Casey Chandler who is the mastermind behind solo project Galapaghost, is a unsigned small town artist who has the drive, passion and dedication needed to become a record breaking success. His new single “Jellyfish” being a product of judge ability, he constantly impresses and excites his listeners! Catch this, the popular hit Netflix show “13 Reasons Why” used his music for one of their promotional videos in Italy! Breaking international success is just a small part of his future up-comings. “Jellyfish” was something atypical and idiosyncratic from the type of music that we’re being bombarded with on radio stations today. The instrumental of the song has a electronic element and synthetic sound, that’s balances with the production of his vocals. Galapaghost is a young artist with significant determination. He flies all the way to Italy, to record with his brother. Galapaghost produces, writes and conducts all his music on his own. Using no helping hand to jump start his career, Galapaghost embodies all elements of a “indie artist”. We have high hopes for Galapaghost and significant faith that this promising young artist can create all the right waves in the future of his career!
Hi Galapaghost, care to introduce yourself to our readers?
Hello, my name is Casey Chandler and Galapaghost is my solo project. I'm based out of Austin, Texas, but I grew up in the hippie town of Woodstock, NY. I don't have a record label, manager or band so I self-produce and self-release all of my music. Occasionally I'll fly to Italy to record since I have a good friend there that helps me record at his studio at a low price. I have released 5 albums in total. I released two albums this year with Pulse in January and my latest album Sootie in August. I like to write and record. A lot. Somehow I still manage to have a full time job at a hotel, which pays for all of my recording, releasing and promotional costs.
Can you give us a brief history of your musical career?
I started writing and recording a lot in high school and college, but nothing really happened for me until the year after I graduated from SUNY Purchase and I moved to NYC. Despite being in a number of bands in college, I could never manage to get a band together to play my songs. So I just decided to record everything myself, which is what I did in my apartment. All throughout my teenage years, recording had always been a solitary thing for me anyways and being an introvert I always enjoyed creating and recording on my own. So I released a couple EP's and there was a little buzz online about those first 2 EP's, but nothing major until I got an offer to tour with John Grant in the summer of 2010. I had met him in March of that year during SXSW at a pizza place and we really hit it off. He asked me at dinner if I was interested in touring with him, but of course I didn't take it seriously at all, since I had no previous touring experience and was honestly not that great of a musician. I had also been obsessed with his debut album Queen Of Denmark before I met him and it's still one of the greatest albums of all time in my opinion, so it was an incredible opportunity for me, especially being only 22 at the time. I was highly under qualified, but I took the gig of course and we spent six months touring together around the world, mostly just the two of us. During my time touring with him, I released my 3rd EP called Runnin' which really took off online, especially the song Never Heard Nothin'. A small indie label based out of Italy contacted me online and said they wanted to release what became my debut album also called Runnin' and flew me out to Italy for a three week tour. It changed my life. It was on this tour that I met one of my best friends Federico, who I still record with. Also, it was at the very first show of this tour that I met my wife. After meeting her, I decided to pack up all of my stuff and move from Austin to Brussels, which is where we got married. During this time, an Oscar winning director named Gabriele Salvatores released a major Italian film called Il Ragazzo Invisibile, which featured my music. He also commissioned me to write a title track for the film, which was featured on the soundtrack. Recently, Netflix Italy used my music to promote the show Thirteen Reasons Why.
Unique name! How did you choose your artist name? Is there a meaning behind it?
Thanks! I actually came up with the name after reading this amazing book called Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut. Initially I wanted to just call myself Galapagos, but it was already taken and I liked how Galapaghost sounded. It was particularly fitting as well since I'm a lone wolf with this project.
Do you write your own music? Can you tell us a bit about your writing style?
Yes I write almost everything myself. There have been a couple songs over the years that I co-wrote with my friend Federico as well though. Since I don't have a band to push me into new territory, I really have to push myself way out of my comfort zone to make sure I'm not playing safe. Only those who risk are truly free. I really believe that. I just want to keep improving and learning, so I set various limitations for myself constantly. I've found that by boxing myself in, it really forces me to come up with new creative ideas. Too many options leads me to take the easy way out too often. So for example, for my new album Sootie I bought a used Roland keyboard and made a rule for myself that I was only allowed to write and record with that keyboard. Nothing else. I had become too reliant on writing everything on guitar and my writing had become stale. I kept writing the same song and I was bored with folk music. I had no experience writing electronic music, so I really had no idea what I was doing. I had no idea how to make "beats" either, so that was a whole new learning experience as well. It was an experiment and I felt like a complete amateur. And I loved it. I realized it felt really good to not know what the hell I'm doing. I felt like a kid again, just creating for fun with no objective. Within two months of buying that keyboard, I had an entire album.
We’re really into your new song Jellyfish! Can you tell us a bit about it?
Thanks! That was easily my favorite one to record. Most of the songs on Sootie I wrote and recorded in the same day, but this one took even less time. I think I wrote the synth part in an hour and the lyrics came in just a few minutes. I had no idea what I wanted to do for the chorus so I just sang that la-di-da-da part as a placeholder, but after spending a few hours trying to come up with something else, nothing really fit, so I just kept it as it was. I have a director friend here in Austin named Alonso that just shot a really cool video for it, which I'll release later this year.
Where did the inspiration behind Jellyfish come from?
For Jellyfish I was just trying to create a certain languidness in the music and the vocals. I knew I didn't want a typical verse/chorus type of song. I wanted a very atmospheric vibe and I wanted the keyboards, drums and vocals to blend together naturally.
What are three things you’d love your fans to know about you?
Three things that I really love that are not music related at all are reading, running and cooking. I'm currently obsessed with this 3,600 page book series by Norwegian writer Karl Ove Knausgaard called My Struggle. I'm currently reading the last volume, which is 1,150 pages, and it's mesmerizing. It's about everything and nothing at the same time. I read that he loves John Grant and Midlake as well, which gives him even more bonus points. It's hard to convince people to read it, since having a long attention span isn't exactly a defining characteristic of my generation, but I still try. I'm constantly trying out new recipes and occasionally torturing my wife with them if they're bad, but most of the time they're good!
Any upcoming shows? For someone who hasn’t seen you live yet, how would you describe your performance?
Unfortunately, I can't afford to tour and rarely play live. I enjoy playing live, but I have a tough time booking anything. Even in Austin, it's really difficult for me to book shows since I'm solo and I don't have a manager. And I don't play covers. Or weddings. I honestly don't even know how I would reproduce these new electronic songs live by myself. I still haven't found anybody to play with here, but hopefully I'll find a band here in the future. Instead, I focus all of my creative energy on writing and recording and I'm perfectly happy with that. I'm not big on touring life either. It's fun and exciting, but it can also be really lonely.
What’s next for Galapaghost?
I have a bunch of stuff coming up soon that I'm really excited about. I'll be releasing a new video for Jellyfish later this year. I'm also currently working on a bunch of new electronic songs as well. I'm going to be releasing a couple new singles in January. They're much more experimental than my previous electronic stuff. My friend Anton is an amazing young artist who is doing the cover art for both singles. I think I'm going to start writing some more acoustic songs again soon and take a little break from the electronic stuff. Thanks for the interview! I really enjoyed it!
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