Some musicians have always made music, while others start out in another performing art. For Sydney artist Chase Zera, it's the latter. She isn't just a musician, as she got her start performing as a dancer. Since the age of six, she grew up dancing in genres like jazz, hip-hop and cabaret, before she started singing at the age of 13, as well as learning the piano. We wish we were this talented.
She always wanted to be a performer, and music became her outlet - but her dancing background makes her live show so darn exciting. "A lot of musicians say, 'Oh I love making music but I never wanted to be a performer'. I actually wanted to be a performer before I knew I wanted to be a musician." We're so glad she discovered the joys of making music, because she's putting out forward-thinking pop music that's blown us away.
Her debut track, Clovers, was released back in 2019, and it's a song that sees her talking about independence. It was already evident the amount of songwriting she'd done in the past, as well as how strong her vocals were. Chase says that all-too-often, people look for signs in their lives - but sometimes, you've just got to go for it. "Often as humans we look for signs in situations, for instance finding a four-leaf clover is seen as a sign of good luck.
"Clovers is a take on life’s signs and symbolises the moment in a relationship I decided to stop looking into signs and using them to make excuses for someone’s behaviour and instead got the courage to see the toxic situation for what it really was and stand up for myself.” She worked with Xavier Dunn on the track, and since then has worked with the likes of Stu Turner from Set Mo, Cammandeur, Bajillionaire and GANZ.
Speaking to Purple Sneakers, she says she's always had a creative outlet. First it was dancing, before she discovered the joys of making music. "I’ve always been a creative, but I was mostly a dancer for the first part of my life. I did singing lessons and I could sing, but I needed to learn how to make music because at that time, I was just singing acapella. So I started learning the basics of piano and then during the HSC I would head to Ableton Live School to do music production lessons.
"From there, I was like, this is what I want: to be able to finish full songs. I do some producing on my own, but I also work with other producers.Probably since I was 13 or 14, I’ve been singing and that’s when the whole music thing just spiralled along. A year at a time, I learn new things."
After Clovers came her second single Mess, which saw her further exploring her vocal chops, as well as writing a more sombre track, and Chase says came naturally to her. "Some songs, you sit down, come up with an idea and it takes a few months to finish it. This was that one that worked so naturally. It’s really special, but when it’s that special and emotional it’s hard to think that people are going to hear that, but I’m excited to put it out."
READ MORE: Australia Is Producing Some Serious Pop Tunes At The Moment And You'll Wanna Check Them Out
It was her third track, Said I Would, that demonstrated her ear for upbeat production. It's a genuine house banger, and proves she's able to go between pop and dance tracks with ease, depending on what mood she's going for when writing.
She's just released her first single for 2020, Bring Me Down, and it's a track about becoming confident in your own decisions. "I found self-confidence I didn't know I had when I wrote Bring Me Down. It's a song about self-care and building the courage to make your own decisions and choices without needing validation. I tuned out other people's judgement and expectations for a moment in time and just did what felt right for myself.
"You don't always need to be in the mood to take in advice and motivational quotes about how to live your life. Sometimes you just have to follow your gut, do what makes you happy and trust your own instincts. That's how you grow, that's how you learn." It's her first collaboration with producer Tasker, and it sees her blending the best parts of pop and dance music - as well as showcasing her vocal prowess.
Bring Me Down is the first of four singles she's looking to bring out in 2020, so you'll want to keep an eye on what Chase Zera is releasing this year. Each of her releases so far has shown a slightly different side of what makes her such a talented musician, and that doesn't look like it's going to change anytime soon.