We had the good fortune of connecting with Chance Utter and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chance, why did you pursue a creative career?
I feel very lucky to have found my calling early on. Drumming has been a huge part of my everyday life ever since I started playing music in Elementary and Middle School. It wasn’t until I completed my Bachelors degree and worked many different jobs, that I decided I wanted a career as a full time musician and teaching artist. I feel it’s important to share the little bit of knowledge I’ve learned with others, as well as continue to learn all I can. While it is very hard work pursuing an artistic career, it has given me the opportunity to hone and master my craft, while helping enrich my own life and others’.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m first and foremost a student; I love learning and hope to continue to learn for the rest of my life! But artistically, I would say im a percussionist/musician and a Teaching Artist, focusing primarily on non-western drumming traditions. I love the drumming, singing, and dancing from Cuba, Brazil, and Ghana. I also love the classical and folk music and drumming from both North and South India. Other aspects to my own musical “soup”, as my mentor Randy Gloss would say, are influences from modern and western musics like Electronic, Classic Rock, Americana and Folk, etc. I’m very excited about the many projects I’m currently working on, all of which are collaborations with my peers and teachers around the world, some of which are duo albums and musical cultural interplay. I’m currently working on my next solo album, that I’m hoping to have out in the world by Summer 2021, so keep an eye out for that! I feel like my journey to my career today has been a winding road, but following my intuition and working very hard have been what has gotten me here. I’ve made some sacrifices for certain, but I’ve also been very privileged to do what I do and have always had the benefit of being a white male, so I want to definitely address that fact. I hope that I can continue to help break down the walls of sexism and racism in the music industry, by being an ally/accomplice to BIPOC and LGBTQIA Communities.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
LA has so much vibrancy and art, that its hard to say all of the places, some of which I still want to explore! I think I’ll stick with my favorite food spots, since I love food. I’d highly recommend basically any of the taco trucks throughout LA County, I’ve tried many and I can’t think of one that wasn’t completely fire! Another of my favorite spots are definitely the Vegan Exchange in North Hollywood. All of the most amazing food in one spot with so much variety and all VEGAN! If you make it to Burbank you’ve got to get soup dumplings from Gourmet 88. If you make it to Santa Monica, definitely try Thai Vegan, AMAZING spring rolls and Panang Curry. If you’re hankering fro breakfast, my top recommendation is La Fogata Mexican Restaurant.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have SOOOO many people to thank, but a short article couldn’t possibly list them all. I’ll start with my mother Stephanie Neill, who has always been my biggest supporter and advocate, allowing me the freedom and support to pursue my dreams, even from an early age. To all my family and friends, my whole community really, I’ve always felt the love. To my amazing and talented girlfriend Kate O’Hara, can’t thank her enough for always supporting me and going together on weird and crazy adventures, while also pursuing her own artistic career. To my mentor, teacher, and godfather Michael Spiro for his continued knowledge and advice. To all my teachers! Cody Remaklus, Swapan Chaudhuri, Randy Gloss, Andrew Grueschow, Yeko Ladzekpo-Cole, Houman Pourmedhi, Andrew Heglund, Joe Galvin, Remi Spiro, Kristin Olsen, Justin Bardales, and the many others around the world. I am no one if not for them.