Get to Know Singer-Songwriter Chase Cohl

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Canadian singer-songwriter CHASE COHL talks about finding her voice, her inspirations and the musical history of Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles …

On living in Lauren Canyon …

Laurel Canyon has a wild musical history. There’s something storybook-esque in the land up here. It’s a little isolated, a little haunted, very green, with windy roads. A little bit of magic. It can definitely be a place of solace for creativity. That’s what I continue to be drawn to about it.

On finding her voice …

Music has always been my lifeblood. I was raised in the musical circus. It just took some time for me to find my place in my own music. I assumed I would be a songwriter and sell my work for others to sing. Once I decided to try my hand at singing, I began to tour right away, but writing and putting out my debut album Far Away and Gone took time and courage. As a singer-songwriter, I’m releasing my most vulnerable thoughts and feelings into the world. There is a part of it that makes me feel deeply brave, and I try just to stay connected to that feeling. There is just so much rejection involved in this career path, at times it’s hard not to want to give up, but ultimately it’s the great love of my life.

On songwriting …

Writing has always been a safe place for me. I would write ‘stream of consciousness’ letters to people, to feelings, to places, to myself. Just let the words go so they weren’t occupying any space inside of me. When it came time to start writing songs, I would pull pieces from the letters, turns of phrase, and insert those as the themes. I found it helpful to keep the music honest.

I try to take at least one moment every day, even as an act of meditation, to reflect and ponder, to write, or to listen to something that will help my songwriting. Finding inspiration in writing is a practice and a muscle, like anything else. If you honour it, exercise it, it will remain in fair shape.

On personal style … 

There is a whisper of the 1970s in everything I wear (which you could equate to Laurel Canyon), but I never like it to feel costumey. I like to throw on a dress on occasion, but day to day, I am a real suit girl. My friends joke that I dress like George Harrison, constantly in a two-piece suit with white sneakers or boots. I absolutely adore the white suit I wore for this shoot (above). It feels unique and special in a very wearable way.

On storytelling …

Storytelling is the most powerful way to connect us as beings. We are all telling stories all day long in our lives, to our partners, friends, on a first date, a job interview, you share your story. Storytelling is the fabric of the human experience, I just put it to music.

On inspirational writing …

There are a few books that I continually return to. First, a native poetry book called Shaking the Pumpkin from the ’70s that I have bottomless copies of. I also adore the French poet Jaques Prevert’s work and the love poems of Pablo Neruda.

Chase Cohl wears the LA Dream collection from & Other Stories, available in stores and online now. www.stories.com

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