If you’re in need of a funk-infused, feel-good pick-me-up to help you mitigate the winter blues, multi-instrumentalist artist Chris Goma has you covered with his single, “Smile,” fresh off of his EP FREEDOM. After a friend of a friend passed away, Chris wanted to cheer his friend up with happy energy. The inspiration for this song was born from that moment, written from the perspective of his friend’s friend who passed, encouraging the living to continue to smile and celebrate life.
Chris Goma (Christopher Ryangoma Tabaro) is an American-born Canadian singer/songwriter, arranger, composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist based in Los Angeles. His unique style of hypo funk fuses elements of rhythm and blues, hip-hop, funk, soul, jazz, and electronic music. He was first introduced to music at a young age by his father, Ignace (Ntirushwamaboko) Ryangoma, who received a full-bright scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston. His father, mother, and Chris’s older brother all escaped the Rwandan Genocide and boarded a plane to the United States, where Chris was born. Chris first picked up the keyboard at the age of 7 and then picked up his core instrument, the electric bass, at 12.
“Smile” was the second song that Chris ever wrote in his sleep, though he doesn’t know if he should attribute it to himself or to the spirit of the person he wrote about. Sharing on the vivid dream that led to the creation of this track, Chris says,
I awoke to an ocean. I was under deep water and couldn’t seem to get to the light. I drowned. Died. And my spirit left my body in the dream. I was watching my lifeless body floating int he water and thought in the dream “maybe I can go up now,” so my spirit just started flying up and out of the ocean…until I found myself in the atmosphere, to later be in space…I saw a large ball of water in space. Like a crystal ball. Not the Earth as we know it.
A few moments later, three angels flew towards me, with two of them stopping at my side and the other flying towards the water planet I died on. The two angels created a halo around my head and we just floated there [until]…I blended with [my body] somehow. When I blended with my body, the angels signaled me to focus on the water ball I was at and it slowly started reflecting images. Music started playing (Smile) with the lyrics, attributed with memories of my friend and her experiences with the friend who died.
Full of jovial energy, “Smile” gives listeners a new perspective on death. Tender and cheerful vocals blend with the soulful soundscape, comprised of spirited jazz elements and choir-like claps. A catchy and lively chorus gives the track an ecstatic peak, which can transport listeners to a landscape filled with dancing people and bright colors in a manner similar to musical numbers. Within the lyrics, Chris takes on the perspective of the angel he was in his dream – dropping reminders of the importance of celebration after death because even when people do leave us, their presence will always be with us.
You can listen to this track that’s guaranteed to make you “Smile” and the entirety of FREEDOM below.