To celebrate the release of his brand new EP good things take time — which officially hit music streaming services on September 18 — Christian French caught up with J-14 and opened up about what it’s like releasing hit most personal songs yet.
The Indiana native, 23, shared the story of how his move to Los Angeles inspired the EP’s title track and how the song “wake up” was almost never released! But that’s not all. Christian also shared some behind-the-scenes secrets from his “good things take time” music video set and teased what fans can expect from him next.
J-14: Tell us about your single “good things take time.” What’s it about?
Christian: “Good things take time” is about the trial and error of figuring life out. Finding what works for you personally and what doesn’t, then learning from it and bettering yourself.
J-14: Was it inspired by anyone or anything in your real life?
Christian: Yes! It’s just me expressing what I was going through at the time and relaying it with the most emotion that I possibly could.
J-14: What’s your favorite line of lyrics from the song? Why?
Christian: “You’ll make up your mind, stop and rewind, just to rewrite it over. Good things take time.” I love this line because so many times I thought I had it “all figured out,” and then a few months later, my feelings and my mentality shifted and I wanted to take things a new direction. It shows that you are continuing to evolve as a person and it’s OK to have a change of heart.
J-14: The song, “good things take time,” has a very upbeat and positive tone. Do you have any advice for fans who may be struggling during this current time?
Christian: I know it’s hard to believe right now after being in lockdown for what seems like forever, but this will all end and life go back to a normal pace. It might be a new normal, but that should be exciting to look forward to. I’ve really struggled the past couple months and I know so many others have as well, so it’s important to know that you’re not alone with those feelings. Good things take time.
J-14: Tell us about the “good things take time” music video. Where did the idea for the visual come from?
Christian: This video was directed by myself and my two good friends, who have been here and have seen my growth as an artist since moving to Los Angeles. We wanted to base this video around the past three years of me being in Los Angeles. Starting out with crashing on peoples’ couches and carrying all of my clothes with me wherever I go, then driving around in my manager’s 2006 Toyota Highlander with my friends and finally being in my own room with my own space. This was all meant to show that good things do take time. Those years of bumming it out on peoples’ couches allowed me to grow enough to establish my own life in Los Angeles as a full-time musician.
J-14: Do you have any behind-the-scenes secrets or funny memories from the music video’s set?
Christian: This video had so many different ideas before we landed on the one of my come-up in Los Angeles. We were thinking about shooting it in the mountains and had a cool spot picked out, so we went camping a few months ago to scope it out. We ended up hiking uphill for HOURS to get there and by the time we got back down the mountain, we were DEAD tired and all knew that the mountain idea was way too ambitious because the next time we would also be carrying a few hundred pounds in gear. It was cool to do this video very DIY with my friends. Some videos can have huge teams of people that you barely know and I love how we worked with what we had and made it look awesome. This was the least expensive video I’ve ever done and I think it’s my favorite. All of the places in the video are very real places that I’ve spent time in, and the story directly speaks to how I’ve lived in Los Angeles over the past three years.
J-14: Why did you decide to name your entire EP after that song?
Christian: As I was writing these songs for the EP, the phrase “good things take time” kept entering my head, keeping me sane when I wasn’t writing the best music that I could and was getting frustrated with myself. This mindset has saved me from being swallowed by failure and has helped me move past it, and continue to grow.
J-14: Do you have a favorite track from the EP?
Christian: “Good things take time” is definitely my favorite track. It’s the theme behind the whole EP and will continue to be a theme in my life going forward. As I go through these transitional phases where my beliefs and desires change, there’s a lot of growing pain that comes with it that you need to be ready for. “Good things take time” always reminds me to just put my head down and do the work the best I can and things will work out.
J-14: Can you tell us about your writing and recording process for the EP?
Christian: I wrote five of these songs in one month with the same amazing friends and collaborators, we were on a roll together. The last two (“paper thin” and “wake up”) have their own stories. “Paper thin” was written in May 2019, and went through so many different versions to get to where it finally is. “Wake up” wasn’t even supposed to be on the EP. I made that song with my roommate la month before we were supposed to release this EP and was too excited to wait to release it. It was actually perfect because it fit so well with the theme of the EP, and now the tracklist is seven songs instead of the original six.
J-14: Is it nerve-wracking to release something so personal to you, especially with the songs about self-love and acceptance?
Christian: Yes and no. It is scary to lay out your emotions and deepest feelings for the entire world to hear, but also since these songs are written from what I’m actually experiencing and learning from, it makes it a lot easier. Since it’s genuine, I know that people will resonate with it, and that’s what matters most. It kind of lets me forget about all of the anxiety of releasing something so deep.
J-14: Now that your EP is finally released, what can fans expect next?
Christian: I’m really excited about this next cycle of music that I’m currently making, and I can’t wait for everyone to hear some of these songs later this year. I can’t tell you too much just yet!
Love J-14? Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for fun, exclusive videos with your favorite stars.