IN THE SPOTLIGHT: CHASE’IN CHA CHA MALONE…

Hello! Belated Merry Christmas to you all from all of us at WTYT, hope you all had a blessed time!

Currently writing this interview up from the comfort of my auntie’s place in Singapore – definitely been on eating adventures the past few days!

 

 

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Anyway, for my next installment for our interview series I am excited to bring you an extensive interview from my friend, Chase ‘Cha Cha’ Malone. Some of you may know him as a dynamic bboy from the Art of Movement and TheM Team, some of you may know him as Jay Park‘s friend and resident composer/producer for Jay’s recent solo hits.

Even originally as a graphic artist, Mr Malone has done it all, and has built up an impressive list of works and mentions to prove it.

 

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Graduating from the Art Institute of Seattle in Conceptual Art and Visual Development in 2009, Chase started off in video game design before moving his focus more onto another passion, music production.

He got his production bars up in 2010 for Jay’s first SOLO endeavour in the Korean music industry; and as we all know, the rest is history! from making Jay’s hits to Brian Joo and B1A4; Chase is slowly making his own name in the Korean music circles and eventually, the rest of the world:)

 

[Beckii’s note: ….i even saw his name as a composer in a noraebang in Korea. AHAHA^__^ awesome.]

 

 

Keep reading to find out more about this inspiring guy!

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1. You graduated from a Conceptual Art and Visual Development major in university. What was it that made you decide beat-making was more of your thing?

It actually wasn’t until 2007-09 that I considered taking my music to a higher calling. Art/Illustration was always my thing ever since I was 2 or 3. I would draw literally every day up until middle school–I had trouble
focusing in class. I wanted to get my ideas out on paper whenever my weird imagination sparked something [laughs]. Music has resonated with me since about 3rd grade when my mom bought me a tiny 25-key Casio keyboard.
My mom used to be heavy into singing and I think a lot of that rubs off on me. She had this little dual cassette karaoke box that I would take to my room and start recording my keyboard’s sounds with the microphone. Eventually
I found ways to layer the sounds using two different cassette tapes…I don’t even remember how I did that [laughs]. All around that time (1994-95) I had a couple good friends who used to rap with me (Me? Rapping? Well, I tried). We
were fortunate enough to have gotten setup with some studio time via one of my mother’s gig managers. That was my first exposure to a studio environment and it really inspired me. I stopped making my homemade music for a while
near the end of elementary school because I started to cherish a short lived dream of getting drafted to the NBA [laughs]. I was too occupied with basketball up until 7th grade. My second year of middle school was a change for me because I started liking girls [laughs] and I also began my journey into b-boy culture.
During this time period computers started to make their way into more people’s homes. A friend of mine whom I met through dancing (B-boy Fidget from Fraggle Rock Crew) had this beat-making software called Fruity Loops. Once I started using that program more, my love for creating music
was rekindled. Still, becoming a professional producer was not even remotely a thought. Back then I found the art path to be more practical. Throughout high school my music production began to improve and I was always hungry for feedback to get even better.

As expected, I received mixed feedback, but the good outweighed the bad. Everything was constructive in my mind so I developed somewhat of an ability to hate my own work and I grew passionate at the problem solving aspect. I started to meet more beat-makers near the end of high school.
I then learned the definition of producer throughout research and I was driven to obtain such a title. To do that, I began penning lyrics and arranging complete songs. These songs were inspired by my relationships and other artists I had been listening to at the time. Fast forward to the end of
2009, my friend and b-boy crew member Jay Park returned back to Seattle from being in Korea for quite a few years. I think I told him I was a producer and gave him a CD of beats or something. I told him I was down to make music for him while he was in Seattle. Not long after, he contacted me and said he was down to work. At the
time, I had just graduated from college and finding a job was very difficult for anyone without 3-5 years of art industry experience. Not that I regret attending school to pursue concept art by any means, but when art became homework and classes were crazy long, I just grew tired of doing it…All the while I was in school,

I always found my self making time to compose music. That never got old. It still doesn’t. Blessed by Jay’s kindness and creative trust in me, he continued to work with me and he opened doors to the professional world. In 2010, the first two songs we ever collaborated on were “Bestie” and “Speechless” and I am thankful
that those songs were very well received. Things started progressing from then.

