What's an autobio, you ask?
au-tow-bi-o -- noun 1. when a guy writes his own bio in third person so that it appears someone else wrote about him, allowing him to brag a little and still appear somewhat humble 2. a biodiesel-fueled automobile
Chris Rice was born a loooooooong time ago. He barely remembers it. The second-born of four brothers, he was (and still is) the introvert of the Rice family, nicknamed "Fine" by his parents during his adolescent years, based on his single-word answer whenever asked how his day went.
Fast-forward to adulthood: Interviews? Live radio? Shaking hands and making conversation with hundreds of strangers every night after shows? His worst nightmares all rolled into his real life! How he ever pulled off a public life as a recording artist is anyone's guess!
But he did. And grew into the experience. And actually enjoyed it. Seven studio releases, two instrumentals, a Christmas EP, and a couple of 'Best Of's' later, this guy smiles that his songs are still played around the world every now and then! (And even once in outer space on a Space Shuttle Mission!--be sure to listen through the full minute to the end, to hear NASA and the astronauts interact. Chills every time.)
His muses? Words, science, nature, humor, questions, faith.
His personality? Super chill, somewhat goofy, lovable (he hopes).
Compliments? That his songs help people put words to things they have felt and thought. His songs cover a variety of styles and topics. Soothing voice. Deep lyrics.
Criticisms? That his songs cover too many unrelated styles and topics. Voice is too soothing, wimpy. Shallow lyrics. He doesn't mention his faith enough. He mentions his faith too much.
Ah, public life.
Before public life? He grew up in a Maryland suburb of Washington DC where his parents owned a bookstore, and where he and his brothers dominated on the soccer fields and basketball courts. Well, not really dominated, but he wanted us to write that.
In his early twenties, after college-hopping and a Psychology degree, he moved to Tennessee, and spent most of his early adulthood traveling the country with his guitar, playing songs at youth camps and college retreats. (This led to internet misinformation that he was a youth pastor, although he never was.) But he still believes that all this time spent with students has kept him young! Whatever, Chris.
In 1996 he signed with a record label (Rocketown Records) as their first artist. After four plus albums and a few handfuls of Christian radio hit singles, he moved to an indie label (Eb+Flo) started by his producer and long time friend Monroe Jones. This new label relationship helped him expand his musical reach into more mainstream pop radio, especially with his light-hearted love songs "When Did You Fall (In Love With Me)" and "Lemonade," still heard in Home Depots, Toys-R-Uses, restaurant bathrooms, airports and shopping malls around the country (according to frequent text messages from his friends!)
Chris recently started painting at the invitation of some of his local artist friends (in April 2014) to participate in a very successful art show in Franklin, TN. Following the show, he has continued to paint frequently and to offer his works for sale in his online art shop. He doesn't do commissioned works, but he has donated several paintings for fundraising art auctions, as another outlet for his paintings.
He currently works with acrylic paint and palette knives (rather than brushes) for a lot of texture on his canvases. His favorite subjects include animals, abstract angels, and aspen groves.
His studio is a mess! Easels, stacks of blank and partly painted canvases, hundreds of paint tubes, pens, palette knives, brushes, and piles of half-baked sketch ideas litter the studio where he works--mostly alone, but sometimes alongside guest painters.
His love for words, obvious from his song lyrics, has compelled him in new writing directions. Chris has authored his first book "Widen," a collection of ninety poems he has written over the past several years, which is now available worldwide.
Most recently, Chris and his studio reside in a sweet, bustling Tennessee neighborhood with too many awesome coffee shops. When he isn't painting or writing he is somewhere on a hundred-foot cliff, clinging for his life to a big rock. His rock climbing addiction has earned him two well-calloused hands (which help him keep his strong grip on palette knives, too). And every now and then he shows up as co-writer on some of his friends' songs.
That's all we know for now. We can't get this Rice guy to talk much. Silly introvert.