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Meet Chayse Pannell

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chayse Pannell.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
When I was just a couple of months old, I was diagnosed with severe hemophilia. It’s a rare bleeding disorder in which blood doesn’t clot properly, or in my case, at all.

As you can imagine, it’s tough to be a “normal” kid when even paper cuts are problematic. Cuts and bruises were never as simple as a Band-Aid and ice. For me, it was either a trip home for medicine or in severe cases, a trip to the hospital. I couldn’t play sports or skateboard without being overly cautious, but music–that was a safe outlet. In many ways, having hemophilia has held me back from a “normal” life, but it’s also taught me that there is always an alternate route. For me, sports was a no-go, so music was a natural alternate route. I started playing guitar when I was 9 and haven’t set it down since. I had a knack for it so I started learning other instruments as well. My mom taught me piano, drums and how to sing.

By the time I was 12, I was playing several instruments and starting to write music with my neighbor and best friend, Kevin Flake. Kevin played drums, and I’d play guitar and sing. We loved to cover simple songs like early Beatles music, but then as our skills improved, we developed our own sound and wrote our own songs. The 30+ songs I’ve written over the last decade with Kevin, motivated me to pursue music as a career.

Throughout school, I always made music and performing a priority. I was on the drumline and later became drum major in band, and I was in several musicals and plays. I never considered doing anything else with my life. I know I’m meant to entertain.

I moved from small-town Mt. Zion, Georgia to be closer to the city to really go for my dream. Shortly after I moved to Marietta, I started teaching at School of Rock East Cobb.

That’s when things really started happening for me. I was booking gigs, making connections, and able to start recording my own music in my home studio.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I don’t think anyone who has ever tried to do something on their own can say their journey has been easy.

Growing up with a bleeding disorder, I learned early on that I had to be strong through the toughest of times because usually (or especially in my case) there are more challenges to come. Not being able to go outside and play with your friends is tough as a kid, but not being able to play with your band because you’re ankle is swollen and bleeding is a completely different story.

In a way, having hemophilia has held me back a lot. But if I didn’t have it, I might not have ever learned to play guitar, or discovered music as an avenue to express myself. I don’t know who I would be.

I’m in a business that relies entirely on what people think about me and what I’ve created. That’s often punishment enough and can discourage a lot of folks from the music business.

We’re in an age now where most popular music is digitized or made from a computer instead of real instruments. That’s a huge problem that traditional musicians face. Audiences like auto-tune and canned beats more than they like the guitar riffs and solos I’ve spent my career learning. But there’s always that one guy that yells “FREE BIRD,” and gives me hope.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Chayse Pannell – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
I’m a multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter. My primary instrument is guitar and voice, but I also play piano, bass ukulele, and drums.

Out of 24 hours in a day, I’m making music at least 14 of them really. I’m in studio recording my album currently, and I’m in 2 bands in addition to that. I teach over 40 students, and I even write jingles and songs for other artists and business owners.

One of the things that set me apart as a musician is my ability to cross genres so easily.

My personal music is heavily influenced by The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Queen and modern artists like John Mayer and Ed Sheeran. I don’t like putting a label on my style, but if I had to, I’d say I fit into a blues/folk rock genre. When I’m writing for myself, I’m imagining taking audiences on an emotional journey. Music has always been my escape from troubles and my way of celebrating life. It’s the way I connect with people. Most of my songs are about the people in my life who’ve shaped me into the man I am today. When you listen to them, I want you to see these people as I’ve seen them, for the good, the bad and the ugly at times. I want you to hear these song stories and feel like you’re experiencing them with me. The first original track I released to the public is called “Rain Falling on A Tin Roof,” and that’s a perfect depiction of growing up in a small town, and having big dreams.

As far as the other bands I’m a part of, I’m the front man and co-writer in Axis of Empires and we just released our album a couple of weeks ago. We’re a progressive metal/hard-rock band. Although it’s a stark contrast to my personal blues/folk-rock music, I love how this band allows me to use the full extent of my vocal power. It was amazing to work with some big names in the industry to produce this album. Working with Axis of Empires has challenged me as a writer and as a vocalist. It’s proved to me that you never really know what you’re capable of until you try.

Although I’m really proud of my music and Axis of Empires, I’m most proud of the work I’ve done as a teacher. Everyday I get to help students learn how to express themselves through music. It’s amazing to see a kid nail a guitar riff for the first time or show me a song they’ve written themselves. It really takes me back.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
This is the year I will be releasing all of the music that I’ve been learning, creating, and performing my entire life. I want everyone to know and hear what’s been going on in my brain all these years. I will proudly be performing my music and performing with Axis of Empires as well. I also plan to release some of the music that Kevin and I have been making for years this year. We’re no longer teenagers jamming in his basement, so it’s long overdue that everyone finally hears the music that inspired me to do this full-time.

I’m excited to do more composing this year as well. In the past, I’ve composed for movies and my wife’s marketing clients. Composition for others allows me to be more creative and try new styles of music. I finally get to put that xylophone I have to use!

My ultimate goal this year is to release my music and be a voice to the hemophilia community. I want to inspire other hemophiliacs to know that they can make the most out of life and enjoy themselves! I have way too much to offer the world to keep it all bottled up any longer. Check out my site and download my first single. I hope you enjoy it!

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
@thistle.woodphoto and @colormekate.co

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.

1 Comment

  1. Rueleen Kapsch

    April 8, 2019 at 4:50 pm

    So very proud of Chayse, who uses his abilities and talents to help others. True to his young teen self, he is patient and encouraging with kids just learning to appreciate music. He makes all of us in the hemophilia community proud, a great example of not being a victim of hemophilia, but finding and celebrating alternatives to the traditional male roles of sports and risky adventures that could be detrimental. We love you, Chayse, and celebrate your success and continued ways of inspiring others!

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