Christopher Louray Mandujan, professionally known as Centric, is a renowned music composer and record producer. ‘Do Time’ is the latest offering from Centric, and marks his first collaboration with acclaimed Grenadan songwriter CJae. The track is a masterclass in the best of Afrobeat and R&B genres, showcasing the unique musical synergy between the two songwriting pros, as they gear up for their collaborative album ‘Redlight’s release later this year. We catch up with Centric about this sensational single release… 

Hey Centric. We love Do Time here at Urbanista! It’s so great to get to interview you on the release. Can you tell us about the inspiration behind ‘Do Time’ and how your collaboration with CJae came about?

No doubt. Appreciate you guys. “Do Time” wasn’t complex. I had the piano melody in my head months before I crafted the instrumental. Once I had the blueprint of the production down, I kept adding sounds until it felt right. I even brought in some musicians that I know to add a little flare to the production. Once it was finished, I passed it along to CJae, whose songwriting skills are amazing. About a week later the song was finished.

I came across CJae online and decided to reach out to him in 2022. We collaborated on a song called “Timing”. The song came out great and was received very well. It was around that time that I pitched the idea of working on a full album together. He agreed, so we just started working non-stop.

‘Do Time’ blends Afrobeat and R&B elements so seamlessly. How did you approach merging these genres, and what did CJae bring to the table creatively?

I don’t have a solid origin in the Afrobeat genre, although I have always loved the style of music. I am, however, very familiar with producing R&B, so when I decided to take a stab at producing Afrobeat, the R&B influence was infused naturally and created a unique blend. CJae is a Caribbean artist who can also cross over into R&B. So, my production and his style of singing are simply a match made in heaven.

‘Do Time’ is a glimpse into what’s coming in your collaborative album with CJae, ‘Redlight’ right? How does ‘Do Time’ set the tone for the rest of the album, and what can listeners expect from it?

‘Do Time’ was the perfect single. It’s a reflection of what to expect from most of the album. I say “most” is that we do have some records on the project that take on a different genre altogether.

What initially inspired you to pursue a career in music, and who were your early influences?

I’ve always loved music since I was a child and dreamed of a career in music naturally. As I grew a little older it became just a hobby of mine. However, in recent years, it has morphed into what some would say is a career. Honestly, as long as I’m able to create…I’m good.

 As far as influences, I would say, Queen, Michael Jackson, and groups like Earth, Wind & Fire. As far as production, I would say Quincy Jones, Michael Cox, and 9th Wonder.

Starting your career with Grand Opus and now moving into solo and collaborative projects, how has your musical journey evolved, and what lessons have you learned along the way?

Well, I started venturing out into other genres before forming “Grand Opus” with Joc Scholar. Having a background in various styles of music can only benefit your creativity. I’ve learned that being comfortable with taking risks and creativity is a great space to be in. I don’t plan on leaving that space anytime soon.

Can you share with us a highlight from your career in music so far? Any stand-out moment that springs to mind?

I would say performing live in London in 2018 will always be a stand-out moment for me. The experience felt surreal.

How do you see the future of Afrobeat and R&B evolving, and what role do you hope to play in shaping that future?

It’s evolving at a fast pace. It has become one of the more popular genres of today. I just want to continue to make the best music I can within the genre and hopefully hope that it’s received well.

I’m sure it will be, Centric! Thanks so much for talking with us. 

Listen To Centric on Spotify | Apple Music

Find Centric on Instagram | Twitter | Website

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Lauren Webber

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