In his reclusive years, Chris Ho spent his time writing and recording at his home in Victoria, BC. Although he performed live on only the rarest occasions, Chris never hesitated to hand out his music to friends and strangers. He continued this pattern until a faithful fan base began to emerge with signed CDs and eager ears, forcing him out of a shell and onto a stage.
And so he did.
The traditionally introverted singer-songwriter began to grow an exhibitionist streak. He started by making casual appearances around Victoria, performing around the University of Victoria campus and around Victoria’s Cadboro Bay, catching the ear of passers by.
“One time someone was walking by and they left me a note. It just said, ‘Your music made me stop and just enjoy the moment. It’s beautiful. Thank you.’ They didn’t say anything else, and walked away. I still have that note.”
For Chris, this was just the affirmation he needed to know that his music has a way of getting through to people. Gradually, he established two sides to himself - the recluse and the exhibitionist. This new identity began to permeate his life and music, allowing him to challenge the traditional notion of the singer-songwriter mechanic.
The fresh dichotomy led Chris through a new adaptive process, writing songs that are both subdued and hard-hitting, but also upbeat and danceable. This flexibility has given him the capacity to cater his live performances to the tone of a specific lineup, allowing him to share stages with bands of varying styles, including Hey Ocean!, Pickwick, and Aidan Knight.
Chris Ho released his first official EP, Answers in April 2011. This was followed by the release of his first music video for the track “Depending on the Day,” which received extensive airplay through CBC Music after he won a spot on "Tracks On Tracks" - a cross-Canada train tour sponsored by Green Couch Productions and CBC Radio 3.
A year later he released the stand-alone single, “No Connection,” as precursor to his upcoming debut LP, City of Dust. The track introduced the album’s themes that relate to modernity and urban decay, establishing the thematic concern about societal and technological advancements which force us into situations where we are simultaneously more connected and alienated than ever before.
City of Dust was independently released on January 18, 2013, receiving attention from Canadian media outlets across the country. Shortly after, Chris won an award for "Island Songwriter of the Year" in the Vancouver Island Music Awards, and charted at #2 in CBC Radio 3's weekly Top Canadian Indie Tracks listing, after receiving regular rotation for "Story Of The Flood." To further support the successful release of the album, the young singer-songwriter embarked on his first Western Canadian Tour this spring.
* * *
“Singer-songwriter Chris Ho is like a character out of a Wes Anderson film: quirky, deliberate, a full deck of hearts tucked up his sleeve.” – CBC Music (Andrea Warner)
“Ho has made a name for himself in Victoria with his upbeat indie folk-rock, a combination that sounds better than ever on his debut full-length, City Of Dust.” – Times Colonist
“For all the six-string troubadours in the capital city, there is only a handful with real pop-music sensibility, who can write a hook and sing it with conviction. One of those people is Chris Ho.” – The Martlet