Respecting Life as a Whole — Curt Chambers’ “Different Views”

Photo Credit: Ivan Barias (NAMM 2020)

Curt Chambers is an American singer, song writer, producer and recording artist who has gained notoriety for his unique fusions of rock, soul, country and hip hop. Often described as refreshing and innovative, the Philadelphia native’s gifts as a musician were cultivated at home and in church where he was raised to appreciate multiple musical genres.

You shared that what you love the most about your hometown is “the heart and passion of the city. It’s aggressive and it’s real. They’ll let you know if they feel you or not.” How have the artists and songs you listened to growing up inspired you?

The songs that I grew up listening to in church and at home as a child embody a lot of soul to it and it also embodied a lot of rhythmic playing so that is a major part of my approach in music. Soul and rhythm.

Being part of the Philadelphia Black Lily movement, one known for developing and promoting artists of all backgrounds who aren’t being heard due to commercially dictated culture. Can you describe how the weekly show helped you find your voice?

The Black Lily basically taught me how to think fast on my feet on stage. It was predominantly a soul show but at any moment it can turn rock or have a singer songwriter feel. It was a very unstructured show it had a little bit of form but for the most part it was a big jam session.

How did you choose William Paterson University (studying jazz and performance studies) to further develop your music composition?

I wanted to go somewhere that was away from home but close enough for me to drive home. I also thought it was a good decision because it was close to New York. It allowed me to feel the big city.

Paying tribute to the impact Alan Jackson has had on you, along with artists worldwide, by remaking the country star’s “Don’t Rock the Jukebox.” What was the process like taking a classic 90s country anthem and infusing your own blend of rock and blues?

The process was fun I wanted to add a little Carlos Santana a little Jimi Hendrix and a little hip-hop in it. It’s a bit of a cluster creatively but it was a fun process putting it all together.

Writing for Eminem, Lenny Kravitz, Miguel, and Jamie Foxx. Working with Scott Storch and Dr. Dre (Compton album) in Los Angeles. Listening to Blake Shelton, Willie Jones, Eric Church, and Mickey Guyton. If you could choose any artist, dead or alive, to collaborate with, who would it be and why?

I would definitely love to collaborate with Prince. He is definitely my favorite artist because he’s a hands-on Artist. I feel like we would jump around the room from instrument to instrument and be able to have a conversation without limitations.

Sharing respect for the Nashville music community’s creative process. What makes Music City’s process special?

The Music City process of making music is special because they still believe in sticking guys in a room and coming up with parts together. If you wanna make anything special it’s going to take collaboration. No one can do it on their own.

“Life is a gift. Love is a gift. Light is a gift. I am grateful for walking with all of those gifts, so I plan to love on myself and share it with the world and be an example of what I’d like to see through people even when they don’t induce the same characteristics.”

The idea to write “Different Views” came to you after watching George Floyd’s funeral service. You finished the lyrics with Ryan Sorestad and Rachel Lee Thibodeau, adding your own memories. How was the writing process therapeutic for you?

Being able to have a voice and a message and being in alignment to receive that message from God is always a blessing. So that writing process was special because it felt like complete alignment.

If I see blue lights it shouldn’t mean my life with one wrong move. I’m living in a different world than you.” The song points out just how different views can be, and the need to approach those differences with grace and love to better understand them. How can we best bring together people with contrasting perspectives to build trusting relationships with shared goals?

I think it starts with respecting everyone’s blood running through their veins. Respecting life as a whole.

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