We had the good fortune of connecting with Kalen Chase and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kalen, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I think risk is essential to success, even when the risk does not pay off. Veering away from a style that I’m known for this far in my career is a risk. It’s not even a calculated risk; some would say it’s insanity. But, if I didn’t take this risk, I would know exactly where I would be in the next 5 years. And that’s not worth it to me.
Please tell us more about your art. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I do not call my songs art. I do not call myself an artist. In my case, the listener is the decider. If the song has any kind of effect on them and they feel that it deserves the title, I happily accept. I believe that not buying into that or any label has kept me from suffering an identity crisis, which is probably why I am still hanging around like a cockroach. Perseverance is an almost sure-way of moving forward, even if it’s not how you think it should be. I write songs, I hope you like them, but that is not my first priority. I like them. My biggest lesson learned was to never call my songs art.
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?
Cielito Lindo is a taquito stand my family has been frequenting since the 1950s. It’s the first food stop I take anybody visiting LA. Avoiding the insanely touristy spots is difficult because many of them are worth the hype. But, my favorites would include: The Observatory, a food tour in Korea Town, and a guy named James who lives behind the dumpster at the Rock N’ Roll Ralph’s on Sunset Blvd; he will blow your mind for 20 bucks. 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?
There are 3 people, amongst many, that I will name now because they are inter-linked. The first would be my brother, Nick. If he had not literally forced me to get out of bed and do the audition for Korn, my career would not have taken off like it did. In doing so, I found myself recording a record, produced by Kato Khandwala. He helped me evolve at a time where I could have easily stayed in my comfort zone that had worked for so long. He didn’t just add to my repertoire, he demolished existing structure that I had held onto as a crutch. He was the one who told me to “pull my head out of my ass” and record these non-metal songs I had been holding onto for years. When he died, for the first time in my life, I didn’t know if I was going to continue making music. Fortunately, he introduced me to producer/engineer Phil English, a frequent collaborator of his. I called Phil because I didn’t know who to show my songs to and he graciously invited me to his studio. We immediately began work on what will become my first solo record.
Connor Wryn – greenscreen background photos (tea, giraffe, band shot) Ginger de Vegh – chair