Other Chris Paul is making a name for himself on, off the football pitch
Stephen Whyno AP Sports Editor
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — Chris Paul, the soccer player, knows he shares a name with a much more famous athlete.
“There could be another named Chris Paul,” he said with a smile. “I think he plays basketball – I’m not sure.”
As the veteran NBA guard guides the Phoenix Suns through another playoff run, the alternate Chris Paul tries to make a name for himself on and off the football field. Drafted by the Washington Commanders, the 6-foot-4, 324-pound guard is also an artist who just released his first music video and has 100 more songs in the vault as he embarks on his NFL career. .
“There’s what I’m doing right now, my passion as an NFL football player, and then there’s this,” Paul said. “They’re on completely different ends of the spectrum, and I feel like that really sums up my personality and me as a person.”
It’s not uncommon for athletes to branch out creatively into the entertainment industry, some more successfully than others. Paul’s musical interests predate sports: Long before he started playing football at 13, he was humming as a baby that his parents asked their doctor what was going on.
The doctor told Paul and Victoria Unawunwa that Chris would probably be musically inclined. He was involved in choirs growing up and feared he was done with music when he started playing college football in Tulsa.
Instead, he and running back Corey Taylor met while working on a Christmas jingle for college in late 2019. After working with Paul for about a day, Taylor thought: “Let’s put it back in the studio and see what else we can do with it.
The two have so far released two singles and their first music video, “Mother Nature,” which premiered last month, days before Paul was drafted. There’s plenty more where that came from, with the two hoping to release full songs along the way while Paul focuses on professional football.
“It’s going to take up most of his time, so we created this vault so we could shoot from any time we wanted to release a song,” said Taylor, who is now a full-time producer. “We will always be able to accomplish a task. There probably won’t be a ton of music videos. Maybe one or two here and there, but there will still be a lot of songs because we have this vault.
The 37-year-old “CP3” can do it all on the basketball court and has his hands on several off-court adventures. Football’s Chris Paul also considers himself more than just a football player or entertainer, where he is known as “The Seventh”. He has served on the NCAA Committees for Oversight, Diversity and Equality and Student-Athlete Enhancement.
“He’s got so many different talents,” Tulsa coach Philip Montgomery said. “He is one of those guys who galvanizes people around him. He does a great job of being able to communicate with so many different people, from different backgrounds, from small towns, big cities – it doesn’t matter. He is very inclusive when it comes to all of this.
It’s too soon to tell if Paul’s music will resonate the way he and Taylor hope. Cultural critic and author Gerrick Kennedy said that Paul “shows great promise as an R&B singer”.
“He has a beautiful tone, and the aesthetic of his single ‘Mother Nature’ fits well with the vibes of what’s going on in the genre,” Kennedy said. “I hope he continues to pursue music because it’s so rare that we see professional players getting into pop music.”
No matter how the music plays out, Paul’s maturity and ability to multi-task could allow him to change course depending on the situation.
Montgomery calls Paul “the president” because he thinks the job would one day suit the 23-year-old. Paul is doing well beyond his years and thought it was a perfect choice for the captain of the multi-year varsity team to land in the nation’s capital.
Taylor is also excited to see what his friend can accomplish in Washington under coach Ron Rivera.
“His potential on and off the court is limitless,” Taylor said. “I like where he is, and I think the city is going to like him.”
Rivera is already a fan, saying Paul was a good fit as an easy-going, solid offensive lineman who could help COs right away. As for the balance between football, music and everything else, Paul is not at all worried about it.
“I treat music like someone would treat a newspaper,” he said. “It’s just another thing you do that’s one aspect of your life.”