Chris Meese is a Denver in CO. Meace is a growing producer who focuses on blending the classical training he received at various music schools throughout his youth with the modern influences of LoFi, hip hop, and chill music of all sorts. Heavily favoring live piano playing and acoustic instruments over samples. Meace is person who aims to bring melodic and rhythmic depth to a genre filled with stock standard drum beats and repetitive one off loops, whilst still maintaining the broad appeal and nuance that these relaxing genres are known for.
We had a chat with Chris Meace, popularly know by his stage name Meace and here’s what he has to say;
1. What is your real name?
– Chris Meese
2. How old are you?
3. When did you started making music?
– I started piano lessons when I was 5 years old, and I have played music every day since then.
4. When was your first single dropped?
– This album, Dictators Die, is my very first release. I wanted to release a full proper album before getting into singles or anything like that to show that I have versatility and depth as an artist. That being said, now that I have the pipeline for publishing music all figured out, I’m super excited to work on some singles so that I can release music more regularly!
5. Tell us about your new album. What it is about? What was the process for writing and producing it? Is the track sequencing significant? Any features?
– My latest release is an album called “Dictators Die“, and it has been a long time in the making. To some degree tells the story of my own journey to music production competence, but in a larger sense, it tells the story of me becoming my own person and escaping the traumas of my childhood. I present a lot of different styles and moods in an effort to communicate my varied tastes and skills to the listener, but overall it is largely inspired by modern day chill/lofi/hiphop styles, and that’s the effect I want this music to have on the listeners – relaxation. At the end of the album, on the title track Dictators Die, I also hope to inspire some hope in those that may have lost theirs throughout 2020.
6. How would you describe your new album to someone at a party that’s never heard of you?
– I would describe this album as a relaxing and varied collection of chill music, featuring live instrumental recordings with nuance and naturality instead of a bunch of samples haphazardly thrown together.
7. If you were to completely start over again from day dot, what would you do differently?
– If I were to start over, I would have more confidence in my music. A lot of these songs sat in their current “finished” state for months while I agonized over whether or not the song was truly complete, but in the end I realized that I was heavily overthinking things and I just needed to get my work out there.
8. What do you expect to change with marketing this time around?
– Seeing as this is my first foray into marketing my own music, I don’t really have too many expectations. I will simply put in the time and effort to get my music in front of as many people as possible, and then let the music do the rest of the work from there.
9. What social issues are you most passionate about?
– In general, I sense a massive lack of empathy in the world right now, and this culminates in a vast variety of social issues that I feel very passionately about. Police brutality, unfair exploitation of workers during a pandemic, racism, sexism, homophobia, to me all of those come back to a general lack of empathy in the populace. I don’t have any idea how to address these issues, but my first step is to make some music that triggers emotional responses in the listener and opens them up to different viewpoints and different states of mind.
10. What are your goals at each of these stages: release week, 3 months after project drops, 12 months after project drops
– I love this question because I absolutely didn’t have an answer to it right away, so I had to go and plan all this out and now I have a clear vision of the future! For release week, my main goal is just to share my music with my friends and enjoy the rush of publishing your work. I suspect this will change over time as I gain more of a following, but for now that’s really all I need out of release week. Once things have settled down, and I start looking forward to the 3 month mark, my goal is to have gotten the music some proper exposure to real people so that I can gain a better understanding of my fan base and how people generally categorize my music. With that information in hand, it will be a lot easier to spend the next 9 months searching for my audience and slowly growing my following. My main goal for a year after a project launches is to have a brand new project to start the process over with, though I do expect to get some new work out at a faster rate than once a year. To summarize, my main goal over time is just to find the right audience for my music. I know they’re out there, and it’s up to me to bring them all together.
11. What do you think you need to do to hit those goals?
– Hitting those goals will require a lot of hard work and an openness to feedback/critique. It will be a tough balancing act of promoting my existing work while also channeling tat feedback into creating new music, with each song being better than the last.
12. What are you most proud up to date? And, what keeps you making music
– This one is a bit funny, I’ve had a wide variety of musical successes throughout my life, however I would say that I peaked when I was only 12 years old. I was a member of a youth orchestra that traveled to New York City to perform at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and a few other famous venues. Nothing I’ve achieved since then has been able to surpass the grandeur of that trip, and that’s partly what keeps me motivated – I want to reach new heights with my music, no matter how long it takes.
13. What is the one thing that would make your contemporaries nervous?
– I would say the main thing I have over other artists in the Chill/LoFi/HipHop genre is my comprehensive classical training. I have an in depth understanding of music theory, as well as a solid understanding of a huge variety of instruments and how to apply them, which opens up a lot of possibilities for my music. A lot of stuff in the genre relies heavily on samples, and that’s a perfectly acceptable way of doing things – I certainly love to use samples and they are a big part of my music, but I don’t rely entirely on them to create my sounds. With all that knowledge I mentioned earlier, I am able to take a sample a build around it, create new melodic and harmonic relationships, and bring in some live accompaniments that lend a great deal of naturality to my songs that many other similar songs lack.
14. What is one thing you’re not getting credit for that you absolutely should?
– To be honest, I’m not sure how to answer this one. I have gotten a lot of good feedback on my music, and people seem to be picking up on the nuanced efforts I put into my productions. I think different crowds will appreciate different aspects of my music, but one aspect that I could rant about for days is the rhythmic depth I bring to the table – I love using strange time signatures and syncopation to create rhythms that are extremely unique but still flow with the song and don’t detract from the rest of the music. It’s a difficult process, and a subtle effect, and I’m very proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish in that area.
15. Should we expect any more project from you soon?
– Yes! The rush of releasing this album has given way to a creative burst that I’m riding for as long as I can, I’ve already got a few new songs in the works, and I plan to release a new single by the end of the year, if not much sooner.
16. What advice do you have for people who are looking up to you or who want to be in the music line?
– The best advice I can give is to just believe in yourself. Don’t limit what you are capable of before you even start working with negative thought patterns, such as “Oh I will never be able to make music as well as this person”, or “My music will never be as popular as I want it to be” – every single successful musician is a person just like you or me, and anybody can find great success if they just have faith in their ability to learn and adapt over time. Don’t put yourself in a box, you can do anything you put your mind to!
Don’t be left out of listening to good music, listen to Patterns by Meace off his Dictators Die Album below;