You may remember Christian Burns from his time with British boyband sensation BBMak that had a global smash with "Back Here" back in 2002. After the success of the trio, BBMak members went their own way to work on different solo projects In 2007, singer Christian Burns resurfaced as a guest vocalist on Tiesto's crossover hit "In The Dark," which was a huge hit across Europe and Asia.
Arjan caught up with Burns in New York to talk about his upcoming solo album, the break up of BBMak, his new Bleachworks project and his upcoming collaborations with dance gurus David Guetta and BT. In fact, Burns had just flown in Washington state where he spent some time with BT to work on some new tracks.
Arjan: Hi there, Christian. Good talking to you. Curious to hear what you're up to.
Christian: You bet, Arjan. Love your blog!
I remember first hearing your name when BBMak hit MTV's TRL for the first time. "Back Here" was just everywhere at the time. But then I lost track of you guys until I spent time with Tiesto at Coachella in 2007 and he mentioned your name. What happened with BBMak and where were you all these years?
BBMak officially split back in 2003, and I was in legal situation for a couple of years with a management situation and label situation, which meant that I really couldn't do much. But I didn't sit still after we broke up. I went straight to the studio and just started writing, writing and writing. You know, I haven't stopped since, and I am still doing it now.
Christian Burns in Tiesto's "In The Dark"
I'm surprised that BBMake broke up. You guys were on to something, and had boys and girls on your feet.
I think it was a mixture of a few things. I think the main thing was we had done it for quite a few years with intense touring all over Asia, all over the States, all over Europe, just non-stop really for 4 or 5 years. And I think, musically, we took it to a place where I wanted to do something quite different and the other guys wanted that too. It was an amicable split. We didn't fall out or anything. We just decided that it was time for a change.
What was it like to go from the spotlight into anonymity?
I enjoyed it. Life with BBMak was incredibly hectic. I didn't really take time off from the media and from gigs and doing shows. To go into the studio to concentrate on new music and experiment with new sounds was great. It was just frustrating that because of the legal situation I couldn't put out any music. Now, it's like the second time around for me. It's exciting. It's like starting again, I suppose. So, I am enjoying it. I feel better for it if I am being honest with you.
Was the collaboration with Tiesto a turn-around point for you?
Totally. I was writing in the studio and I had a few songs on MySpace and Tiesto found my page. He really liked my voice, contacted me and said, "Look, I really want to do a song together." So, we got together and we wrote "In the Dark." It was great and it was an excellent opportunity for me and it opened quite a lot of doors for me.
Did Tiesto's big dance sound inspire your musical style as a solo artist?
I think so. Through working with Tiesto, I got to meet some great people.. One of the people I'm currently working is BT. He brings such a great electronic vibe to my sound that goes really well with the pop-rock oriented music I've been working on.
So what are you plans moving forward?
[My album for The Bleachworks project] is coming together nicely. I'd say it's about 70% done now. I've written most of the songs for it. We plan a release this summer or the fall. I'm also lending my vocals to a few side dance projects. I just wrote a song with David Guetta, which is amazing.
So are you ready for the spotlight again?
Yes, I am. I'm ready. With BBMak, I wasn’t prepared for the amount of traveling and the amount of days away from home, but this time I know what the deal is and I am mentally prepared for it. I'm ready. I have had enough time not touring, so I'm ready now.