Chavis Chance - Three Still Listening


August 24, 2021

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It’s often hard to express what goes into even the simplest of songs. The song itself often comes quickly - but the seed may have been sitting under the soil for years. And then there’s the business end. Never mind the money for lessons, the equipment, instruments, production costs, getting to your gig together, or even more daunting, going on tour for the chance of skimming by, for the non-musician it must seem magical, and yet - when someone you know does it, a little ludicrous. For a songwriter, it’s a vulnerable process - and yet, may seem as critical as the air we breathe. The expectations often outweigh the result.

This week’s Artist Pick struck a chord with me that was both relatable and wonderfully spun. Chavis Chance came by it honest - the son of musician and singer-songwriter, Dirk Hamilton - who was himself a major label rocker. “Three Still Listening” was actually recorded on the same guitar given to him by his father when Chavis was about thirteen. I got the opportunity to chat with Chavis about his new release and about growing up as a rockers kid. “My dad’s always been my hero. I remember he’d go on tour for a month or two a couple times each year and always came back with gifts he’d picked up from all over the world. I remember once when my little sister was still really young he came back and went to pick her up from day care, and she didn’t remember him. That’s gotta be a weird feeling.”

“Three Still Listening” tells a story from the perspective of an artist who works to get ready for a big gig, preparing, practicing, inviting friends, and everything that goes with it - for only six of his friends to show (and three to hang on until the end). It reflects every artists doubts with what they create and the desire just to break through - to reach - anybody. The truth is, for every mainstream superstar, there are thousands just as talented. Chance reflected, “I think a lot of younger musicians pursue a career in music expecting one thing and get another. There’s a lot of cool things about having a dad like mine, but one has been perspective. I’ve always seen that talent isn’t necessarily synonymous with success. I’ve seen all the things musicians give up in order to pursue something they’re passionate about, and that’s a much different story at 50 years old than it is at 23.” 

The tune begins weaving a story before the first lyric is sung. Amazing fingerpicking and slides pull the listener in, and you already get the impression that you’re about to hear a tale that deserves being listened to. Chavis’ vocals are emotional and feel as if he is talking directly to you. The strings (violin, viola, and cello) add another layer of complexity and to me really take the song to another level. I asked Chavis about his songwriting process and about the spark — this is what he said, “I wrote this mostly in one sitting in my room pretty shortly after the first Covid lockdown was put in place. I had all sorts of negative emotions spinning around at that time, most not really having anything to do with the lyrics of the song. But that pressure for success (and/or lack of it), that desire to make something great and the doubt that you can or ever will... Somehow it felt like a song about that could actually communicate how I was feeling about these other non-music parts of my life.”  Chavis recorded guitars, bass, and keys at home. The strings and backing vocals were tracked remotely. The main take was recorded live without a click track.  

Chance now lives in Spain after moving there from Texas to pursue his Masters degree. “I liked it so much I’ve stayed for more than two years now. The change was… of course, massive. Hard to say exactly how it has affected me creatively, but I’m sure it most definitely has. All the different things you’re exposed to going out into the world… It makes you grow and expands your perspective in ways you never would’ve guessed.”  

“Three Still Listening” is the first single on his upcoming EP called “3, 2, 1”. After that he plans to release two more related EPs and to release them as sort of a trilogy. He credits Kauner Michael for mixing and producing the song and EP. “Right now…? Haha, I just know this is going to sound very ‘off-brand’ but I got very into cryptocurrencies last year, almost obsessively, and that hobby led me into (more or less) freelancing at a DAO called Index Coop. I’m meeting a ton of people in the NFT space and I’m progressively more excited about how that industry is going to enable new avenues for creativity. I’ll stop there, people tend to look at me like I’m crazy when I try to talk about any of that stuff.” I have no doubt he’ll succeed at whatever he dedicates himself to.

If you haven’t already done so, please follow Chavis Chance by clicking the green button above and be sure to listen to his other great songs on Spotify. You will also enjoy his studio video “Call Me” released in 2020.

Also be sure to check out “Fresh Indie" and our "Artist Pick" Spotify playlists to give him and our other great artists, and make sure you follow the playlists below to discover incredible new music every day.

Written by Joe.

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Lyrics

Your big gig, planned it for months inviting every friend

Six of them show and then by the end

Three still listening

You’d thought by now tickets would be selling if not selling out

Still begging friends to come be your crowd

Playing to empty rooms

Your covers blown, you want to say something but words don’t come

Trying to be something you just weren’t 

You’ve been exposed; they see right through you

Superstar, strumming away on your dad’s guitar

Fooling yourself about who you are 

It ain’t too hard to see right through you

Hey superstar, strumming away on your dad’s guitar

Fooling yourself about who you are

It ain’t too hard to see right through you

Yeah your cover’s blown, you want to say something but words don’t come

Trying to be something you just weren’t

You’ve been exposed; they see right through you 

Your big gig, planned it for months inviting every friend

Six of them show and then by the end

Three still listening 

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