CJ Solar’s EPs Are Snapshots of His Years, But He Still Wants to Put Out a Full Album
For CJ Solar, releasing shorter batches of music has become something of a tradition. His newest EP, Coming My Way, dropped in early May, following previous EPs Get Away With It and Hard One to Turn Down.
"I love each one of the EPs," Solar told The Boot back in February, at the 2020 Country Radio Seminar in Nashville. "I think they're all really cool and reflect about a different year of my life."
There are practical advantages to putting out shorter projects, too: "The whole thing about an EP is that you can put out more music -- not more music, but more ... new releases," he explains. "Obviously, they cost half the amount of money because you're recording half the amount of songs.
"We usually record the music in one day: a 10[AM] and 2[PM] tracking session with the band. I usually go in and do all the solos, guitar parts, at 9. And then, the next couple days, I can sing it, and it can be mixed in the next couple weeks," Solar goes on to say. "So they're usually pretty quick and easy to get done. Now, getting them out's a whole other story ..."
As an independent artist whose songwriting career was his entry point into the country music business, Solar knows process of releasing music from several different angles. He's witnessed the traits that prompt A&R executives to sign new artists from an outside perspective, and as a songwriter, he's seen why certain songs get picked up and others don't. He's been around long enough to see the ebb and flow of trends in country music, too, and even some of his own pals, such as fellow songwriter-turned-artist Hardy, have made the climb from songwriter and independent recording artist to a star signed to a major label.
For now, Solar is still releasing his music independently, which has its advantages: "I can literally record or do whatever I wanna do," he notes.
"It's awesome that I get to make the music I wanna make," Solar points out. "There's some people that get into that scenario where [a label tells them], 'Nope, this is the song you're recording. Hopefully you like it, and if not, too bad,'"
Of course, there's a lot of good things about being signed to a label, too, not the least of which would be the financial backing for Solar to make a full album. The singer says he's hoping that opportunity will arise one day.
"I would love to do an album at some point. It's a lot more work, and a lot more money," he offers. "You never know. I'm still independent, but who knows if a major-[label deal]-type thing comes along."