Chris Mann making new Noise after The Voice

Chris Mann was a finalist in The Voice season 2 and released his new single Noise on April 12. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Skollar PR.
Chris Mann was a finalist in The Voice season 2 and released his new single Noise on April 12. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Skollar PR. /

Chris Mann became a household name in The Voice season 2, but he’s continuing to prove he’s more than a TV star with his latest single Noise.

Everyone learned Chris Mann’s name when he was a finalist on NBC‘s singing competition The Voice during its second season—but Chris has accomplished a lot before and since his stint on reality TV, including a brand-new single that releases today.

He connected with Hidden Remote to discuss his new music, which he’s releasing throughout the year. His first single “Gentleman” dropped in February, and starting today you can download next single “Noise” (the title track of his new album!) on all available platforms.

Chris also spoke about an awesome collaboration coming later in the year and what scares him—in a good way—about the next creative adventure he’s taking. If you only remember him from his season of The Voice, you’ve got a lot to discover about Chris Mann.

Catch up with Chris in our interview below, then download “Noise” today on iTunes. He’s also planning new tour dates; you can find out about upcoming concerts at his website.

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Hidden Remote: What made you decide that it was time to release new music? Were you particularly inspired by something?

Chris Mann: I had finished Phantom, I was doing that for two years, and then we had the baby so I was taking some time off. In that time I started writing music.

I wrote “Gentleman,” which is the first single, and when I heard how that turned out I was like, this is what my album is going to sound like. That inspired me to write more originals.

The whole inspiration and reason I made this record is, when I started my career and I was signed to Sony—this is like in 2008—I was signed as a pop artist who wrote his own songs. Then through the course of happenstance, I ended up on The Voice doing classical covers. I’m very appreciative for the last seven years; I’ve been having a career performing with symphonies and doing that style all over the world and doing the Broadway thing. But what my initial love of music was, was pop music.

So I had a conversation with myself which was, I really want to make a new record, and I started making one. It was a bunch of covers, and I was going no, I need to make the record that I always wanted to make and say things that I want to say right now instead of doing what everybody is expecting from me. I’m going to do what makes me excited right now, and that’s why I made this record.

You’re releasing Noise as individual singles, rather than dropping the entire album on one date. Why did you decide to do it that way?

I didn’t set out to do it that way; I was going to release the whole thing on March 28th. But albums basically are getting passed over right now. You put it out and like a week later it’s gone. This music is so good, that would be such a tragedy to me, to be one and done. I was like absolutely not. I’m not going to let that happen.

Each of these songs needs to be heard in its own way, so I actually got really excited. I found it quite liberating to say I’m not going to do a [traditional] album. I’ll release it as an album at the end but I want each of these songs to be its own celebration. That’s why I decided to do one song a month. It’s more fun, I can spread it out, I get to interact with the fans and hear what they think about each song, and not let it be lost.

“Noise” is the single releasing today and the title track of the album. What does this song mean to Chris Mann, that you’d name the record after it?

I’m calling the record Noise because this song is all about not shutting up for anybody, and speaking up for yourself and anything you believe in. I was really inspired by the protest movements happening right now, with so many people unhappy with how the world is, and I was really upset about some things in my own life. I just wanted to scream out about it and that’s where the song came from.

I’m really stoked about releasing that into the world and hopefully giving [people] permission to let loose and not be silenced. It’s a new message for me, but it’s one I’m really into.

Another single coming up is “Honestly,” your duet with India.Arie. How did you end up working with her and what was that experience like?

I’ve known India for years. We met in Los Angeles and we became friends, and she’s such a hero of mine as a musician. But she couldn’t be a more supportive friend and artist too, I respect her so much for that.  When we first met, the first thing she did was invite me to sing the duet [“Back To The Middle”] with her at the Greek, and that’s so unusual, to have someone that’s just that trusting and caring. We’ve stayed in touch ever since.

I sent her [the single] “Honestly” and she fell in love with it, dropped everything she was doing and recorded it the next day. I couldn’t believe how quickly she was on board with it. It’s truly the art piece of the record and I’m so happy that she joined me on it.

You mentioned your run in Phantom of the Opera, and you’ve always been incredibly versatile. Have any of the other sides of Chris Mann influenced this record?

No. This is pretty much inspired by John Legend, Justin Timberlake, India.Arie. [It’s] super-current; lots of background vocals, vintage horns. I basically took the kitchen sink about what makes me excited about pop music and threw it on this record and it’s super. I think it came together so well and it sounds like me.

Lyrically I’m talking about my marriage, my son, my opinions. And it’s kind of scary, because it’s not what I’m known for and it’s not something I’ve put myself out there doing. But that’s sort of what made me excited to do it.

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Chris Mann’s new single “Noise” is available for download on iTunes. For more on Chris and his new music and upcoming tour dates, visit his website.