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One on One with Erica Chase

One on One with Erica Chase  
By Dan Locke
Erica Chase

What instruments did you learn while growing up?  
I first gravitated towards the guitar when I was a really young kid. I intuitively needed that instrument in my life and it just felt right.  However, my hands were too small to really make it work so I put it aside for a number of years until we found each other again.  After I started playing guitar in junior high again, I picked up the bass and drums and later on I learned the piano. 

In grade school your teacher told you that you should give up singing.  Your singing voice has a low vocal like Usha Uttup (Indian pop, jazz singer).  When she was in school she was thrown out of music class because she didn't fit in with a voice like hers. But she continued to sing and is now a well-known name in the music industry. 
Yes, a teacher told me singing was not for me.  I internalized that for a number of years and let that be the narrative for me until I realized that what that teacher said held no value and was not about me at all.  Once I let that go and surrendered, I really found my voice and my confidence.

What is the Genre of your music?  
My music is pop.

I heard in your voice Patti Smith and Melissa Etheridge type of vocals.  What singers influenced you growing up?  
I’ve never really thought of myself as a just a singer, because I got into music based on my fascination with songwriting and creating something out of nothing, so no vocalists were really conscious influences.  However, in terms of my songwriting and music in general, the Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, Jeff Buckley, Ed Sheeran and Adele hugely influence me.

So you went through school and almost became a teacher.  What did you want to teach?  
I was an English major in college, so I thought I would be an English or creative writing teacher.

Being rejected from a teaching program gave you a new outlook on life.  Why? 
What was the first band you played with?  
When I got rejected from the teaching program, I was not devastated about it, which sort of showed me that this wasn’t my 100%.  It was the first sort of sign in a series of events that led me into my career.  I had my own band in college and I was the sole songwriter in it.

Erica Chase

How were you discovered? 
I was not discovered in the traditional sense (if there is one!).  I met my long time manager/producer/discoverer Dana Strum through an interesting circumstance.  He saw some raw potential in me and there was something about me that compelled him take me in and want to explore my music and artistry together.

I have listened to your music.  It is on the pop side.  You are working with Dana Strum who comes from a long list of hard rockers including Vinnie Vincent Invasion, Slaughter and Vince Neil.  How has working with him helped your career grow? 
Dana’s background may be in hard rock/metal, but he is a song guy at heart.  We bonded over our shared love for the Beatles and great melodies.  He has been the best mentor, teacher and friend to me and I am so grateful for him taking me under his wing and teaching me so much about the music industry and about life in general.

How did the meeting with Dana and then the next day having an accident with a truck change your life and lead you to a path of music in 48 hours? 
I spoke to Dana for about an hour.  We were connected through a mutual relation of both his and my father.  After I got off of the phone with him, this crazy wave of energy hit me like nothing ever had before or since.  It was elation and fear all tangled up together.  I sensed something was about to shift.  The next day, I was riding my bicycle and got hit by a truck.  I woke up in a flight for life helicopter mask over my face.  From the looks of the wreckage, I shouldn’t be here; but this was the universal sign I needed to chase my dreams.

I have had a near-death experience before.  What happened after you saw the white light and what has this experience showed in your life? 
Almost immediately, I knew this was no accident.  I knew I was rejected from the teaching program, met Dana and nearly lost of my life all in a few short weeks.  I needed to finally admit to myself that I was going to take the road less travelled and pursue my dreams of being an artist.  I’ve never looked back since.

What can you tell me about your new record “Paris”?  What is the story behind it? 
“Paris” is my new single that is out now across all digital platforms.  It is a story about a lost love, but finding comfort in the eternal memories and precious moments.  I think everyone can relate to that notion in some way.

Your director for Paris was Chris Hicky.  For people who may not know who Chris Hicky is, he has also directed videos for many other artists in the country music genre, including Dierks Bentley, Kellie Pickler, Deana Carter, Carrie Underwood, Lady Antebellum, Faith Hill, and Miranda Lambert. He has won awards including 2010 ACM Video of the Year, 2010 CMT Female Video of the Year, and 2005 CMT Video of the Year. His Grammy nomination came in 2010 for Keith Urban's Love, Pain, and the Whole Crazy World live concert DVD.   How did you find each other?  
I saw a video that Chris directed by Keith Urban/Eric Church for a song called “Raise Em Up.”  It was in black and white and just gorgeously done.  I told Dana that I wanted that guy to direct the “Paris” video.  We had no direct connection to him, so I literally just had my assistant email him and send him the song.  I honestly expected no response or him to turn it down since he works with such A-list artists.  To my surprise, he replied that very day and was extremely excited and moved by the music.  Within 30 days of that first exchange, the video was done.

Who would you like to open up for you? Being alive or dead.  
Alive: Ed Sheeran or Bruce Springsteen
Dead: The Beatles, Prince

Erica Chase

What is your favorite guitar? Make, model and year. 
I have almost 20 guitars at this point and they are meaningful to me in some way.  My favorite is my Takamine EAN30C.  They don’t make it anymore, so I am glad I have a couple of them!  I write and record everything with them and they are the best acoustic-elecs I have ever played in my life.  

When you write a song how do you create it? 
Songs have their way of coming through me.  I am merely a vessel and just have to be tuned to the right channel to let them in.  That being said, I usually start strumming a chord progression on guitar and then singing some nonsense over a melody.  The nonsense starts to manifest itself into lyrics and it all usually happens within 20-30 minutes.  For me, it has to happen in one shot or it doesn’t happen.  I never write a part and then return to it later.

What type of dog is your dog Hendrix?  And why did you name him that? 
He is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.  I’ve always been a Jimi Hendrix fan and the name really suits him!  He is a little rock star himself!
  
Are you BMI or ASCAP? 
BMI

You talk about Share-A-Meal and Capability Scotland Adult daycare.  Can you tell me more about each program?  
Share-A-Meal is a great non-profit here in LA where I live.  We prepare healthy meals for the homeless in many different parts of the city and bring them a hearty meal, clean socks, and fresh water every single week.  It is such a rewarding community to be a part of and I am grateful to have gotten involved with them.  Capability Scotland is an adult daycare center for people that have cerebral palsy.  I was fortunate enough to have done some music/art therapy there some years ago.  It changed my life in a profound way as I saw the universal power of music.

Any plans to tour?  
Yes, we are actually in the works of planning some live dates and a tour right now, so stay tuned!  That is definitely the plan!

What direction do you see your music heading in the next 2 years and what are your long term goals for your music?  
I hope to keep evolving as both a songwriter and as a musician/vocalist.  I want to keep writing better more cohesive songs that are easily identifiable to everyone.  I am my own worst critic, but I have learned to just stay focused and driven and keep challenging myself creatively.  Each time I hear a new artist that I like or see a great concert, I immediately run home to my guitar and it inspires me to be better.

What fest would you like to play?  
I would love to be a part of Glastonbury, Bonaroo and Coachella!  Those are the big 3 for sure!!

What music is on your phone right now?  
Everything from Chris Stapleton to Adele to Beyonce to the Beatles.

What music do you listen to when you relax? 
I listen to a lot of country music when I am driving around town and chilling out.  I love the simplicity in the story telling mixed with great hooks and melodies






.- Read the full story at UnRatedMagazine.com

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