Local Artist Chase-ing His Dreams
Written By Kari Huskey
Chase Kerby is a local force to be reckoned with. Dating back to fourth grade when his mom forced him into taking cello lessons, he has been on a steady path to expanding his roots in the local music scene.
Chase admits he really didn’t care for music much growing up, even though his dad was a vocalist, his mom sang and his brother played the guitar, it just wasn’t his thing. Somewhere around 13 or 14 years old he began writing lyrics while his brother played the guitar and was intrigued by it. Chase asked his dad to teach him a few chords and within a very short period of time, he taught himself how to play “More than Words” by the band Extreme.
With an intense love for jazz, Chase played the saxophone with intentions of playing for the Putnam City North High School Jazz Band. Unfortunately for him, or maybe in a twist of fate that turned out to be a key life changing moment, the band was canceled. Chase marched straight to the choir room, scheduled a mid-year audition and has been singing ever since. His choir teacher thought he had perfect tonal memory, which means that you hear something once and then repeat it almost perfectly. This would explain his ability to pick up the guitar so quickly.
Chase became obsessed with writing and expressing his emotions. He played in several different bands in high school and once he graduated high school, one of the bands morphed into Chasing Paris, a sound familiar to Jimmy Eat World. After his stint with Chasing Paris, he spent about three months with a friend in Nashville soaking up the music scene.
In the winter of 2010 beginning of 2011, what was going to be a solo project morphed into a band named Defining Times, and while the band only lasted two years they put together three EP’s. In 2014 Chase released his first solo EP he called “Tidal Friction.” A year later Chase release his latest EP, “A Quiet Man.”
The summer of 2015 brought its own set of firsts to the artist. Chase was on a show some of you may have heard of. It’s called “The Voice.” In Chase’s words, “’The Voice’ was cool and interesting... one of those things I never thought would happen to me.”
Chase never really thought of himself as an entertainer as far as performance was concerned, so the concept of this show was foreign to him. He was impressed with the production crew and his first taste of Hollywood was intriguing.
“I learned I can handle a lot more than I give myself credit for. It’s almost like a battle scar… whether that be good or bad … you have to step out onto a stage knowing that 14 million people are going to see your face on TV. That’s the most nervous I have ever been. It’s not really that you are performing [that makes you nervous] … it’s that you are putting yourself out there to possibly be televised and possibly fail in front of the world. It’s going to live on for eternity via YouTube … and that’s nerve wracking! Because if no chairs turn around, how will the world perceive me?”
One fact Chase pointed out is something many people do not realize. “Forty thousand people auditioned that year and only 96 were chosen for blind auditions, so just the fact you got there says something about you. At every turn, I expected to be going home and then suddenly, I found myself on Gwen Stefani’s team. I couldn’t believe it.”
For all of you who missed it, here’s a link to Chase’s audition: Chase Kerby Audition for “The Voice.”
Chase’s music is thoughtful. He puts his time and effort into creating the lyrics, and each listener will find something different in his music.
In his own words, “Music is the room in which you are having the conversation. [Lyrics are] the decoration, the painting and the texture on the walls. Lyrics are the dialog.”
Kirby performs weekly at VZD’s. He is there the first, third and fourth Thursdays of each month. He will also be playing at the Norman Music Festival this year.