Class of 2014
What started out as “just something to do” has turned into a vision for the future for Harvard-bound Fort Plain student Chris Arndt.
When he formed the band The Dependents with his older sister Jocelyn in 2010, their biggest goal was to get one of their original songs on the radio. Four years later, they’ve had multiple songs on the radio, released an album currently available on iTunes, and played dozens of concerts at venues all over the state.
To top it all off, Chris and his sister recently signed a two-year, two-album contract with Albany-based production company White Lake Entertainment and Post, and the two will be releasing their first album in early September.
“You can come out with an album on your own, but when you get signed it means someone else likes you too, which is a great feeling,” Chris admitted modestly. “Outside of music, getting into Harvard and Yale were huge accomplishments for me. I was kind of in shock for a couple weeks after that.”
David Bourgeois, president and creative director at White Lake Entertainment, has been working with Chris for two years now. As if Harvard wasn’t enough, Bourgeois has planned for the Arndts to travel across the country for shows almost every other weekend.
“There are many who wouldn’t be able to balance it, but this young man won’t even break a sweat,” Bourgeois said. “Chris’ work ethic has exceeded my expectations, and I think he’s equally or more adapted to excelling in academics. Whatever he does, he gives 110 percent.”
There is a struggle to pin down their sound into one genre, but Chris says, “Everyone has a different answer, but I’d say it’s a mix between jazz and rock and blues.”
Depend on Music
While they were still playing as The Dependents, Arndt and his sister also formed a community-service organization called Depend On Music. Through this organization, the band would tell their story and play free concerts at elementary schools and community events in hopes of inspiring others to work hard to achieve their musical dreams.
Arndt says that he hopes they can bring their organization over to the Boston area.
Chris’ decision to go to Harvard weighed heavily on his desire to continue music with Jocelyn, who just finished her freshman year at Harvard herself. While they spent a year apart, Chris worked on their upcoming album, filled in as a guitarist for local band Logic Fail, and made sure to let his sister know how much he missed her.
“Since she went away, I’ve kind of been an only child, so my mom started buying these awesome foods that we didn’t get before. So whenever she does that I’ll send Jocelyn a picture to rub it in,” he said with a mischievous smile.
All joking aside, Chris comfortably admits that Jocelyn is both his sister and his best friend, and he’s excited to have someone who can show him the ins and outs of college.
“Jocelyn and I are both going to Harvard now, so we’re going to try and book some gigs in the Boston area. It would be nice to make money with music; that’d be a pretty awesome way to make a living,” said Arndt, who already has his sights set on a few venues in Cambridge.
“I think a huge part of their success comes from the support of their amazing parents. They’re an incredible family,” said Bourgeois.
Even though the younger Arndt has big aspirations for his music career, he recognizes that there is a chance things might not work out. In case that he can’t make a living with his music, Arndt says he can see himself doing a number of other things, including med school, law school or the military.
Though he’s unsure exactly what the future will hold, Chris remains humble and says he’s prepared to work hard to accomplish his goals.
“I’m definitely proud of my accomplishments, but I’ve never tried to compare myself to others. I just try to do the best that I can.”