Chad Price is London, Ontario’s latest musician on the rise. He recently released his debut album In This Dream and his first single “Another Day” is hitting the airwaves. Here’s Bestfan’s in-depth interview with Chad – get to know a little more about his unique music, skipping classes and what drives him crazy.
Here’s Chad‘s first single, “Another Day”:
Bestfan: So how long have you been doing this for?
Chad Price: I’ve been doing the music thing for about 4 or 5 years, so it’s still kind of new considering I just turned 26. I didn’t really know what I was going do… But it’s 5 years – I wasn’t one of those people who knew when they were five or six years old that they wanted to be an entertainer or in the music business. It was just surprisingly placed upon me and I decided to go with it. So far it’s been very interesting and I’ve been lucky.
Bestfan: So what was it five years ago that made you say “Hey, I’m gonna do this. I’m gonna be a singer.”
Chad Price: Well, five years ago I was in first year university at Brock University in St. Catherines, and I was in communication studies. I initially thought I wanted to do journalism – sports journalism was the end goal. I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do in my future but that’s what made sense; I was going to make it a writer, and I’ve always been very athletic (I come from an athletic background).
But then, I don’t know what is was, maybe it was being on my own for the first time in St. Catherines, living there, and I was just being influenced a lot by new music at the time. People like John Mayer really started to speak to me in music, and people like Dallas Green and Norah Jones. All of a sudden I started picking my guitar up again. I’ve played guitar since I was 10 years old but it’s always been a hobby. I’ve always been drawn to music and picked it up really quickly. But it was that music and new atmosphere I was in that just kind of made me start to write for the first time.
And as soon as I started writing music, I finally felt the passion for music and it was no longer a hobby. So that continued to develop throughout my first year of university and eventually I just knew that this was what I needed to do. Things that were happening were just beyond my control and I was making music that I knew people needed to hear. It’s something that’s really hard to explain, but I could just feel within myself that it was the right thing to do and something that I needed to pursue. So I did that without really knowing what to expect. I didn’t even have any expectations; I just wrote and wrote, and I missed a lot of class unfortunately but I did end up graduating with a degree! But pretty much all I did for four years of university was write music because I could not stop myself.
Bestfan: So you play guitar – do you play anything else?
Chad Price: Nope, as of right now it’s just guitar. I would like to eventually move on to other instruments. I’d love to play piano, I’d love to play drums. And I think I will eventually, it’s just a matter of having the time to actually sit down and learn all of that. But as a kid I used to play a bit of piano; I was never classically trained but I think people realized that I had an ear for music because I always mimicked everything I heard really quickly and could reproduce songs I’d hear on the radio. So that’s how I knew I always had an ear for music and I natural feel that translated to the guitar.
In high school I had to play the flute for a bit! I didn’t want to play the flute – I wanted to play the trumpet but I was assigned to the flute. And at the end of that class the teacher said I should actually consider being a flautist as a career, but I was like “ah, no thanks!” But me and instruments go together so I’m sure that I will eventually gravitate towards more instruments and figure them out.
Bestfan: Does anyone in your family sing or play music?
Chad Price: In my immediate family, there aren’t any singers or musicians. I have two older brothers – my mom and dad don’t sing or play and my brothers don’t either. My brother Dwayne dabbles on the bass guitar. But they’re not really music players, they’re more music lovers. I grew up with a really wide range of musical listening because they played everything. So there’s no musical skill, but there’s’ definitely a lot of appreciation for good music. Then when you get beyond my immediate family like cousins, I do have a musical family. My drummer is actually my cousin Da-Rell Clifton. He’s in Toronto and he’s getting his foot in the door with all these big musicians in Toronto and the music scene there. He’s actually the one who connects me with all these amazing musicians and people that I end up working with. He’s an amazing drummer, kind of world class. I do have some cousins who sing this and that that are really good. But in my immediate family, it’s just me!
Bestfan: When you told your family that you wanted to become a musician, how did they react to that, especially when you were in university?
Chad Price: It was a bit of a surprise to say the least. I didn’t tell them right away when I knew. I started recording some things and just showing them and they didn’t really think much of it. But eventually when I did tell them that I’m serious about music and I’m gonna do it, they were shocked but at the same time extremely supportive. I think they were just happy to see my passionate about something because I’ve always been good at many things but never stuck with it. So for me to tell them that I was passionate about music and that I was actually going to pursue it, they were quite happy, and even though it was a bit of a curve ball, they believed in me from day one.
Bestfan: How would you describe your sound?
