Chase Martin knew long before anyone else in the world that she wanted to be a musician – perhaps even before she knew she wanted to be one herself. “I was in the fourth grade and there was a talent show coming to my school,” she says of her first ever performance. However there was one small problem: “I had no talent and I only had three weeks to find one.” Chase had never so much as attempted to play or sing a note in her life, nevertheless she signed herself up to sing and play guitar. “I came home and I told my mom I had signed myself up for the talent show at school and I wanted to sing and play guitar in it … she said ‘Chase you don’t sing and you don’t own a guitar.’” Ever the practical young lady, she responded “Well, I’m going to need one.”
Undeterred by a complete lack of prior music education, she pressed her parents for a cheap Yamaha guitar and a solitary music lesson. Bracing themselves for catastrophe, her family acquiesced, and were subsequently stunned when Chase excelled on the instrument. “I picked it up and I just started playing. My whole family was like ‘what in the world is going on here!?’” She then proceeded to blow everyone away with her performance. “At the talent show three weeks later, everyone was shocked. No one could believe it.” Impossible as it seemed, Chase was a natural.
“From there I went to an art school in my hometown,” she says of her growing up. “Thousands of kids tried out for a few hundred places… when I got in it completely changed my life.” The art school fostered Chase’s talents and raised her from being a fourth grade prodigy to a seventeen year old savant. Interestingly enough, though, for the longest time her focus was not on music. “I was always kinda the smart kid,” she says of her education. “It was my dream to go to an Ivy League school… to be a neurologist or something in medicine, I think.” And so she studied with that goal in mind, graduating early and receiving acceptance letters from several renowned schools. However, as you may have guessed, she didn’t end up at Yale. “At pretty much the last minute I said, ‘Mom, I’m moving to Nashville. I’m going to chase after this crazy music dream.”
“Everyone was shocked, but they weren’t. I think that they kinda knew it was coming,” she says, describing how her family responded to the curveball. “It was my hardest decision, but it came down to what I had the most love for, and that was music.” She moved to Nashville with her mother in tow, and began setting up her career as a recording artist. Already armed with a following from her local gigs in South Carolina, she quickly began to find her place in Nashville and interact with fellow up and comers and songwriters. “I’m always looking to see what’s out there, find something new, see what I’m bringing to the table,” she says of her approach to her work. This has taken her to sets such as The Listening Room, Bluebird Cafe, Whiskey Jam, Song Suffragettes and many other Nashville events and venues, where so many modern female country artists have made an early mark.
Describing her own sound, she refers to herself as a “Country R&B” artist. By way of explanation, you need to understand Chase’s influences. “When my dad would request songs from me to sing and play, it was always country: Miranda Lambert, George Strait, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn,” she explains. “I personally love all genres of music, with Country Music being a favorite, of course. But my biggest musical influences were artists like Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys and Mariah Carey. Those were my girls. I love to vocally challenge myself and those women set the bar for that.” Marrying these genres and others has lead to Martin’s signature sound, blending the storytelling of country with the vocal stylings of R&B. She is even known to rap, as she does on her single ‘Do What I Wanna’. “A lot of people used to request for me to rap when I was playing in my hometown. It’s a little hidden talent,” she quips, “So I wanted to incorporate it in to the song.”
Moving forward, Chase Martin is nothing if not ambitious. Her next single “Love Without You” is slated for release Valentine’s week 2019, with an EP to follow in March. “It’s who I want to be and what I want to say as an artist,” she says of her upcoming works, “Once that’s out I want to tour. The U.S. first, of course, then hopefully the world. The UK, France… definitely Brazil. I have lots of friends and fans there, they are just the sweetest people and I’m dying to meet them all.”
Chase Martin, never seen without with her custom made Larrivée guitar, is gearing up to take a much wider stage. Does she ever think about the life she left behind? “I’m always reading… lots of write ups on biological studies,” she admits, ”But I’m all in to my music. Music is all I want. I believe this is what I was meant to do.” And there you have Chase Martin, Country R&B’s rising star, ready to make her mark on the world.