Christopher Vigil aka Splyt is a rapper that has made his mark on not just the Colorado hip-hop scene, but the National hip-hop scene. Chris and I grew up in rival towns just 20 minutes apart from one another in Trinidad, CO and Raton, NM–both are just a few miles from the Colorado-New Mexico Border. If you don’t know where Raton or Trinidad are, it’s okay–most people don’t. For those of you who are interested in what those towns are like, they’re not bad, just too small for my taste.
Although Chris and I grew up just minutes within one another, we didn’t meet until my freshman year at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, where we both graduated from.
It was my freshman year when I went to a UCCS basketball game and I heard a remix that Splyt had done of Wiz Khalifa’s Black and Yellow for UCCS’s basketball season. It was that day that I had started to follow his music and journey and I am certainly impressed with where he’s at today.
At Real Ball Insiders, we have a very family oriented team, and I was seeing Pedro reach out to big names and getting interviews, I logged into my Facebook account and sent Chris, who has been my Facebook friend for quite a time, a message. Low and behold, he was down to do an interview with me.
Here’s my interview with Chris Vigil AKA Splyt, an up and coming artist who, if you haven’t heard of him yet–I promise that
Mallorie: You and I grew up in rival towns just 20 minutes away from one another, but we met my freshman year of college at UCCS where we both graduated from. What is the feeling like knowing you came from a small town like Trinidad, CO to being such prominent name in, not just the Colorado hip-hop scene, but the hip-hop scene overall?
Splyt: It’s kind of like a good feeling and a bad feeling at the same time, which is a weird thing to say. Obviously I’m very appreciative of being able to get the opportunities I have but coming from such a small town, everybody kind of knows you so everybody kind of, uh, when I started doing music when I was seventeen it took me like four years just to, like of writing my own music and mixing stuff and stuff like that for anybody else to even know I did music so it was kind of like a big step. I wish I would have started earlier but everything happens for a reason.
Mallorie: What is it like whenever you go back home with those people who you grew up with knowing the success you have now?
Splyt: It’s crazy. It’s weird that you say that. My best friend from Middle School, who I haven’t really talked to as much as I’d like just because I’ve been really involved with this project, he just texted me last night with a picture of one of my first shows and he was like, “I’ve been down since day one and I’m excited to see what’s happening,” and stuff. It’s weird. I just went back for the first time in 8 years for an extended stay, I’d go there passing through on tour, and I stayed there for four days. It’s really weird because it’s still the same people and I’m still the same way but they actually value my musical opinion, which is cool.
Mallorie: How did you come up with your stage name Splyt?
Splyt: So when I was 17, I actually used to have a nickname. So my name is Chris Vigil. Christopher John Vigil and so being that my mom’s name is Crystal, she named me after herself, so with my family, they couldn’t call me Chris, they’d call me Ceej or CJ, you know, for the middle initials. So I was named Ceej. There’s a rapper in my town, in Trinidad, named Siege, like a battle or something, so I couldn’t use Siege, which was like my initial nickname, and my first song I ever recorded was with him, so I definitely couldn’t use it so I was kind of thinking that since I was a singer at the time, and started as a singer and used to write raps, like ghost write stuff, that it was kind of like a split personality and this is kind of before like Drake stuff and I was like, ‘oh I sing, I can rap,’ it’s a split personality. Somebody probably has an S-P-L-I-T, so I just changed that into a Y.
Mallorie: You have toured with names like G-Eazy and Mike Stud and opened for Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Hoodie Allen, Logic, and SoMo, just to name a few. What have those experiences been like for you?
Splyt: The craziest experience for me is the fact that, how big G has gotten. It’s crazy. I actually have a bar in one of my new songs that’s talking how G-Eazy and KYLE blew up and I actually wrote it before KYLE got huge with iSpy so it’s weird that it kind of came to fruition. It’s humbling to be like these guys still know who I am, you know, cause I thought that I would just be some guy that they passed through on tour like, “Okay cool, you can rock a crowd but who are you?”
The fact that, when I did the show in Aspen in January with G, he was getting kind of shuttled into a room by some of his body guards and he stopped and was like “what’s up man? How are you doing?” I was like “what’s up man?” I expect for them to forget me every single time and it’s just crazy when they don’t. You expect the worst and prepare for the best I guess.
