“I know how important it is to feel heard and understood, and to know you’re not alone in what you’re feeling so that’s my hope for my music. To be a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen.” These heartfelt words, captures the essence of Chance Peña‘s approach to music. Hailing from Tyler, Texas, is a captivating storyteller who connects deeply with his fans through his songs. His musical journey, which began at a young age, has been characterized by an unwavering commitment to authenticity and emotional openness.
Chance’s reflections on his career are grounded in a mix of wisdom and sincerity. As he shares, “The biggest lessons I’ve learned: work hard when it’s hard to work hard. When it’s not easy, you can’t just give up, that’s when you gotta push even harder.” His recent release, ‘i am not who i was’, which can be best described as a soulful pop gem, resonates with the depth of his artistic voice.
In our interview, we delve into the nuances of his songwriting process, the impact of touring on his personal and professional life, and the importance of staying true to one’s values in the music industry.
photography by Jack Alexander
Your single ‘i am not who i was’ touches on personal growth and change. Can you describe your songwriting process for this track?
It took us about 45 minutes to write it. Hayd, Jeremy and I were working on recording another song when I picked up a guitar and we all shifted gear to writing. That’s my favorite way to go about it, every song we’ve written together comes out like that.
You’ve mentioned the importance of human connection in your music. How do you hope your songs resonate with your fans, especially with the new material you’re releasing?
I know how important it is to feel heard and understood, and to know you’re not alone in what you’re feeling so that’s my hope for my music. To be a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen.
Touring across the UK and EU is a significant step. Congratulations! What are you most looking forward to about these tours?
Honestly just experiencing new things. Traveling always broadens your perspective on life and I’m just stoked for that.
“Traveling always broadens your perspective on life and I’m just stoked for that.”
Being a touring musician can be demanding. How do you balance your professional commitments with your personal life and wellbeing?
Not very well haha, it’s definitely a tight rope. You gotta work to stay balanced, but surrounding yourself with loving and understanding people makes it easier. And also taking time to do things outside of music, exercising, hiking, stuff like that to give my mind a break from it all
Having been in the industry from a young age, what key lessons have you learned about the music business?
The biggest lessons I’ve learned: work hard when it’s hard to work hard (that’s the key to getting where you wanna be) when it’s not easy you can’t just give up, that’s when you gotta push even harder. I always think of that drawing of a miner one swing away from striking gold but he gives up never knowing how close he was. And lesson two would be you gotta have a good bullshit meter.
You’ve observed both the genuine and ‘fake’ aspects of the music industry. What strategies do you use to stay authentic and true to your values in such a complex environment?
Again, surround yourself with good people who pour into you and you into them. Hard working and caring friends will change your life for the better.
“If you wanna go fast go alone, if you wanna go far go together.”
Throughout your career, have you had any mentors or significant figures who have guided or influenced you? What was the best piece of advice you received from them?
I’ve had a few over the years, but one thing my mom told me when things started to get serious was “if you wanna go fast go alone, if you wanna go far go together”
With a strong presence on platforms like TikTok, how do you feel social media has influenced your relationship with your fans?
Social media is like playing a show for an infinite amount of people. It just gives you the reach you can’t attain without it. That being said, use it to share your art, connect with the people that connect with your art, and don’t give the numbers too much weight on your heart.
“Hard working and caring friends will change your life for the better.”
I’ve been captivated by your Instagram posts where you’re immersed in nature. What significance does nature hold for you? Does it serve as a source of inspiration or strength in your life and work?
Being outdoors is just a mental reset. A reminder that all the things that overwhelm me are insignificant in the grand scheme of things. And that’s something that’s easy to forget, so I’ve gotta remember to remind myself sometimes.
If you could give advice to your younger self when you first started your music career, what would it be? Similarly, what do you hope to tell yourself ten years from now?
“Keep doing what you’re doing, kid.” That’s what’s I’d say. When I was young I knew nothing about selling records, business, or anything that can get in the way of the music, all I had was passion and a drive to create. I think if you pair those things with a good business mind you’ll go far in this industry. 10 years from now I’m gonna say “you did good, man.”