Interview: Flo Chase

Could you share the story behind your latest song and what inspired its creation?

I believe ‘Seasons’ is my most ambitious work to date and reflects on my experiences these past 24 months and the different ‘seasons’ ‘of life as well as touches on some of the current global issues.
Seasons was recorded and compiled over the course of two years at Barking Owl Sound in Santa Monica, CA and was co-produced by Chase and Houston Fry, mixed by Kolton Lee (Kaleo, Foy Vance, Shania Twain, Niall Horan), and mastered by Joe Laporta (Shawn Mendes, David Bowie, the Weeknd) and Danny Pellerini (Shania Twain, City and Colour, Parachute). In addition to co-producing the album and writing all the songs, I performed most instruments on the record, most of which were self-taught.

I would be lying if I said my life has only been made of highs these past twenty-four months; it’s been a rollercoaster which I think a lot of people can resonate with. I like to call these segments as different seasons of life and through each season I’ve drawn inspiration. Furthermore, I feel these past few years our society has been getting more and more divided, however; we need to reminisce the fact that there is a lot more that unites us than divides us.

How do you approach the process of songwriting, and are there any specific themes or emotions you tend to explore in your music?

I usually feel it when a song is about to come or if I need to get some feelings off my chest and translated into music. It usually always starts with me grabbing my acoustic guitar, coming up with a chord progression, a vocal melody and then lyrics. I always try to be as vulnerable as I can and most often either write from personal life experiences, people I meet or stories I hear or read about.

As an indie musician, how do you navigate the balance between creative freedom and commercial appeal?

To be honest, I never think too much about the commercial appeal as I just don’t believe that’s the right approach when it comes to writing a song. You never truly know which song or story is going to connect with people most. So again, I just try to be as honest as I can when writing songs and arranging them the way I originally hear and feel them.

What do you find most challenging about being an independent artist in today’s music industry?

I would say navigating everything on your own from making music to releasing it and promoting it as well as obviously funding it all on your own.

Can you talk about your experiences collaborating with other artists or musicians? How does it influence your creative process?

I think there’s no better way to learn and grow than from collaboration and working with other people. I try to collaborate as much as I can when it comes to writing or producing music. I released a collaboration collection of my first album ‘Toi’ which was a lot of fun to work on with a bunch of incredible artists and songwriters.

What role does technology and social media play in promoting your music and connecting with your audience?

It plays a massive part as much as in an ideal world I would like to not be on social media as I find it can be a very toxic and addictive environment. Though, it is a great way to promote new music and reaching a wider audience.

Are there any particular artists or genres that have had a significant impact on your musical style?

I would have to mention John Mayer, The Paper Kites, Dominic Fike, Coldplay and Ben Howard.

Indie musicians often have a close relationship with their fanbase. How do you engage with your fans and build a dedicated community around your music?

Mostly at my shows or through social media. I try to respond to as many messages and comments as I possibly can. Going live on social media has also been a great way to connect with them and thank them for the ongoing support and unconditional love.

Could you describe a memorable live performance experience or tour that has had a lasting impact on you and your music?

I would say my first EP launch show in Sydney, Australia. We had just come off creating the record in the studio so getting to play these songs live with the band was such an incredible experience. Nothing feels much better really when it comes to live shows than playing fresh songs. I also did not expect such a great turnout as we only announced the show a day in advance, but it was a very special night.

In an era of streaming platforms, how do you feel about the changing landscape of music consumption and its impact on independent musicians?

I mean don’t get me wrong, I would still much prefer to be selling hard copies only for a reasonable price as a lot of money goes into the making and promotion of a record. Unfortunately, these days with the streaming world it’s extremely challenging to generate any sort of sustainable income with the low rate per stream, but it is what it is, and we must adapt with our time. I just truly hope things do get fairer and more sustainable soon.