C.S. Armstrong Is Creating Timeless Rhythm And Blues [NEW ARTIST DISCOVERY]
C.S. Armstrong is endurance personified. The self-taught multi-instrumentalist stirs together a jambalaya of soul, blues and hip-hop that utilizes the new while resonating with the old. This special concoction of sound is priming him for something truly special, all we have to do is wait and watch.
The Houston, Texas, native grew up around music, from playing piano in his grandmother's church to saxophone in multiple jazz bands, C.S. Armstrong was a natural. Unfortunately, his time in Houston also exposed him to a life of gang-banging that would grow increasingly dangerous for the then 19-year-old. In an attempt to escape the growing dangers of the city, Armstrong enlisted in the Army serving for eight years before landing in New York City. The Big Apple became his new home and jumping-off point for his long-awaited pursuit of a music career.
Armstrong, who went by Rocki Evans at the time, met Cobaine Ivory and formed the groundbreaking duo CharlieRED in 2012. The pair's motley blend of electrified soul, rock, hip-hop and blues garnered them attention from industry insiders and even landed them an opening tour spot for Action Bronson. Together they released two projects; their Religion EP, shared during the year of their formation, and full-length follow-up, MUSE, in 2013.
After a few years on the East Coast, Armstrong chose to relocate to Los Angeles in search of new inspirations and a solo career. He found himself in the studio with the likes of Dr. Dre, Terrace Martin and Taz Arnold, soon after his arrival, needless to say the move out West paid off. Armstrong would go on to share a barrage of singles and covers within the coming months gaining traction for his live recording sessions at Truth Studios. The powerful vocalist was sharpening his craft, making his growing fanbase salivate with each release.
Armstrong would then spend five years confined in a studio recording and preparing for the release of new original music. The fruits of his labor would manifest itself as his two-track release, Good Times, released in late November of 2018. The double release featured a more hip-hop sensibility from the singer-songwriter utilizing upbeat R&B production to convey his longing for the days of old. One of the songs included in the release, "City in Ruins," caught the attention of COLORS Studios, granting Armstrong a platform to captivate a larger audience and build on an already impressive resume of live recordings.
The start of the new year marked the continuation of his multi-song releases, sharing his three-track collection, Chauncy, in early February 2019. The bit-sized pack of singles furthered proved the gifted vocalist's ability to peak and dive through varied orchestration. His soul-riddled brand of music was becoming increasingly difficult to ignore, especially with what Armstrong had planned next.
A month after the release of Chauncy, Armstrong shared his long-awaited album debut, Truth Be Told. The album, a 10-track collaboration with Berlin-based producer Torky, is a powerful and emotional showcasing of soul. Armstrong chronicles his upbringing, step-fathers abuse, time in the military and the systemic injustices towards black men and women in America. His utter transparency and vulnerability on the sample-laced record creates an intimate connection between the artist and the listener.
The road to where C.S. Armstrong is now has been a long and winding one but proves an unparalleled conviction to his craft. His timeless mixture of blues, soul, hip-hop and gospel precursors longevity. The music is something to grow old with to revel in the now while glimpsing into the future. C.S. Armstrong will continue to endure, and we cannot wait to see what time has in store for him.