Flo Chase ” I grew up playing piano and guitar”

Can you share your musical journey with us, from when you first discovered your passion for music to where you are today as an independent musician?

It wasn’t until my mid-teenage years that I decided to pursue a music career. I grew up playing piano and guitar from a young age, but tennis played a huge part of my life growing up. It was around age 16, I want to say that I really discovered my passion for music; I started taking vocal lessons and started writing my own songs. After high school, I originally studied two years of clinical exercise science with my initial goal being to either become a vet or performance athlete physiotherapist.
However, my appetite for music kept on growing and it really started to feel like it was my vocation and truly what I envisioned myself doing for the rest of my life. So, I decided to pack my suitcase, change direction, and move to Sydney where I enrolled at the JMC Music Academy. I quickly started playing the live gigging scene that Sydney had to offer at the time and fell in love with performing. I also started recording my original music with my brother who was studying sound engineering at the time, and I simply haven’t looked back since.

Today, I have relocated to Los Angeles and just released my second studio album ‘Seasons’ a couple weeks ago.

What motivates you to create music, and how do you stay inspired to continue making new and unique music?

A lot of things come to mind, but I would say my experience traveling, my loved ones as well as the music and artists I was listening to growing up. It’s when my family moved to Australia that I recall truly diving into music and songwriting. With the language barrier, it was hard for me at first to socialize and make friends therefore music was my getaway place of warmth and comfort. I honestly go mad when I’m not either creating or playing music and there’s really nothing else, I enjoy more doing in life so it’s very easy to stay motivated and driven.

As an independent musician, you wear many hats – from composing to marketing. How do you balance these different aspects of your career, and what challenges do you face in the process?

Yes, I guess I do and that’s what keeps it interesting in a way too as I feel like I’m always learning something new. I try to always prioritize the creative process as to me that’s the fundamental aspect and my area of expertise. Marketing can be very challenging as an independent musician as a lot of people sell you lots of lies for your money but over the years, I guess I’ve learnt to surround myself with the right support system as well as navigating this part of the business as best as I can on my own. The main challenge I face day to day is not being able to contribute 100% of my time towards purely creating and performing. In an ideal world, I would love to solely focus on writing, recording, and performing and have the right representatives look over the marketing and promotion of the music.

Could you tell us about your creative process? How do you come up with new ideas for songs, and how do you go about turning those ideas in to finished tracks?

Personally, I don’t have too many rules when it comes to songwriting and finding that creative inspirational space. However, about 99% of my songs I write between the hours of midnight and sunrise. Living in busy city like Los Angeles, it is just a lot easier for me to free my mind and find that creative space around this time when most of the city is asleep if that makes sense. Most of my songs I start by coming up with chords or a finger-picking pattern on my acoustic guitar and I would then add vocal melody ideas and lyrics. I usually write the core grounds of my songs within a night or two and would then take them to the studio to record and arrange. Most of my inspiration when writing music comes from life experiences (both good and bad), traveling, movies, books, people, and relationships.

Independent musicians often face financial challenges. How do you manage your finances to sustain your music career while also covering your personal expenses?

I guess that’s something that most musicians can relate to whether independent or not and especially when living in big capitals like Los Angeles. One of the tricky things with being a musician and not having a regular 9 to 5 is just the jumps and fluctuations between each month; I might have a month where I am booked on lots of gigs and others that are extremely quiet, and this not only takes a toll on your wallet but your mental health too. Over the years I have developed a couple of side personal business projects to have a little more financial flexibility and also keep my mind busy and occupied during the slower months.

Can you share a particularly memorable or challenging experience from your journey as a musician that has had a significant impact on your career and personal growth?

I would say moving to the other side of the globe so far from my family and loved one at the time to pursue music. It was very challenging at first feeling secluded and lonely however it ended up becoming a major source of inspiration for my music. I guess it’s true when they say you can always find a positive out of any negative situation.

With the rise of digital platforms, the music industry has changed significantly. How do you navigate the digital landscape, including streaming services and social media, to promote your music and connect with your audience?

I guess we have to adapt, stay up to date, and navigate the new changes all the time. I was never much of a computer kid growing up and always enjoyed staying away from screens, so this has been something to adapt to for me for sure. But I guess we don’t have a choice and must learn to live with our time. I try to be active as best as I can through my social media though it does feel like a toxic place at times that I need to step away from especially when working on new music. I will say though that it has been a nice way to communicate with fans and thank them for their support and kind messages.

Collaboration is a key part of the music industry. Have you worked with other musicians or producers, and how have these collaborations influenced your sound and career?

Yes, I created a collaboration version of my first album ‘Toi’ on which I got to work and collaborate with some amazing artists and creatives. I am always looking at collaborating and working with other creatives as I think it is the best way to learn new things and grow.

Your music likely reflects your unique style and perspective. Could you describe your musical identity and what makes your sound stand out in a crowded industry?

I would say it comes down to a combination of the music and artists I grew up listening to as well as my experience traveling and adapting to new cultures. I grew up on a tiny French island in the South Pacific with less than 350,000 people and at age 12 moved to Australia. Experiencing news ways of life at a young age has been a major source of inspiration in my music and sound.

What role does live performance play in your music career, and how do you approach planning and executing your live shows, especially in light of recent challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic?

I get so much joy and satisfaction from playing live music and connecting with people through that. There are no other feelings I can compare it to really then the joy I get from playing music live and seeing it being translated on the crowds faces. Honestly, the pandemic had a huge impact on the way tours and live music operates but being able to be back out there playing and connecting with fans is a blessing.

Many fans are interested in the stories behind the songs. Could you share the backstory or inspiration behind one of your recent tracks that holds special meaning to you?

Sometimes I find myself in these writer’s block which can get very frustrating but eventually out of nowhere this wave of inspiration flows through which is what my song ‘Cameo’ is based upon. I am not sure exactly how to explain the why and how, but we played around the idea that it’s like this strange creature that lives inside of us that decides to show up when it wants to and it’s up to us to grab onto it.

Looking ahead, what are your future goals and aspirations as an independent musician? Are there any upcoming projects or exciting developments in your career that you’d like to share with your fans and the audience?
I just released a new record ‘Seasons’ so am currently busy promoting the album and taking the new songs on the road later this year, but I’ve also been in the studio these past few weeks working on some new music. This new sound and chapter feel super fun and I can’t wait to share the new music later this year too.

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