Local Singer/Rapper Chris Perry Has Built A Global FollowingPosted: Updated:
Admit it. It feels good when you get a "like" on a photo or status update on Facebook. Now imagine if over one million people hit the "like" button. That's a day in the life of Chris "GQ" Perry. A global singer and rapper with local roots, Perry has built himself an audience using social media.
Perry's hometown of Johnson City has a population of around 14,000. Multiply that by 71 and you've got the number of his Facebook followers. Over 1 million.
"I realized this is possible. I could actually make this happen," says Perry.
The Seton grad says it was when he posted his first music video for a song called "Differences" that the likes and comments started to pour in.
"With utilities like social media, which is huge, it's a lot easier for independent artists to grow," says Perry.
It's by no means a conventional way to build a career, but is becoming more popular for musical artists. Social media has famously launched the careers of several mainstream acts including Justin Beiber and pop duo Karmin. Perry is hoping he's next, averaging 20,000 new page likes per week.
"He's always found a way to make it happen on way or another," says Mose Perry, Chris's dad, "He just never takes no for an answer once he's decided to do something."
Scrolling through Perry's page, there's music videos, pictures, and even videos of Perry sitting in a car giving relationship advice via cell phone. The latest of these motivational speeches has 1.2 million views.
But Perry wasn't always quite so public. In fact, he hid his music from his parents at first.
"It wasn't until he was in high school that I found out that he was writing poetry slash rap," says Michele Zeck, Chris's mom.
Tipped off by one of her son's friends, Zeck sneaked a peak at the journal full of lyrics.
"It was very good," Zeck remembers, "Some of it made me cry."
Always his biggest fan, but mom still worries about her youngest child.
"I was nervous actually. Because I know what kind of follows that," says Zeck.
Perry knows he has a long way to go, but would like to think that he would stay down to earth.
"If I had $3 million today I would still be the same person," says Perry, "I would still walk around in Chucks, some jeans, and a t-shirt.
Perry has performed as an opening act for rapper Fetty Wap and says his dream is to collaborate with Chris Brown. Perry has recently started his own label, Loyalty Conquers Everything Entertainment, and hopes to eventually help other artists launch their careers.