Image Credit: Alex Reneè
Certain artists stand out in a sea of creativity, creating a tapestry of feelings and sensations that have a lasting impact on their audience. One such artist is the talented musician Spike Chester, whose most recent work, "Retrograde Theory," is evidence of his detailed, expressive, and enthusiastic commitment to his profession.
The inspiration behind "Retrograde Theory" draws from Spike's reflection on the past three years of his life, characterized by a whirlwind of emotions. "Retrograde Theory" is a cathartic expression of his journey, encapsulating love, loss, grief, happiness, and indulgence moments. Spike Chester's ability to delve into the complexities of the human experience is a testament to his profound understanding of the multifaceted nature of existence.
The creative process behind "Retrograde Theory" is a fascinating journey of exploration for Spike Chester. He begins with an idea for a story he wishes to tell and then immerses himself in how that story should sound and feel. Through this introspective approach, his music takes shape, manifesting in ways that surpass the initial concept. Spike Chester's ability to adapt and transform his ideas throughout the production process is a testament to his dedication and artistry.
In discussing his role models, Spike Chester takes a moment to reflect on the visionary legacy of Prince. He admires Prince's early advocacy for artists' independence and empowerment, a conversation that has become more prevalent in the music industry. Spike Chester appreciates how Prince fearlessly spoke about this concept decades ago, defying societal norms and paving the way for future generations.
In this #OnTheSpot interview installment, Spike Chester opens up about the inspiration behind his new project, the best advice he has been given, his inspirations, his desire to leave a lasting impact on the world through his music and more.
Watch “Retrograde Freestyle”:
What was the inspiration for your new project?
Life really. I went through a lot of emotions over the past 3 years since my last project, Retrograde Theory, is me processing those emotions in a span of 20 minutes.
Can you tell us more about it?
Yeah, it's a culmination of different points in my life, dealing with love, finding it, and losing it. Grief, happiness, and indulgence. I'm complex, and I wanted to show all the different sides in one album.
How does your current project compare to your past work? What creative space are you in currently?
I think it's a step in a different direction…You can see the growth in my songwriting, song concept, and overall production value. I can get into a space of creativity where I want to make my music as boundless as possible. It feels like the ultimate freedom.
When you make a decision about a creative direction or style for a song, do you stick to it, or do you often change the original concept?
It for sure changes! That's the beauty of music to me; you have the ultimate opportunity to take something as a simple melody in your head and build it into something so beautiful. None of the songs on the album sound close to what they did at the demo stages.
What does your creative process look like?
It usually starts with an idea for a story I want to tell then I ask well, what does this story sound like? What does the texture feel like? How can I interpret these feelings in writing? And I just let it manifest from there.
Was it different for this project?
Somewhat. But that is my initial approach in every situation. There were definitely way more moving parts this time around though
Who's currently influencing your life the most?
My family and loved ones. I guess you could say that's my "Why" when I create. Along with myself, I try to pull from their lives and what we experience daily. Good, bad, and ugly.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Life is a cycle. You can't win without losing; you can't receive without giving. There are ebbs and flows to this sh*t.
What's a phrase or saying you use almost every day?
"God is the greatest."
What's the hardest change in your life you had to go through?
Probably trusting myself, the hardest relationship to maintain is the one with self. Once I started to tend to my own needs, I realized how much work it is to grow. It's uncomfortable but necessary to go higher.
In your opinion, whom do you consider to be a visionary?
Umm, that's a tough one. I don't throw that term around loosely. Prince is the answer that comes to mind. The way he spoke about how artists held the power of independence. That's a typical conversation these days, but he was talking loudly about it decades ago, and it seemed so far-fetched then.
Name your current secret obsession and why?
Brazilian soul music. As an American, we're wired to believe we make the best music on the planet. I went down this rabbit hole and found artists like Hyldon and Cassiano. These guys were making soul music and singing in Spanish!! But the American soul was just a giant in the 20th century they went overlook.
Artists are impactive in so many ways; how do you want to impact the world through your artistry?
I want to raise a generation of people with what I create. Music taught me a lot when it was just me and my headphones. I want to pay it forward and teach the next generation. Show them how to be comfortable with what they stand for.
When was the last time you tried something new? What was it?
I'm an old man on the inside, so I hardly try new things. I want to do more this year, though. I made croissants from scratch in January. Does that count?
What are you manifesting in 2023?
Life, health, and strength for me and my loved ones. And my first tour maybe?
Stream “Retrograde Theory” Here:
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