Hailing from Rock Hill, South Carolina, Chris Buxton, recently inducted into the Penthouse Music collective by leader Skizzy Mars, is poised to join Mars as one of the voices of the youth, in the near future. It was June of 2016 when Buxton was formally inducted into the penthouse music collective.
"To be quite honest, Skizzy reached out to me after hearing my song “O.C.”, and we have had a relationship ever since," Buxton said.
Garnering just under 100 thousand plays on Buxton's Soundcloud, "O.C." was a song about dating "an overzealous girl in Orange County", Buxton said. for Buxton, 21, it was a "surprising moment" when Mars reached out, as he was a big fan of Mars growing up.
A collective of 11, according to their Twitter, the Penthouse Music collective is comprised of drummers, artists, photographers, producers, and graphic designers.
"We are all just growing and branding ourselves, so we are able to get to the next stage in our careers," Buxton said. "Skizzy has really shown us where hard work will get us, and we are all bought into the mindset that no one is going to give us our own success."
Of course, Buxton isn't new to hard work, as he's amassed just over 2,500 Twitter followers to pair with an approximate 4,500 Soundcloud followers virtually on his own.
Shortly after being inducted, Buxton released his Condo 8 EP, available on Soundcloud, Spotify, and Apple Music. Again, Buxton was commenting and unveiling his experiences of highs and lows in the dating world. Buxton said most of his music is him speaking to a girlfriend or women him and his friends have encountered over the years.
"As a shy guy, some of my words get misunderstood in regular conversation, so I use my music to say the things that I’m scared to say in person," Buxton said.
On the first track of Condo 8, "Calabasas", Buxton speaks candidly about what he wants from his next girlfriend to introduce the song before singing "she Calabasas" to start the chorus.
"All these girls nowadays want to be Kylie Jenner or Rihanna, Kate Upton, anyone that looks like they're winning," Buxton said. "But like, I just want a girl that's down to earth and that's just going to spend the night tonight. Because, at the end of the day, my eyes are on you."
Throughout the rest of the chorus, Buxton weaves through navigating of palm trees, extendos, and captain jack while chasing Ms. Calabasas. Buxton recalls "I don't really need another b*tch after you happened" before professing his need of her Calabasas love.
Fresh off his induction into the penthouse music collective, Buxton said "condo to the penthouse" to start the first verse. And, he cements his loyalty a few bars later stating "phm over everything" before refocusing his attention back onto Calabasas, ending his verse saying "she a real one, f*ck a side b*tch".
Interestingly enough, Buxton's favorite genres of music growing up were punk rock, alternative, and hip-hop, he said.
"I went through a hard punk rock phase into my teen years," Buxton said. "Everywhere I went I was listening to Fall Out Boy, All-American Rejects, or the Killers."
According to Buxton, he didn't listen to hip-hop until Kanye West's Graduation and Kid Cudi's Man on the Moon albums came out in 2007 and 2009, respectively. In addition, Buxton said he was a huge fan of legendary artists Otis Redding, Jimi Hendrix, and Lenny Kravitz. And, Buxton's modern artist influences are Childish Gambino, Wiz Khalifa, Mars, and Blackbear.
"I really believe the music I listened to then and now has a huge influence on the music I make," Buxton said.
On the second track of Condo 8, "In Too Deep", Buxton's speaking directly to a woman, which becomes a recurring theme in his music. Buxton points out he hasn't seen her in awhile around town in the intro, but knows she's "always down".
In the first verse, Buxton admits he had to leave home to unlock his hidden potential, leaving fake friends behind as well. But, it wasn't all pretty, as he alluded to substance abuse in the process.
"They don't really get my f*cking grind," Buxton said in the first verse. "Never seen what I been on. Never there when I was slaving for the drugs that had me lost."
While honest, Buxton knows his admission will have those he left back home more concerned for him. Ultimately, Buxton's okay with his decision to leave to pursue his dreams. Essentially, he's in too deep to quit now.
Since the release of Condo 8, Buxton's released a slew of loose singles, most notably my personal favorite "Swerve" which has amassed approximately 44 thousand plays on Soundcloud. In fact, the single will appear on Buxton's upcoming project, Suburban Popstar, as well.
Perhaps a hopeless romantic, Buxton has no shame exclaiming his love for a girl that's curving him on the chorus.
"Swerve on me, swerve on me," Buxton said in the chorus. "I love you but you hate me."
While not an album, Buxton said there'll be a difference in the overall quality of his forthcoming EP, more specifically the "level of production" and "songwriting".
"In my opinion, Condo 8 was a rushed project and was not able to really pinpoint my sound," Buxton said. "Suburban Popstar is like a child to me. This project really shows my growth from that stage in my career and the stories on the project are more vivid with surrounding production from Hiko Momoji and Jaylien Wesley."
In addition, Buxton said Suburban Popstar emphasizes his sound as an artist. According to Buxton, Suburban Popstar is about "being more". A suburban South Carolina kid, Buxton wants to be the first huge music act to come out of his state, he said. Buxton said he wants to make a way for non-trap music artists, proving there's room for them, too.
Imagine Buxton as a suburban kid, like fellow artist Super Duper Kyle, that likes to have late night fun with women and drugs, like fellow artist Mars.
"I want people to take pride in where they came from and seek to be more on their own turf than expand," Buxton said. "With streaming being so influential, I believe this is one of the first times in the music industry where you can have kids coming from the suburbs be the stars."
According to Buxton, his sound as an artist is the more "outgoing side" of himself in his regular life. As an artist, Buxton's confident, hardworking, and electifying, living for music and the stories narrated in his songs. In addition, Buxton said as an artist he's "fearless" and a "motivator". But, in his personal life Buxton's just Josh Reid, a shy and reserved person, he said. And, yes, Buxton has a girlfriend in his personal life as well.
"It’s awesome that I can have both lives," Buxton said. "In saying that, I feel all of that is reflected into my music to some extent. "I believe my sound is a fusion of pop and hip, and I take you on a journey through my more personal to comfortable moments in life."
While he's up and coming himself, Buxton said artists coming into the industry should "be themselves" and be open to change. Buxton said criticism is needed to reach your goals and having a team of people around is necessary. Lastly, Buxton said "don't get discouraged when things don't work out right away" and "connections are vital"
Another favorite of mine, Buxton's track "Remember" embodies his sentiments precisely.
"B*tches said we ain't got s*it, we looked up and we had this," Buxton said on the track.
Essentially, Buxton's success isn't tied to chart success and accolades any more so than staying organically true to himself and the people around him loving and supporting him.
With the backing of the Penthouse Music collective, a new EP on the way, and the drive of Buxton it's hard not envisioning 2018 as the year he formally breaks into the music industry, establishing a core fan base and transitioning himself from Soundcloud rapper to rapper.
Buxton's EP, Suburban Popstar, releases this Friday on Soundcloud.