 

 

2. Tools of the trade? Why?

For my tools I primarily use FL Studio. I have been using that software since it was version 1 back in 2000…Crazy how time flew. It’s very user friendly and i’m able to record my ideas pretty quickly. When I mix and master tracks I use Pro Tools 9 w/ Waves plug-ins and a Mastering application called Izotope Ozone.
I use Pro Tools to mix, master, and record vocals because it is the universal program that every studio uses. It makes it the most convenient way to share session data from studio to studio.

 

 

3. Any recommendations for aspiring producers [in terms of business, building skills, etc]?

To be honest i’m still aspiring to these things. There’s still a lot I need to learn. Many opportunities have arisen from meeting people. Networking will always be of prime importance. One piece of advice for me is to have tough skin–Be open minded and don’t get offended by any feedback.
If you really don’t trust their opinion, then at least leave some room for thought on why they said what they said. That’s just my way of taking things in. When I operate by this type of mindset i’m always improving and it feels damn good when you can hear your own progress.

 

 

4. Who has been the most enjoyable artist to work with/for? Who would you love to work with in the future?

The most enjoyable artist i’ve worked with is Jay Park is because I like to think I know his taste pretty well. Together we can fill in the blanks within the production process. I’m usually pretty keen to composing a feel he’s looking for and if he suggests changes, I often know immediately
what to tackle based off his feedback. He’s easy to work with in the studio too. He doesn’t require much direction, but if he asks, I am usually able to give him a trustworthy opinion. As for the future, I would love to work with some of my favortites–Joe Thomas (my favorite singer), Chris Brown, Usher, Beyonce, etc. In Asia, there are
too many to name [laughs].

 

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5. You started off bboying [TheM Team, Art of Movement] – is this something that is more of a hobby to you, or does it hold an equivalent amount of importance as much as producing does?

B-boying is everything to me. I need it in my life to keep sane. It’s definitely not a hobby and it’s hard to explain to just anyone I run into of its importance to me. I would surely think of it as a lifestyle. I don’t go to it as a job. It’s the one thing that has
aided my mentality and physicality. I absolutely need hip hop culture in my life to give me peace of mind.

 

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6. Greatest influences in your music/life to date, and why? Is there a particular musician who has shaped your style of music?

I really would have to think long and hard about my greatest influence in music and to this date, I can’t say that I have one in particular that takes precedence over the others. However, The Neptunes were my main inspirations for years.
Then it became Bryan-Michael Cox. Neptunes inspired me melodically. B. Cox inspired my search for a timeless r&b sound because he’s so adaptive. I guess they shaped my style of music in my early stages of producing. My greatest influences in life in general would be a person and a culture–My mother and Hip Hop.

 

 

7. You’ve worked very closely with Jay over the past few years – did you ever expect this kind of global recognition before you started? What has been the best/coolest/most exciting experience? What has been the hardest/worst?

I never knew what to expect. Seems like everyday is something new and exciting. I’m humbled that he still works with me. We’re family but he doesn’t have to work with me if he doesn’t feel like it. Yet, he continues to do so and it’s always exciting/inspiring for me to take on a new project of his.
I think the most exciting experience was visiting 7 different Asian countries all within a few months. I was enlightened. Thankfully, I haven’t had any bad experiences worth mentioning to this date, other than when I was venturing off on my own in Korea and my bank mistakingly froze my account right before the weekend.
That was all bad [laughs].

 

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8. Any crazy fan experiences[yourself and/or with Jay]?

One time I was stampeded at one of Jay’s fan meets. At the end of the concert, the rest of AOM dashed out of the building. I was still packing up my mobile studio since we would need to something to do during our 8 hour waits in the dressing room, before the shows commenced. By the time I hit the venue lobby someone spotted
me and then like 300 people stampeded me, haha. I’m not complaining [laughs]! That was unreal and I wish I had a photo.

