Darrell Chaisson is a musician from Halifax, Canada. His music has no limitations. He has been playing since he was a young child. He recalls an old piano his grandparents had as he would prop himself up and doodle on the keys. His aunt taught him how to play “Chopsticks”, and he would bang the rhythm out at every chance available.
His parents realizing his growing obsession with music eventually gave him a new piano. He took lessons for a short while until he realized he felt more comfortable coming up with his own melodies verses learning someone else’s; the lessons were short lived. He has been pumping out cool earthy instrumentals ever since.
It is fascinating for me when I hear these stories about why someone chooses the path of a musical life. It is a decision that seems to be taken lightly in most cases but has life changing results.
Darrell has learned to be creative on many different levels in order to build the name he has built to date. Instrumental music is not the most popular genre in the live performance realm. Being a musician in this capacity is a very different experience from your average touring band. Darrell shared with me the difficulties he experiences in reaching a more broad audience. It would be a costly endeavor to put together a full orchestra in order to accomplish the sound he needs for a live performance.
He depends on social media in order to build a fan base. The problem is building large numbers. It is a difficult task for anyone working as their own publicist. It takes time, networking and follow up. Darrell has to surf for his followers and make sure to keep them happy as soon as he finds them. The fact that the internet is a valid tool and is in existence is a Godsend, but still a daunting task to say the least.
However not unlike most artists he still thrives from his muse. He went into vivid details with me when I asked him where his ideas were generated. When you have a seasoned musician like Darrell the listening public thinks it is easy because the creator makes it look so easy. The time, energy and money spent behind the scenes are overlooked when you hear the splendid end results.
He described, “The melodies tend to come spontaneously as I sit and play. For me there is a brief opening that allows the melody to come through and if I’m lucky I can capture enough of it to make it into something.”
Yes, technology certainly has played favors it seems to us creative types. A natural progression for Darrell would be to work for TVand Films. He said he has submitted numerous songs for different opportunities. Like anything in any business there will be a hundred “no’s” before you get that one, “yes”.
Darrel said, “I continue to get encouraging feedback so I will keep submitting until I get that one opportunity that sticks.”
Exposure is not the only difficulties for your average independent musician. Life can easily stand in our way for our true dreams and we have to put music on the back burner until we have cleared a solid path for our pursuits.
The music industry is a difficult one with out a question and requires 110% dedication with countless sacrifices. It is a long road for most musicians leading up to that one opportunity that may change their careers forever.
Ask any musician successful or still working towards that success and they will tell you, you must believe in yourself. Darrell is no exception. You have to spend money to make money. If you are not willing to sink funds into your own career, you will have a hard time trying to convince anyone else to do so as well.
A person who believes in themselves is contagious. Others feel it and hear it in your music and everything you do. It is seen in your eyes, how you walk and in the words you say. Darrell is obviously working on full confidence it is evident in every song.
I think it is amazing to talk to musicians who are living the dream and found success. But it can be as much of a learning experience coming from a talent on the cusp of success as well. We all started some where and the industry exists because of people like Darrell Chaisson putting it all on the line in order to live their dream. The journey is as important as the destination.
I hate to give you a barrage of clichÃ©s, like, “the only one’s who make it are the one’s who never give up” etc. But my point is, people like Darrell are an incredible role model for those out there saying, “Is it worth my time or not?” The answer to that question depends on you, apparently for Darrell it is worth it and more.