Chase Paves started his music career as a rhythm keeper. By growing up playing the drums in church and watching his older sister (also a drummer) go to Berklee College of Music, he developed an unavoidable awareness for cadence. Paves then went to study at Berklee himself, and his knowledge of the music industry broadened.
“Going to Berklee College of Music and studying music, it dawned on me… how far you can go with music,” Paves told American Songwriter. “It allowed me to expand on my vocabulary when it came to me making my own music. So, not just being able to play a song but now understanding how to play an E flat or how to transcribe it down. It opened up the vernacular of what I could really do with music.”
Equipped with the tools of a budding musician, Paves leaned into his influences for inspiration. Paves admired artists like Kanye West and Chance the Rapper for their ability to integrate gospel sounds into rap music. “They made God cool,” Paves said. “So that was another big part of why I started making music. I was like, ‘Well, I want to make whatever type of music cool. I want to be able to bring a new kind of style to the music industry.’”
Today, Paves premieres his latest track, “Triumphant,” which leaves a Chase Paves-sized imprint on the music industry. “Triumphant” boasts effortless lyrics and a focused layering of instrumentals. But more specifically, the song tells a story that is both familiar and unique—it’s a story about a girl. Paves combined his own experiences with an old folktale to create a track embodying the type of love that is just out of reach.
“Triumphant” is loosely based on the Native American tale of Kuekuatsu. The story goes that the spirit in love with the moon was tricked into coming down to Earth. The spirit then got stuck in a wolf’s body and was forever separated from the moon, hence the wolf’s lonely howl to the moon. “It’s him paying homage to his lost love,” Paves said.
“And so that’s kind of how I felt in this situation with this girl,” Paves continued. “Then as I was making the song and mixing it and mastering it, different thoughts were popping into my head. Like being in a situation with a girl where she is from Oregon or she’s from another state and I can only like howl at the moon. Which in layman’s terms is you’re on a FaceTime call. Like I can’t ever see her.”
So with this idea of burning separation, Paves’ harmonies howl on “Triumphant” and his own version of Kuekuatsu emerges.
In addition to the howls, Paves applied trumpets to the track. “These trumpets are majestic sounding… they hum throughout the song and in some parts of the song there’s more reverb or more low end to embellish the emotion of sadness or sorrow, but then once you go back to the chorus, it’s back to the triumph.”
Overall, Paves wants to display his authentic approach to music. “You can take any concept that may have already been conceived and you can reinvent it and make it yours by being honest. So this is my honest way of explaining my heart and what I go through. But trying to do it in a way where the audience can relate to it and being something they haven’t already heard before,” Paves concluded.
Listen to Chase Paves’ “Triumphant” below and keep an ear out for his forthcoming mixtape. (Or follow Paves on social media @chase_paves.)
Photo courtesy of Chase Paves