Odd Magic Studios asks Chase a few questions following the success of his recent Single and EP-
Second Things First is your third self-produced project, elaborate on the title and how it relates to the writing for this EP?
“I was inspired by a quote I saw somewhere that said people too often focus on second things first, but the sun’s rays burn brightest when focused on the task at hand. That probably isn’t verbatim, but the message is very clear. With this project, I tried to focus completely on the creative process and get the best quality product possible.”
How many original songs have you written? Do you have a favorite on this EP, or in your entire body of music and why?
“I don’t think I could put a number on the number of things that I’ve written. Many songs get cut from the final record. My favorite song on this EP is OLD MAN. I actually decided to write an acoustic album because OLD MAN needed to remain acoustic and did not fit on the last EP…. that paired with a push from a lot of my fans to do an acoustic album really encouraged me. But OLD MAN has really clicked with a lot of people already and it is a very intimate song.
As for my entire body of music, I really like YOUR MIND… It just really pushes me and motivates me to strive for bigger and better things.”
You produced your first album five years ago at 18, how has your approach to songwriting and production changed?
“It has changed COMPLETELY…. I can’t even begin to tell you how far I have come from my first project. My first project was recorded on a laptop in a friend of WES and mine’s basement. He was kind enough to give us a space to get some songs down on vinyl and actually played bass in one track. Fast forward to SECOND THINGS FIRST; I had a group of about 15 people coming together to make this project possible. Everything was completely planned out and executed in sound-proof studios and with professional production. Anything worth doing is worth doing right and with every project, I develop a better understanding of what needs to happen to take my music to the next level. My approach to songwriting has become more in-depth, but it is relatively the same… play beautiful melodies; write lyrics that speak to my soul and hopefully to other’s as well!”
You’ve been a front man in a Carolina-based band, you regularly perform solo in that area of the east coast. You have put together a new band focusing on original music called Animal Behaviour. Where you are you most comfortable and how do those roles differ?
“The simple answer – I like to collaborate. I have been blessed to be able to play with a lot of talented musicians in this area. I play solo shows, but I prefer to play with other musicians and really lock into a groove.”
You’ve worked with several artists in your short career. Tells us about that and how it has influenced the direction of your songs? What have you learned collaborating?
“I always look to play with the best musicians that I can find. I’ve been able to collaborate with Grammy-nominated composers and everything I know is ‘stolen’ from my friends, teachers and fellow musicians.”
I’m sure it’s rewarding when fans tell you they like your music, on the other side of that, with social media being a catalyst for criticism, how do you handle that as a musician striving to establish himself in a competitive industry?
“I love to create music. I continue to make albums because my supporters push me to keep getting better and better. I don’t have time to focus on those that aren’t interested in growing with all of us.”
What artists influence you, and how do you apply nuances to your music and establish an original sound?
“Everyone from 1940s gypsy jazz artists to modern-day Alecia Keys inspires me. I love vocals so I identify most with vocalists, but I try to let my songs write themselves. My original sound comes from hearing a melody emerge from my playing and following it until I chisel out the story. “