Tell us all about how you got started and how you ended up where you are now!
Soulchess is comprised of 4 members; Chris Goodyear – Guitarist, producer and background vocals, Derrian Childress – Lead singer and dancing extraordinaire, Jameel Aziz- Drums and Jason Fruchey – Bass. The band has been around since late 2019, however the Soulchess story starts way back in 2012 when Chris posted an ad on ‘Craigslist’ looking for a bassist to form a band. That band soon ran into ‘life’ related issues before ever really getting off the ground.
Fast forward 6 years and a lot of water under the bridge later, Chris was back at it trying to get a band together. Chris met Jameel at a jam night at someone’s house and asked him to join this newly forming band. This band included Jason and a lead singer who later would later be kicked out of the unit for unprofessional behavior.Without a singer, Chris, Jason and Jameel now we’re on the lookout for a singer and as fate would have it, Jason and Jameel found Derrian Childress performing at BB Kings as part of Prince Tribute night. Derrian Childress was invited to join the band in November 2019, the Soulchess name was soon coined in early 2020.
When did the band first come together and how did that come to be? What was the first song you ever wrote?
As mentioned , we really became a unit at the very end of 2019. Our first song we put together as a band is entitled ‘End of the Day’ – it’s a live favourite about yearning to be home with the one you love, but you just can’t get home quick enough.
If you could meet, play a gig, co-write a song, have dinner, have a drink with any band or artist (dead or alive) who would it be?
Chris – Guitarist – “For me I would love to have met John Lennon and done a co-write with him, though I would love to have played bass for Bob Marley (Bass is everything in Reggae!)”
Jameel – Drums – “I would love to meet, play a gig with, co-write a song with, have dinner, and hang with Anita Baker. She seems like such an amazing person and creative. Plus everybody needs a black auntie figure in their life lol.
Her compositions have touched my soul on an emotional and spiritual level since I was a child. Just hearing her talk about stories of being on the road or listening to how she creates her masterpieces would be a lovely experience”
Derrian – Lead Vocals – “I would have loved to meet Michael Jackson. It would have been great to converse, hang out, be in the studio with him, and fully experience the multi-hyphenate creative that he truly was. Michael was such a bright individual, and it would have been an honor to be in the presence of the real him”
Jason – bass – “I think for me it would also be John Lennon. He seemed like he’d be fun to hang out with, write music then go out for a drink with him. He seemed like he’s be fun to be around”
Between your very first performance and now, how would you say the band has grown, as both a musicians and a band?
Our set has grown massively from a first show set of 30 min of all originals to a 4 hour long behemoth of a set of originals and covers. This grew out of necessity; to get shows that paid well around Nashville, you have to have a set that can run 4 hours nonstop. It’s been challenging given the fact that we have seldom slow songs in our set and we just don’t do songs where we are not all performing (so no options for a few members going off and taking a break). We have perfected the set too, to see what songs go down well and which don’t get the crowd going as much. Putting the band through this has ‘toughened us up’ musically speaking. We can now sprint through 2 hours of high energy music and it feels like a breeze!
Musically and performance wise, things have evolved too. Our performances are more coordinated even down to dance moves! Having spent the last few years playing together, we just know what each other are gonna do at certain points in songs. We have learned to rest into our sound as being defined by our unique qualities we bring versus being defined by a certain genre. Our production skills have come on, we are more aware of what elements to focus on to make a song a better mix and achieve the tones we hear in our heads.
What would you like to be remembered for in your musical career, when all is said and done, when future music lovers look for and covet your music, what would you like them to be looking for and remembering you for?
Jameel: “I want people to remember that I play with as much passion as I have love for the people around me. I thoroughly enjoy playing music and making music with my friends and family and I want people to remember that and feel it themselves through the music I am a part of, whether they are watching me live or listening to a song on an album. I am in a place of peace, love, and joy when I’m playing music.”
Derrian: “When all is said and done, I would like to be remembered as an artist and performer who gave with every fiber of my being, shared my gifts with true purpose, and inspired others to do the same”
Jason: “I’d like to be remembered for creating interesting music that made people feel something and that my bass lines were interesting and not just a typical rhythm filler”
Chris: “I want our music to be remembered for being pioneering through musical fusions and not limited to normal musical boxes. I want to make music that creates an atmosphere, that paints pictures in sound and forms the sound track in someone’s life. I guess I want to be remembered for a guitar tone/style of playing that you can feel and solo’s so melodic you can sing.
Where can we find you on social media and listen to more of your music?
Our instagram, facebook and Youtube handles are all under the @soulchessmusic handle. Our music is available on any streaming service that you can stream music from. To keep up to date with us and our world check out our website: www.soulchess.com
End of Interview