Being at a bar at one A.M. is usually not the best way for me to network. It’s a good way to meet people and perhaps a perfect platform, but potentially doesn’t lead to any longevity. I can give out my card and contribute to the social scene and everybody I meet knows somebody who knows somebody who’s in a band that they believe should get a Soundcheck shout-out, but it’s few and far between that I’m fortunate to find someone who has something probable to promote. One particular Saturday night, or technically- Sunday morning, I found a person that wasn’t only professional, but had proof!
After getting off work at midnight I made my way to a local bar where some of my friends were finding the fun. However, upon arriving, the responsibility of work the following morning made them have to say goodnight before I barely made it to a barstool. That left me with a beautiful blonde friend and a lot to catch up on being that we see each other sparingly. Mid-talk, we were casually co-opted by some boys who I thought were candidates for common conversation, but upon further interrogation realized they were so much more than the typical club clientele.
It started out as typical talk – where you from’s, why are you here’s, which led to music – me with the magazine, Chase Watts the music maker. At first Chase thought I was weaving a web of lies, so he checked out Sara’s Soundcheck on the spot, and I in turn, knowing how when I mention the magazine everybody suddenly turns into a music mogul, didn’t believe his proposed propaganda about being a producer. My female friend happens to be a magnificent model, and so our table turned into a game of “are you really” roulette. We all equally demanded to see professional proof and finally figured out there was a lot of talent at a very small table in the corner of a crowded club.
Facebook friend requests were sent and we all went off to wind down our nights. Chase left me with his parting words: “Stalk me!” I prefer the more respectable term, research, and so this article accumulated. Chase Watts is a producer and videographer for WattsyMusic, a label I’m not just familiar with, but have covered and condoned.
I interviewed WattsyMusic’s own Jeremy Leonard a while back and behold – Chase Watts produced his recent video for his second single “Walk Away.” With 12 videos to his credit, Watts’ musical maturity has went from producing on his Playstation 2 to making music for money. One thing that is believable: when it comes to building a buzz, Chase Watts and WattsyMusic is the bottle you better be boozing from! Chase Watts is a pure, 200 proof, potent producer.
Sara Fincham: How did you begin making music – I read of a drum set and a keyboard – at what age did you take up those talents?
Chase Watts: I started making music when I was in 6th grade. I was always banging on my Mom’s pots and pans, so she decided to buy me a beginners drum set for Christmas. Ever since that day I started teaching myself to play things by ear.
SF: What was the progression of your producer profession? When and why did you start producing on your Playstation and what were the pros and cons of your early career?
CW: My production progression all started from playing the drums in my Mom’s basement, then I saved up money and bought a little $50 keyboard that had different instrument sounds on it, that I would play around with. Back then, I wasn’t aware of editing software like Pro Tools, so I would just use my brother’s tape recorder and play everything live as it was recorded. That way we could hear the playback! Also, I wanna give a shout out to my cousins Charles Bass and Elec Simon, because they put in time and taught me a lot of things on the drums that helped me today.
I didn’t start producing on my Playstation 2 until about 10th grade. What’s funny is, I didn’t even know I was “producing” – I was just doing it for fun. My friend Kevin Lee and I were in Game Stop at the mall looking for the new Madden video game and we came across a game where you could produce music from many different sound banks. I bought it because it was only like $10 and looked fun to play around with. Everyday I made beat after beat and pretty much “tricked” the game. Kevin’s exact words were “There’s no damn way beats are suppose to sound like that coming out of a Playstation. You tricked the game!” I remember that like yesterday, and that’s where it all began.
The pros and cons of my early career always made a circle. What I mean by that is, yeah I could teach myself all these different things and yeah I was talented, but I didn’t know anything for me to progress as a producer. I was just making music and playing it loud in my bedroom. You could have the best beats in the world, but if you have poor sound quality or don’t know the first thing about “industry standard” hardware or software, you’re not going to improve your craft.
Once I realized that, I began to take things a lot more seriously and learn from other producers that were already making big hits. I would listen to different instrumentals from industry producers like Timbaland, Kanye West, Just Blaze, and really study their different techniques and signature sounds that made them known to the world as great producers. Not to mention how much money they make on one beat, but that’s a whole different story!
SF: When were you brought on as part of WattsyMusic’s music makers? Of course I’m not saying you got the job because your brother is the president, so I’m sure, and maybe because of that, did you have to really prove yourself and try extra hard to earn your spot?
CW: WattsyMusic came together naturally and we didn’t even know it at the time. My brother Slick was in his beginning stages as a well crafted rapper and I was just beginning to know what a producer was or does. So as time went on we were building something from the ground up and really starting to see that all this hard work is going to pay off. Slick always pushed me to make hot beats, because if they weren’t, he had no problem saying, “Nah man that’s not it!” But there are a few that I made and other people ended up getting that he couldn’t believed he passed up. I made many for him but there is one beat that I specifically remember sending him.
He was down in Phoenix, Arizona working this crazy job with my dad out in the dessert somewhere, with mountain lions, scorpions and everything else running around out there – the things you’ll do for studio equipment! But anyway, I emailed him a beat that I knew he was going to like. He called me back and was like man this beat is crazy, this is the one. So then he started rapping his verse over the phone to me. Now in my mind I’m thinking, how in the world did he just think of those words off the top of his head that fast and I just sent the beat? But to top it off he started rapping the hook “This is WattsyMusic, please do not confuse it” and I was like WOW! So from that day on, WattsyMusic was set in stone and was only going to get bigger and better.
SF: How many videos have you been a part of, and what is it that sets your style and interpretation and production aside from some others?
CW: I have directed about 12 music videos and numerous video blogs, events, etc. When I started directing videos I was just doing it for fun because it was something else where people could visualize my creativity. My first video I directed was in 2009 for Slick Watts called “Alone in the Streets”. We did that on a little Walmart HD camera and it turned out good. Ever since then, it has been something else that I want to pursue along with music production.
One thing that I can say sets me aside from others is, before I touch anything I put it all together in my head. Whether it’s listening to a sample over and over until the drum patterns come to me, or if I’m listening to a finished song and visualizing the artists words come to life and make people not only see, but feel what they’re saying. I feel like it’s my job to do that. Now on Mall Black’s two music videos “C-Town” and “Over Time”, I had a lot of creative help from the talented CEO of WattsyMusic, Gary Jackson aka “G-Jax”. He came up with some great ideas to add to not only make the videos entertaining with a story line, but also to make them stand out from the rest. Stay tuned, we have more in the works!
SF: You also have beats for lease. You’re a busy man! Do you have any aspirations at all to be the one who not only makes the beats and video, but who lays down the lyrics as well?
CW: I really haven’t had any aspirations to rap, although there is one song that I produced for Slick back in 2008 and I’m featured on a verse. Very few people have heard it, maybe one day I’ll release it. Maybe!
SF: Your website is whoischasewatts.com. In one word – do tell – who is Chase Watts? Or, I suppose I’ll allow a sentence! For the record, I’m excited to get to know!
CW: Yes, whoischasewatts.com is my official website that has beats, videos, photos, etc. so go and check that out people! Also, go to my production page on facebook “Chase Watts Productions” and click “like.” But the one word that I feel describes me is passionate. In order to be great in anything you do, you have to be passionate about it. Regardless of what it is.