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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Artist Of The Week - Chase Davis
Monday, March 03, 2008

Being memorable. It’s the one overriding quality an artist must have if they want to be successful. It’s also why I knew I had to feature Chase Davis as an Artist Of The Week after just one listen of his debut album, Chase Davis is Davis ’68. Simply put, he is memorable. The Bridgeport, CT, native opts for a humbler definition of his work on the one minute and thirty four second a capella intro to his album, calling it “an expedition of thought played along with music.” Wanting to find out more I sat down with Chase Davis to discuss his musical background, why 1968 is such an important year to him, and his thoughts on some of the current so-called community leaders.

Adam Bernard: First off talk to me about your history in music. I heard you never planned on being an emcee, so this has to be an interesting story.
Chase Davis: How I got into music is weird. I never used to listen to rap. I went to private school till I was 14. Once I got to high school kids would be in the hall like "fuck the world, don't ask me for shit, everything you want you gotta work hard for it," and I’m like what the fuck is going on around here? As time went on I listened to Hip-Hop / rap, then in '96 me and this dude Renny were hanging around this older dude D.S, which stood for Dead Serious and he rapped. One day he was like you should try it and I did. That was the start and I grew from that moment. I had no intentions of being a rapper. I was a fine artist for God sakes! I was trying to get into art school, but had no money. I did the community college thing hoping to transfer God knows where, all the while I was doing this music. Then one day I decided I am not going to starve hoping to become Picasso. I switched gears and went in a new direction.

Adam Bernard: Since I know you’re not pushing 40, what’s the significance of the ’68 in your album’s title?
Chase Davis: 1968 is the most crucial year in this country’s history. It was the year Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy were murdered. The last of a dying breed was wiped out, silenced forever, and for what… trying to change the quality of life. That was the year things started to go south for everyone, when peace and upliftment stopped being the goal, it became money and net worth instead, and I just felt that that year would keep me focused on making the right kind of impact that is needed today.

Adam Bernard: The impact you make starts with an a capella song. What made opening with such a track so appealing to you?
Chase Davis: I wanted you to hear me; no beat, no hooks, no outside factors, just me. I felt if this is your first time hearing me, let me tell you who I am and what I’m about, what I believe my purpose is. I didn't do it for people to say “he’s nice,” I did it to give you an unfiltered glimpse of my mind. It was like I was a business and that was my mission statement, if that makes any sense.

Adam Bernard: When someone listens to your album or sees you perform live what do you want them to take away from it?
Chase Davis: I want people to feel that I have something to say, that I am on a different level, that this project is fun, it’s sad, it can make you dance and it can make you think, and most of all that it's music. I want my friends, whether they hate or love me, to feel when they leave, or are done listening, “he did this for me. He performed, he recorded, he spoke to me.” I don’t want them to feel I’m better than them, or like I’m talking down to them. I want them to receive me as an artist and to some extent I want them to grow and not accept what is being shoved in their faces, not accept their state of being, and to always push for something better.

Adam Bernard: With your background in the fine arts, why did you choose Hip-Hop as the way to get your message out?
Chase Davis: First and foremost I am an artist. I just changed the medium because it was a better way to build a connection and there are no leaders for any poor communities besides the MC. All the Sharptons, Farrakhans, and lets not forget Jacksons, are media whores who never look out for their fellow man unless there is a camera around. They are detached and have lost touch with what we really need - progress, and I feel this music can influence people to be better. I think that a lot of people would change if Jay-Z and 50 Cent changed. They couldn’t save or affect every one, but they could change someone. Come on, celebrities are more important than the president. They have the power to help people and they don’t. I’m here trying to make a difference.

Adam Bernard: That being said about celebrities, what about today’s current Hip-Hop scene, both commercial and underground, keeps you motivated, interested and striving?
Chase Davis: Nothing really. I do this for me. I’m not in completion with these guys. Don’t get me wrong some dudes I like, but it just makes me laugh how people don’t make music. Underground dudes are always complaining "he's all about money, bitches, and clothes" when these dudes know they want "money, bitches, and clothes." And the commercial dudes make the same song over and over and over. There’s nothing new, just a bunch of old heads not ready to move and that bores the hell out of me. I just do me. I can’t tell you the last album I bought or the last CD I had on heavy rotation. I fight with myself to be better and different. I interest me.

Adam Bernard: Outside of music what is most important to you?
Chase Davis: "Money, bitches, and clothes." (Laughs) No, really, family, friends, the way I live my life, being self sufficient and basically living like I won’t be here tomorrow.

Related Links

MySpace: myspace.com/davis1980


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:52 AM  
  • At 8:17 AM, Blogger Othello said…

    It was cool to see Chase come through the summit on Saturday. When I had a chance to listen to the album I was really impressed. Dude can flow! Plus the beats are hot, real accessible and it's dope to listen to an MC that has something to say when he opens his mouth.

    Definitely recommenct that people check him out.

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