Chad Price: That’s difficult to describe…it’s kind of my own thing. If I had to name it, it’s like “pop rock” first and foremost, but with different elements. There’s acoustic soul, there’s a little bit of folk, there are hints of country in it. And like I said before, I have a wide appreciation for music. I’m not a big fan of genres – I just think if it’s good music it’s good music; if it moves you it moves you. And I think you can tell when you listen to my album that there are a lot of different combinations coming together into one specific sound that is uniquely me. But there are elements of everything in there. My vocals are more R&B and soulful, and the guitar is very melodic, kind of pop rock, John Mayer, Jason Mraz. There’s big thick bass in there…it’s really a combination of everything and uniquely me. I’ll let people decide what it is or what they wanna call it. But it’s upbeat, and I think it’s well written and introspective at times.
Bestfan: How long did it take you to write your album In This Dream?
Chad Price: It was written over the course of four or five years. First year of Brock University was probably the beginning. So I had a lot of time to develop these songs and make them develop naturally and go where they need to go. It wasn’t anything that was rushed – everybody always says their first album is their best because of how much time they have to write it. It took me a long time, about five years, and some songs were written in a day and other songs were written over the course of a month. But at the end of the day I think I picked the 10 best songs that I had at the time. I have probably 30 or 40.
Bestfan: So you don’t have a formula for writing your songs, you just feel it and jot it down?
Chad Price: I don’t really have a formula….I guess there’s a bit of a formula but it’s not really nailed down. Usually, I never decide to sit down and write. Usually songs just come when they decide to come. Sometimes you have to look up in opportune moments, but it’s up to you to listen and let them in and see what they have to say. But for me I usually pick up some melody on the guitar, just a riff, and from there I try to figure out what the riff or melody is saying on its own without my words, really listening to the music itself. And then from there, words come… from my life sometimes, sometimes it’s something completely made up, sometimes it’s a narrative that starts to come about it in my mind that has nothing to do with me. It really depends upon the music and I respect the music before I put my own words on it.
Bestfan: What’s your favourite song on your album?
Chad Price: That would have to be “This Dream.” That’s track number 9, and it’s one of the more groovy, R&B songs. It’s about enlightenment; it’s kind of deep song. When people hear it they always think I’m talking about a girl and they’re like “Wow! You’re talking about a very manipulative girl, you gotta get away from it!”; you can take it however you want but for me it was talking about life, a way of life that I’m trying to get away from, and that I wanna experience more of life. In the chorus I say “it’s still not too late for me, I can still be awake in this dream”. This means that I can awaken to everything that is out there and ready to be grasped, and open my eyes instead of having that tunnel vision that a lot of people have in life where all they’re worried about is money, their career and things. I’m trying to get away from the world of things and into the world of everything else that matters more. It’s a deep song but that’s my favourite on the album.
Bestfan: What was the best advice ever given to you?
Chad Price: Probably to do what you love despite what people say and think. To do something that you have passion for rather than something that makes financial sense or social sense. To do something that makes you happy, passionate. It could be the most medial thing, but as long as you do it with passion you’ll make the world better somehow. You’ll affect everybody that comes into contact with you if you’re happy doing what you’re doing.
Bestfan: Do you have any pet peeves?
Chad Price: I hate when people drive by and all you can hear is bass in their car! I cannot stand bass! I don’t bass but when it’s that obnoxious and all you can hear is that “boom boom”, I can’t stand that!
Bestfan: So what are you a Bestfan of? What are you into right now, anything special going on?
Chad Price: It’s hard to say something that’s not musical because I’m constantly immersed in music. Another musician that I’m obsessed with right now is Allen Stone. He’s a Seattle, Washington singer-songwriter. His music is unreal! I went to two of his concerts in the last two months and his music is speaking to me right now. He’s this white guy that dresses like a homeless hippie with long blonde hair and he plays guitar… I’m a bestfan of him. Also I’m a huge gamer – I’m a bestfan of Playstation 3 and Xbox! Favourite game right now is MLB 12 fo sho! I’m a sports gamer.
Bestfan: What can we expect from you in the future?
Chad Price: Well this year you can expect a summer tour in July, August and September in Ontario, Quebec and East Coast. This month and the next I’ll be on tour with a Winnipeg singer-songwriter named James Struthers. I’ll be with him in Waterloo, Toronto, Barrie, St. Catherines and possibly a couple of other dates. I’ll also be playing with a singer from Toronto named Darelle London; she’s great. She’s got an album out now called Eat a Peach. She’s been all over the media with Perez Hilton, he’s hyping her up. I’m gonna play some shows with her in July as well. I’ll just be on the road and promoting the album. Hopefully more radio because I’m on parts of radio in Ontario right now but I wanna expand the radio to the rest of Canada. So you’ll see me on the road and hopefully on the radio!
To catch Chad on tour, check out his tour dates here.
Interview by Rebecca Amare, Transcription by Priya Ramji