• Maia Joy

Chase Paves on "AFTERWORK", Musical Influences, and Music Production

Growing up playing drums, it’s no surprise that CHASE PAVES is now a songwriting phenom with a masterful ear for beat and groove. PAVES’ authentic nature and his uniquely down-to-earth music is a breath of fresh air, and his latest work is the pinnacle of his easygoing approach to music and life. The track, “AFTERWORK,” discusses the glory of shedding the expectations of the 9-to-5 grind, becoming your own boss and pursuing your true passion. Combining expert production, earworm lyrics, an enticing vocal, and a deep, driving beat, fans of J. Cole, Smino, and Saba will have PAVES on full volume all summer.

CHASE PAVES’ latest single, “AFTERWORK,” is available on all streaming platforms now. Find him on social media @Chase_Paves.

When/how did you first start making music? What first drew you to the drums growing up?

I first started making music in college when I attended Berklee College of Music. I went there for drums, but fell in love with the mic. I started playing drums when I was 18 months old. My dad would sit me on his lap while he played drums in church. Over the years I developed a keen sense of talent for rhythm and became the church drummer when I was eight years old.

How did you discover your own sound? Has your upbringing influenced your musical style?

I discovered my own sound by producing my own music, as well as playing an integral part in music produced by my friends. I feel like that’s the only real way to be able to create your own sound is through production, or at least being a part of the fine detail during the production process. Because I grew up in the church, Gospel music, although not always audibly distinguishable, is a big influence in my music, and I would say is the basis of how and why I create.

Who are your musical influences? Who do you listen to when you’re not writing your own music?

Some of my main musical influences are Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole and Smino. I’m usually listening to one of these artists, or studying an artist I’m completely new to and trying to understand what it is that makes them great.

“AFTERWORK” is all about finding fulfillment in music and taking control of your own path. How were you able to do this for yourself? Does any of this come from studying music in a formal academic setting?

I feel like it’s pretty easy to find your own path in music because all you have to do is be yourself, and who knows you better than you? I studied music at Berklee College of Music for two years, before switching to USC, and at Berklee, I was definitely able to capitalize on their amazing music program. Being a drummer I didn’t know much about musical theory and how functioning chords in the chord scale worked in tandem with melodies. Once I was able to understand how to structure a song, I was then able to put “CHASE’s” music on paper, and articulate who I was as a musician.

What does your creative process look like? How has COVID impacted your process? What collaboration are you looking forward to the most post-pandemic?

My creative process is pretty simple, I just go into the studio, i.e my closet, and make a beat and then write to it. I try to draw inspiration from other songs I’ve recently listened to or artists that I like, and try and convey a feeling in whatever I create whether it come from the lyrics, the instrumentation, or both. I think that writing music the way I do, which is never prewritten, allows me to have more spontaneity in the studio and I feel it allows me to get a more genuine message out of my music. I never write lyrics unless it’s to a beat that I’m making, have already made, or was sent. I find it less fun to write music and then ship it around to beats. To me it’s like trying to fit a circle in a square... if the circle is small enough, sure it can fit, but it’s never really a perfect match, so I always make the lyrics in the same session as the beat or after I hear it.

What words do you live by?

“It’s never that serious.” - CHASE PAVES.

What’s next for you? What can we expect to see in the rest of 2021?

I have a bunch of dope music coming out, as well as some cool merchandise, music videos, and a few shows, so I’m super excited to get to be able to perform for a live audience and share my energy with a crowd.