates pipe.

    • Danity Slain July 18, 2017

      They don’t make em like Chris and Frank anymore.

  3. Kiss July 18, 2017

    This guy is the reason I dance.

  4. Janet Xone July 18, 2017

    One Of my fav people. I saw him a few years ago backstage at Good morning America when he was standing in for Bey. Legendary.

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