Chris Borst, a sophomore singer/songwriter at Canyon Crest Academy, is one of 82 talented high school students from across the country selected to attend The Grammy Foundation's Grammy Camp this summer.
From July 10 to 19, Chris will attend the camp at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music with Grammy-winning and nominated industry professionals. Country singer Keith Urban will be serving as the camp's honorary dean.
"Supporting the efforts of the Grammy Foundation through Grammy Camp is something that I feel very strongly about because I know firsthand what art and music can do for our youth," Urban said in a news release.
To get into the camp, Chris had to submit original songs and a three-minute taped interview. He was one of only 15 songwriters selected and only one of five guys tapped for the camp.
"I'll just see what happens at Grammy Camp; they're making it look cool and special," Chris said. "I kind of just let things happen."
Chris performs in two bands currently, singing lead and playing guitar in a pop-punk alternative group called Kissing Youth, and playing guitar and singing backup in For the Legends, a more hard-core group. His groups have played downtown San Diego venues, as well as in Carlsbad, Temecula, Chula Vista and Anaheim.
For the Legends played a show at Soma in downtown San Diego on July 3.
Music has always been a big part of Chris' life, and he can't remember when he first let the notes creep in.
"When I was a kid, I sang around the house a lot," Chris said.
He started playing drums at age 12 and picked up a guitar later that year. He remembers auditioning for a group to be a drummer and they asked if he could sing.
He said he thought he could but he still thought singing was kind of "lame."
After getting into singing, he no longer thinks it's lame. "I think it's pretty awesome," Chris said.
Chris takes his music seriously; he's been taking vocal lessons for the last two years, as well as learning guitar and drums. He still sings around the house and plays his guitar around the house, traveling with an amp from room to room.
Chris likes that his "very, very cool school" Canyon Crest has allowed him to embrace his artistic abilities. He plays percussion in the wind ensemble and enjoyed the school's Rock Band class, which has students play in a Battle of the Bands at the end of the semester as a final.
Next year, he will be in CCA's Envision program for music, working with visiting professionals on campus.
As much as he likes performing and recording in the studio, Chris also enjoys the songwriting experience, which he admits can be challenging.
"An idea pops in my head and I have to play to figure it out," Chris said. "Sometimes it doesn't exactly work, sometimes it works really well."
He writes happy songs and sad songs, depending on what kind of mood he's in.
"I write about personal problems, love and emotions, how everyone is at war with themselves and with other people," Chris said. "Life can be a battlefield, and it's about finding out how to live with other people."