At the age of Eighteen, musician and producer Chase Coy signed to a major label, released a debut album, toured the United States and recorded a duet with Colbie Caillat. However after only six months, in a perfect example of the fickleness of the music industry, Coy was dropped by his label.
Cut to nearly four years later and Coy has released a new album under the name Sun Culture. In those intervening years Coy didn’t sit around licking his wounds, instead he moved to Nashville, and continued working, writing and producing music. Written and co-produced with Jordan Schmidt, the self-titled release was made available for free on Noisetrade and BriteRevolution, and was downloaded close to 4000 times in its first month.
We caught up with Coy to learn a little bit more about the Sun Culture project, his new single “Young Blood” and, his plans for the future.
Where did the name Sun Culture come from?
I was trying to think of something that really captured the spirit of the music, and my mind kept coming back to this summer vibe, complete with beaches and sunshine. Eventually I landed on Sun Culture.
Was it a conscious decision not to continue releasing music under your own name?
I originally went into the studio to record a new solo album, but the ideas began to stretch beyond what we could do in that context. It wasn’t the original plan, but we figured out pretty early on that this was going to be something new.
What was the driving force or inspiration behind the desire to create music again following your “split” with your label? Was there a specific trigger or moment?
I had been releasing some music independently here and there since I parted ways with my label, but this was the first time in a while I really wanted to try something I hadn’t done before, which I think is always exciting, both as a producer and a writer. I couldn’t point out anything specific other than just time and a little space from working as an artist really helped me to collect some thoughts and organize them into the album you hear today.
What was the inspiration/story behind your new single “Young Blood”?
I wanted to do a song about that feeling of youth and invincibility which seem to go hand in hand, and I got lost reading a ton of articles about Bonnie and Clyde. I love their story and what a classic tale of rebellion, love, and youth it is. I wanted to bring that vibe, but in a more modern context.
What was it that first drew you to Nashville?
I think the community of musicians and writers here is incredible. There is no shortage of talented folks, and the atmosphere is really collaborative here. It’s been amazing to have access to so many talented artists to work with as well.
How did you approach the songwriting on the album?
I wrote this album almost entirely from scratch in the studio together with my co-producer Jordan Schmidt. We typically started with some hook or melodic idea, and he would begin to build something out from it while I worked on lyrics and structure. It all came together really as a unit over the course of recording, and some songs were still in progress until the very last moment. I remember once or twice we even had to tell musicians to play to 16 bars of silence, assuring them we were going to add chords and structure later.
And do you feel your songwriting style has changed over the intervening years?
I have definitely refined my style of writing, though it often just depends on the context of the project I’m working on as well. When I write for myself, I’m a little less clinical and a little more introspective, whereas when I’m writing more generally, I tend to be a little more calculated.
What has the reaction to the album been like so far?
So far, the reaction has been great. Fans have been supportive and great with their feedback, and I hope I’ll have more music to share soon!
Have you had chance to tour the album yet?
I am going to be on an acoustic tour from October 14 through November 14 down south and out west. I’ll definitely be playing some Sun Culture songs, along with others I’ve written over the years.
Has work begun on a second Sun Culture album?
I am currently working on more singles to release this fall/winter.
What’s the next step for you?
I just want to keep making music and sharing it with people who enjoy it as much as I do. Hopefully I’ll be able to get out on the road a little more next year, and record a new solo album as well as a new Sun Culture album sometime in 2015.