At the young age of 30, Christian Sands is one of the most in-demand pianists working. When asked what keeps him motivated, the jazz pianist response “…life, and the fact that there’s always something to learn keeps me motivated.” In his ‘Inspirational Spotlight’ interview with us here at Black SOULutions, Christian Sands shares about learning the piano as just a toddler, his successful career, and his inspirations. Check out the interview below.
Who got you started playing the piano and why?
The credit goes to my family. I started playing when I was about 2 years old. My parents would sit me on their laps at first and play; we had an upright piano in the house, they love music. My aunt bought me “MY first piano,” it was a small celeste toy piano, but I played it everyday. A family friend, Marsha, may she Rest In Peace, was the musical director for the church that I had gone to as a child and was a close family friend. She requested that I take piano lessons when I was about 1 (for some reason, no one knows) and my parents accepted the challenge of finding a teacher with enough patience to teach a toddler. *laughs* I’ve been playing ever since.
Did you ever think it would turn out to be your career?
I didn’t really think of it becoming a career until I was older. When I was younger, I associated the word “career” with “job,” and music never felt like a job to me. Music is me. Now, I associate career with “life’s work” and it’s steadily growing for me; I’m blessed and honored to be able to be “myself” as a career.
What were some challenges you faced in pursuing this career?
Some challenges I faced growing up were artistic choices and what to choose. I grew up with a very supportive team and was always encouraged to do anything. But anything is a wide open space, and the challenge was choosing a direction to go artistically. But I’m very much an optimist, and any path chosen had its own unknown adventure, and positivity comes with it when one is open to change and improvisation.
What type of music were you into growing up ?
I was into everything and anything. If I could groove to it, then I listened.
Who were your influences when it came to playing the keys?
I have many, too many to name, but not all of them were pianists. I’m greatly influenced by literature, visual art, dance, design, and architecture as well. Anything with movement; Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, Erroll Garner, Matisse, Salvador Dalí, Picasso, Jackson Pollack, James Baldwin, Michael Mauer, I.M Pei, Bruce Lee, the list goes on and on…
I see that you’re on tour right now, how’s that been going?
The touring has been excellent. Full of great audiences, some old fans and some new ones. There’s never a dull moment and there’s always a party when we hit the stage. Too much fun!
Tell us about the Facing Dragons album and the inspiration behind it?
Facing Dragons is about reflecting on one’s inner ambitions; if, and how, to accomplish them but also how to grow within the questions asked.
What keeps you motivated?
Life and the fact that there’s always something to learn keeps me motivated.
How can people stay in touch with your amazing journey and where can they find you on social media?
People can stay connected through my Instagram and Facebook : christiansandsjazz; Twitter : christiansands1. But I’d also rather see them in person, so check out my tour schedule and come to the show via the website : christiansandsjazz.com/live
Be sure to check out Chrstians latest project, ‘Facing Dragons’ now available on all streaming platforms. Also, be sure to keep up with Christian on all his social media platforms and, in his words, he would also rather see you person, so check out his tour schedule on his site and go see him live!