Just Chase: The Story of Loss, Growth and Perseverance

By on September 27, 2018

It seems there’s always a new success story emerging from the shadows of Toronto to the forefront in the world of music, art and entertainment. There’s no artist who exemplifies that more than Just Chase, the rising star who’s rapidly making his mark in the music world. From being recognized as Apple Music’s artist to watch, to his hit single Ego currently sitting at Number 3 on Billboard (Was #4 at the time this interview was conducted), he now released his latest project Killing Roses to firmly solidify himself as more than just another talented Canadian artist.

The unique thing about Just Chase is that his story was never really linear. He’s faced tragedy, loss and devastation that would’ve, with good reason, diverted anyone. From the killing of his best friend, to the loss of his mother the day after his birthday, it was a period of heartbreak.

However with each tragedy, Just Chase took it as an opportunity to turn things around. After the passing of his friend, he took it as a sign to move to Toronto. Now, with the release of Killing Roses, it’s meant to commemorate his mother. He attributes her musical influence to the prominent artist you see before you today. It seems that it all came full circle for him, but his story is just getting started.

The story of Just Chase fascinated me. It’s made up of pain, perseverance, intuition, and belief. When I got the opportunity to interview him, it was an exciting moment for me.

Read the full interview with Just Chase. We discuss everything from his story, to him as a person and an artist.

YA: Thanks for your time. It’s a pleasure being able to interview you. Congratulations on your success so far and the upcoming release of Killing Roses. To start things off, I’d like to focus on Just Chase the person. Talk about your experience growing up in Nova Scotia.

JC: Thank you. Growing up in Nova Scotia was beautiful. I lived around North Preston to be exact. I just remember it as a hectic time with it’s highs and it’s lows. Everything was wonderful until I hit those teenage years and shit just went left. My dad had me driving the 18-wheeler for 8 years trying to keep me busy, but at the same time as I was working with him I got heavily caught up in the street life. I was involved up until the time my best friend was shot and killed right in front of me. That was the moment I realized I had to turn my life around and I moved to Toronto.

YA: Anytime someone is moving, that’s a big decision and it affects people. What was the impact that moving to Toronto had on you personally, and artistically?

JC: It had a positive impact on me both personally and artistically because I had to adapt to a new environment. Just a change of scene, you know? I still stay close to my roots, but things just wouldn’t have been as they are had I stayed back home.

YA: Was there a particular moment that made you realize that music was your calling, or was it something that you knew all your life?

JC: Ever since I was 5 I knew I was going to be a superstar. That was the time I started coming around to the fact I could sing. You know, Michael Jackson was an inspiration for me. He’s my favourite artist ever. I used to sing his songs around the house all the time. I even had the classic glove and everything.

YA: If you had to describe yourself, how would you do that?

JC: I am a character of many and love to show my many voices through my music. I am a very unique person.

YA: You have a hit record out right now, Ego. I want to spend some time and discuss that song with you. What was the entire process behind that song, and how did it come to be?

JC: I had the concept for Ego stuck in my head for a minute. Ego was freestyled the entire way. I came up with it as I was driving a dump truck on the Don Valley. My manager Skip sent me a beat, so I put it on and it took me about 5 seconds to know that this beat was the one. Later that day I went into the studio, laid the chorus down and I continued freestyling verses. It was completed within an hour.

 

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YA: That’s really interesting. You said it took you 5 seconds to realize it was the one. Ego went on to become huge. It reached number 4 on Billboard and is still climbing. During that creative process, did you know it would go on to become that successful?

JC: Man, when I first wrote EGO, I knew it was going to have an impact on my career, but I didn’t expect it to take off the way it did. I was blown away. I always knew I could sing, but now the world was telling me I could sing.

YA: It’s always a special feeling when fans or people you don’t know give you that recognition. It’s one of those reminders that you’re doing the right thing. I’d like to switch gears a little bit and talk about your upcoming project, Killing Roses. What was your creative process for this project and what does this mean to you as an artist?

JC: It means the world to me. It’s my greatest body of work to date. Things just fell into place. The entire project was done within a month. I was inspired by the people around me. I also learned a lot about myself as well because this just shows my capabilities as an artist.

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YA: How/Where can fans listen to it?

JC: Killing Roses is now available on all major streaming platforms and is also available as a free download on Soundcloud.

YA: What could your fans expect from Killing Roses?

JC: They can expect a closer look into my life and get a better understanding of me through the music. It gets personal. I want them to hear the message in the music that I am trying to tell through secret codes. I want them to just feel it with their body.

YA: You’ve accomplished a lot so far in your career, and have a lot to be proud of. What do you hope to achieve, and what motivates you to keep you going?

JC: I just hope to win all the Grammy Awards I could, and gain more experience as an artist. I know that my mother is smiling down on my two kids and me. I’m motivated to give my kids a better life by working hard.

YA: For a moment, think back to who you were 5-10 years ago. If you could go back in time and say anything to your younger self, what would you say?

JC: I would tell him to re-focus on what he wants to become instead of focusing on all the negatives that was going on in life. I want him to realize that you are able to become a greater version of yourself.

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YA: Is there anything you’d like to communicate or say to your fans before we wrap up? Where could fans connect with Just Chase?

JC: Thank you for all the support. You guys don’t understand how much it means to me to know that a lot of you can relate to my music. You can keep updated with my music through Soundcloud. You could also subscribe to my website to get updates on what’s going on with me. They could also connect with me on Instagram or Twitter (@Justchase02)

Soundcloud: www.soundcloud.com/justchase02
Instagram: @JustChase02
Twitter: @JustChase02

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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About Author

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Yusuf is a Canadian freelance writer and author. He's also a lover of music, particularly Hip-Hop and R&B, and an avid basketball fan. Yusuf released his second book 'Words of Expression,' which is available at all major retailers. You can connect with Yusuf on social media (@Yusuf_AOfficial)