Mallorie: What’s your favorite memory that you have from touring and opening for such big names like G?
Touring, I would have to say the stuff like, it was definitely cool to tour with G. It was kind of short, I don’t want to say I was on a full tour, just a few nights. The best experience would probably be from Kyle’s tour. I was on for four nights with him through the west coast. It was my first time really seeing Northern California and like Arizona. Stuff like that, I’ve been random places in my life. I never grew up, I didn’t really vacation. It was always play basketball and go to school. I’ve been able to see every state that I’ve seen because of music and I think that’s really cool.
Mallorie: What is your favorite song that you’ve written and why?
Splyt: This is tough. I mean, I feel like with music the way it is now a days, I want to go back and redo all of my music. I feel like that’s the problem, that’s why this project has taken this long. I’ve changed two of the songs on there that I thought were done last year and completely revamped them so I feel like my opinion of my own music is always changing. I feel like every song that I make on a particular album shouldn’t make the next album just because I want to progress a lot more. My favorite songs, honestly, I’ve got three that are on the new project. I would have to say Medusa and it’s not really rap. It’s a mixture of a lot of things.
Mallorie: In your song ‘No Help’, you say you’ve been rappin’ for a minute but still haven’t reached your limit. What do you think you need to do to reach that next level in your career?
Splyt: Simply put, money. So being that this is my own company, I file my own taxes. I have people that help with the business aspect of it but it’s self funded so this year we’re just now beginning to trickle in some good amount of marketing and investment money. That’s why I’m really most excited about everything this year. You know, I think that the music quality is there, it’s just the mass marketing campaigns and stuff like that that I went to school for so I feel like that’s just kind of the next step.
Mallorie: If you could be remembered for one thing, what would you want it to be?
Splyt: I would personally want to be remembered…I’ve been thinking about this a lot, just being away from music away. This last year I actually stopped for six months and was just living, didn’t touch anything as far as rewriting so I started contemplating that a lot just in case I never did it again. I don’t know that I particularly want to be super remembered for music because that could be a million different things to a million different people and being that it’s already out there, it’s going to exist somewhere forever so that’s cool to me. I just want to remembered for being a good person and if I could inspire some people to try something they never did or be good at something, that’d be cool.
Mallorie: Any advice for anybody who wants to, one day, pursue a career in music?
My biggest thing, just because I feel like I’ve not only been given some great opportunities, but I’ve also squandered my fair share too. One of those being I’m about to release the set of music that I have in an entire year. Most up and coming people don’t do that, they keep a steady steam, so my biggest thing would be to make every single song you can and notice that you have a quality that you, have to, of course, uphold. The biggest thing is getting content and being confident with what you’re doing. I’ve probably thrown away three albums worth of content, I know I have, just to basically be like, cool, these are the ones I want to do. Just keep creating.
Mallorie: Last question I have for you–With the NBA season wrapping up, right now Portland is holding the eighth seed in the West, do you think there’s any chance for Denver to come in and take that eighth seed away with Portland’s Center Jusuf Nurkic now hurt?
Splyt: Of course there is. Honestly, I’m like, and I don’t really put it out on social media and don’t really touch social media when I’m in album mode, but my favorite time to tweet is around the Superbowl and NBA playoffs. That being said, I’ve played basketball my entire life–love the Nuggets. I try to cop free tickets or regular tickets whenever I can. I know they’re gonna make a push for it, they have been, and it sucks that they fell back. At the same time, if we get the eighth seed then we play the Warriors. I don’t want to be like, “dammit. they’re super nice”. I don’t think we’re ready for the Warriors, just being an impartial person, but also I think it’d be cool to knock them off.
Big shout out to Splyt for taking time out of his busy schedule to sit down and do an interview with me. He’s in the midst of finalizing his newest project. While you’re waiting for his new material to drop, be sure to check out his other music on iTunes and Soundcloud. Don’t forget to like his Facebook page and give him a follow on Twitter.
To learn more about Splyt, his music, and any upcoming events, you can visit www.splytmusic.com.