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Meet Chaye Alexander of Chayz Lounge

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chaye Alexander.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Chaye. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Chayz Lounge began in 2009 as an online radio station. When I came up with the concept, I envisioned a virtual space with a smooth vibe where listeners would relax and enjoy the perfect blend of smooth R&B and jazz 24/7 by artists they love, as well as those on the horizon. Through this medium, I have had the pleasure of presenting countless emerging talents to the world and interviewed many entertainment luminaries. The station’s popularity increased exponentially and thanks to the millions of loyal listeners, it became one of the top radio stations on the web in its genre.

Despite its success, I imagined Chayz Lounge being more than an Internet Radio station. I envisioned a brick & mortar space where people can have an up close and personal experience with musicians they would normally see at larger venues, as well as artists they should know. However, finding the right space to bring the vision to life was not as easy as launching the station. I approached countless restaurants, venues, spaces, etc., here in Columbia with the concept and received more no’s than I thought I could stand. After seven years of knocking on doors, the owners of Nonnah’s in the Vista said yes and agreed to have me hang my brand in their space and “Chayz Lounge at Nonnah’s” was born.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Chayz Lounge, the venue was 7 years in the making and the road wasn’t entirely smooth. Along the way, I encountered many roadblocks and setbacks that caused me to question my ability to bring the dream to life. As I mentioned, I knocked on many doors to sell my vision and got a lot of no’s; mainly because of their fear of the unknown. I met people who feigned interest in my vision and plans only to duplicate it for their own use, without success. There were also many attempts to redirect my path to that, which was better suited for individuals. It definitely was not an easy road. There were bumps, sharp curves and potholes along the way. However, it was an enlightening and educational journey.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Chayz Lounge – what should we know?
Chayz Lounge is the live music and event space that is situated inside Nonnah’s restaurant in the Vista. It’s Columbia’s hidden gem. The venue’s intimate setting invites patrons to experience the finest local and national talents from the Jazz and rhythm & blues genres the way it was meant to be… Up Close and Personal. Chayz Lounge is the ideal place to spend an evening with friends or a romantic evening with that special someone. As I often say, space may not have the look of a million dollar décor, however, the feeling you get when you step inside is priceless!

Chayz Lounge is not a nightclub. It is best described as a listening room. Ours is the only venue of its kind in Columbia, SC. What sets us apart is the fact that for us, music is the focus. The food and everything else is secondary. People come to our space and pay for the enjoyment of music. Seeing them enjoy themselves and the smiles on their faces at the end of the evening makes the journey to this point well worth it.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
My business requires you to have exceptional interpersonal skills. You can’t be in the business that involves dealing with the public and not be a people person. Customer satisfaction is our core value and what I believe is one of the factors that will keep is in business for years to come.


  • Admission to our shows ranges from $10 – $35

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Getting in touch: VoyageATL is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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