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Chris Bandi discusses playing at the Opry and his Key West residency

Hailing from St. Louis, Missouri, Chris Bandi grew up being influenced by a wide range of genres from rock and pop to 90’s country. He has been writing songs since high school and began making the trek to Nashville during his college days at Ole Miss, honing his craft playing small clubs. He made his Grand Ole Opry debut on February 25.

Chris’s breakout single “Man Enough Now” is currently on country radio and has over 80 million streams. He has also been named a “2020 Artist to Watch” by numerous country publications. His self-titled debut EP will be releasing on May 29. Fans can pre-order or pre-save the EP now here.

I loved discovering his new music during this “stay at home” period and I encourage everyone to check it out. I can’t wait to photograph so many of these new artists when we resume live music. 

We were able to catch up with Bandi for a quick round of questions where we talk Tiger King, favorite tour stops, and Key West memories.

What are you doing to stay sane during this quarantine period? Any advice for others?

I’ve been watching a ton of Netflix, I think Tiger King has single handedly kept me from going crazy! We take our dogs on walks almost every day which is rare because I’m usually out of town so often. I’ve also gotten to do a lot of fun Facebook and Instagram lives which I hadn’t really done before so that has been a great experience.

I completely agree on Tiger King. It defined this year so far. How are you staying connected to fans during this time?

It’s been awesome being able to hop on Instagram or Facebook and play a few songs in real time, I’m going to start doing a bit more of that! I’ve also started posting videos of myself playing songs that I love. I used to do that all the time and it’s fun being able to do it again! 

The music industry is being hit hard by this time. Are you doing anything to support any specific charities or causes during this crisis? Is so how can others help support it as well?

We’ve been trying to support all our local businesses while everything is shut down. We’re buying gift cards and things like that and we’re really looking forward to the day we get to get out and use them.

Quarantine item you couldn’t live without?

Netflix and my TV. It’s been nice, my girlfriend and I have been quarantined together with our dogs so I’m very glad neither one of us has had to be alone this whole time! 

What’s in your refrigerator right now?

Luckily my girlfriend did a great job stocking it up before we went into lockdown! We’ve got a few HelloFresh meals, lots of beer and soda. 

What are some of your favorite destinations when on tour and why?

I love New York, I got to play there for the first time in March before everything shut down. I just love the energy of the city and how no matter what time it is or where you are in the city there is always something to do.

Favorite tour memory?

I guess it wasn’t technically part of a tour but my favorite memory so far has been playing The Grand Ole Opry. We just got to play it for the first time in February and it is something I will never forget! 

Has a travel destination ever inspired a song? What is the story?

Actually, yes! We used to do a residency in Key West, FL every year. We’d go down for 5-7 days and play every night at a bar called The Smokin’ Tuna. I wrote a song called “Ain’t Got a Girl” about a night down there and some wise advice. 

Do you have a dream vacation spot after quarantine is over?

Somewhere warm and close to a golf course! I’m not too picky!  

Any message to Fans? 

Stay safe, stay healthy and if you can, stay inside! We are all going to get through this and we cannot wait to see y’all as soon as we can! 

Photo By: Matthew Berinato

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