 

 

9. How long on average does it take you to come up with and finish a beat from scratch? What is your creative process?

It usually takes me about 1-2 hours to make a beat, then about 5 more to polish it. Writing songs is a different story. Sometimes I can write a song in 15 minutes, then some can take days. It depends on the genre. Ballads are my favorite to write and they take a little bit longer. There’s generally never a set amount of time to be
finished with something unless you’re on strict deadlines. When i’m on deadlines, that’s when I pull multiple all nighters.

 

 

10. What do you do if you come up with a ‘creative block’? What do you do to get out of it?

When I can’t think of anything to create that’s my sign to take a break for a few days. Luckily, I have chillin’ with friends, b-boying and illustration as my other creative outlets. I think 2 days is enough time away from the lab. I can’t really stand being away from the keys to be honest.

 

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11. Where do you get your song writing inspiration from?

Movies, other songs within the genre and my personal experiences.

 

 

12. Biggest achievement thus far? Why?

I think my biggest achievement thus far is Jay Park’s ‘Take a Deeper Look’ album. Our song “Abandoned” won a few awards and that was a well received song. I composed 4/7 tracks on that album and to see it on Billboard charts, International airline music selections, and hear it playing in restaurants in Korea was a big deal for me.
I was really inspired to keep working even harder.

 

 

13. What are your aims and goals for your career right now? Where do you see yourself in a few years from now?

One of my goals is to simply work with a lot more people. Collaborations are accomplishments that can’t be taken away. To hear other talented artists performing your work is a dope feeling. In a few years from now i’d love to be able to take care of my mom and my family, not just myself. My mom raised me as a single parent
for almost my whole life and she’s worked way too hard to not deserve relaxation. I think to be in a position to help others is one of those long term goals for me. Meanwhile, I shall slave away.

 

 

14. As someone who draws from time to time myself, I am honestly in awe of your drawing talent! Is this something you feel you might utilise later down the track?

Thank you so much! And yes, I feel when I am able to relax more, illustration will always be there waiting for me…as long as I have my hands [laughs] :X. I can see myself being this nerdy old man painter fanatic. Yes, I am very much a nerd–I love Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Anime, and Video Games to the extreme. [laughs]

 

 

15. Are there any particular meanings to your tattoos?

Well, I only have two and they both hold strong meaning to me. One, is my left forearm tattoo which is of piano keys. Music is my life and the piano is the only instrument that I can play decently. It’s also on my left arm and i’m left handed, so i’ve always associated my left hand/right brain being the reason for my creative drive.

My second tattoo is of my crew name “AOM” (Art of Movement). These guys have been my friends for almost 11-12 years. That’s the longest that i’ve had multiple best friends that i’ve experienced so much growth with and are still down for one another. We all share a common interest, which are integral parts of each of our lives;
b-boying. Those two tattoos I didn’t have to think too hard about getting. I think i’m done with tattoos (for now).

 

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16. Any weird habits?

I love smelling fresh car tires and parking garage cement. I love smelling brand new Nike sneakers for long periods of time. I also have an uncontrollable habit of trying to speak in British, Aussie, and Kiwi accents in public.

 

 

17. Last words?

Firstly, thanks a lot for the interview Beckii!

And lastly, feel free to follow/subscribe/like my social networks!
http://www.twitter.com/chachaaom
http://www.instagram.com/chachamalone
http://www.youtube.com/funkychacolate
http://www.facebook.com/chachamalone

 

 

[GAG QUESTION]

 

18. If you were a fruit, what fruit would you be? [=P]

Lol, a mango or a watermelon! How stereotypical (I’m Filipino and black) haha

Thanks so much Chase!

 

and bonus…a quiiick doodle i did of Chase on his bday last year haha:D enjoy!

 

chase bdae 2011

 

 

To the rest of you, have a blessed time as New Years Eve is right around the corner and PARTY TIIME! is approaching. Stay tuned for more interviews in the near future!

 

 

– beckii xo

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