CH4SE is one of over 130 recording artistes offering a unique take on Ed Sheeran’s romantic ballad Perfect, in hopes that the cover will provide exposure and represent his ability and range as a singer.
A performer coming from a dancehall beginning, he told The Gleaner that he hopes the cover will help him to build a more diverse fan base. CH4SE, pronounced ‘Chase’, has done several covers unofficially, including Giveon’s Heartbreak Anniversary, Let Me Love You by Mario, Childish Gambino’s Feels Like Summer, and the Billboard-charting R&B single So Beautiful by Musiq Soulchild.
“I’m trying to rewire my approach and mindset with music. Part of that is taking the new model of music and marketing that artistes are required to do, to be in the streets without being in the streets, and finding the online trends,” CH4SE said.
“Using familiarity [of the song to the people] is a trend or tactic within the digital landscape.”
While encouraged by producers he is working with on his own authentic Jamaican-flavoured catalogue, many of the songs being covered that speak to his current style of recording are more on the R&B, or soul, side. “Those genres are a big inspiration to sing about love and loss, which I tend to use a lot of that kind of storyline.”
Often, a recording artiste’s cover songs can eclipse their original recordings, but for CH4SE, it has only shone a light on new horizons.
He said, “I wouldn’t turn an endorsement down from Ed Sheeran; who would? I wouldn’t turn down an endorsement from anyone whose song I have covered. But, it’s about more than that; it’s helping my own vocals to evolve, and so much more.”
In creating covers, the singer-songwriter explained that he is still discovering how and what secures a fan base, “that core group of listeners that outrightly support you, whether you are putting out your rendition of another artiste’s music, merchandise or an original track”.
“This is what my mind is wrapped around right now. A cover gives people an incentive to listen to something else on your profile – it leads them to other content – which can make them become more interested,” CH4SE said.
In the summer of 2019, the artiste said that he felt closer to his dream with the release of an original single. The single, coincidentally, was titled Closer, and after three years – two of which were spent social distancing – the music video for the track is coming together, he said.
“In retrospect, overthinking can get you stuck. It took a while to get everything together and ready, but there’s no right or perfect time. Music-wise, everybody is moving on their own time, and everything happens for each artiste in a varying pace. I’m trying to take back my power and chasing my dream,” CH4SE concluded.