Today we’d like to introduce you to DJ Chaney.
DJ Chaney, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I never thought I’d be a musician. Most of the musicians I have met started at an early age – they have been doing music out of the womb. That wasn’t the case for me. I was born and raised in the small town of Bellville, TX where sports ruled my world. Ever since I can remember, I had a ball in my hand. I played almost every sport you can imagine but found a love for track. Competing in track throughout high school led me to a full scholarship at Rice University. Between track practice and studying civil engineering, I found myself more and more interested in music production and started practicing out of my dorm room. My roommate and I bought two huge speakers and started throwing dorm room parties every weekend. This soon led me to play at campus parties and events around Houston. After graduating, I qualified to train for the USA Olympic Trials and focused all of my attention on music production on my free time. This is when I released my first two mash up albums: Slanty Shanty and Man Bunz. After a few injuries and falling a bit short of the Trials, my track career came to an end, and I made the decision to pursue music full time.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I’m old school at heart. I love and am inspired by funk and rock n roll music. Some of my favorite artists are James Brown, K.C., and the Sunshine Band, Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson, Boston, The Cure, ZZ Top, Queen, and The Eagles to name a few. That is why I dove into mash ups. I love sampling classic music together. But in the last few years, I have a new love for creating original music. I work from Ableton live on my computer and that is my instrument. I don’t know if I have found my signature sound quite yet. However, I feel like I am getting closer and closer to it each and every day. I try to incorporate live instrumentation or use samples into my mixes to give it that warm timeless feel like the artists I’m inspired by. My favorite instrument to play around with is the saxophone. You’ll hear it in a lot of my songs and it is inspired one of my singles ‘Saxo Jungle.’
Once I started creating original content and experimenting with live instrumentation, I knew I wanted to get some vocals on my tracks. For the past three years, I have been collaborating with singers and songwriters from Houston, Austin, Nashville, and LA.
More recently, I’ve been working on music videos for several songs of mine. I feel like a great video with a great song gives me the best chance for a song to be successful. Recently, I released a “1 take” music video for my song “WYWT” in downtown Houston, which I feel like capturing the heart of the city. Dan Mohr is the mastermind behind my videos. He is hands down the “Beez Kneez” due to his creativity and vision. I feel like he knows exactly the type of vibe I am trying to give to my fans.
My latest project has been teaching myself the guitar and keys and playing around with a talk box. It’s a work in progress, but hearing me play the guitar or keys is better than hearing me try to sing.
Artists face many challenges, but what do you feel is the most pressing among them?
The market is saturated with tons of great music. The biggest challenge I have dealt with is how to stand out and set myself a part in a sea of artists trying to make it. I feel like music is more than just your songs, but also cultivating your own image and brand. My brand, like my music, is what I would describe as weird. My signature look is my red fro, tie-dye cat shirt, and a calculator watch. My ride is an old 60’s van that I’ve had painted to look like the mystery machine and dubbed The Chaney Machine. In the Houston scene, I definitely feel like I’m on my own island, now I’m trying to see how far I can branch out.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
You can find my work on my website and social media links.
Everyone can support my work by subscribing to my social channels. I have merchandise for sale on my website, my own personally designed condoms and a shirt with me as a baby. I also really appreciate feedback on all the things I create. I believe that artists have to continuously adapt in order to be the best, and feedback helps me grow as an artist.
- Website: WWW.THEDJCHANEY.COM
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thedjchaney/?hl=en
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thedjchaney/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/thedjchaney?lang=en
- Other: https://soundcloud.com/thedjchaneymusic
@nicholasmcmillancreations – Nicholas McMillan, @motai.media – Tyler Tran, @tace.aye – Tace Anderson