Ascending into the world of fame does not come without its woes. With the eyes of the world watching as those in the limelight wander into uncharted territories, it’s no wonder many merge into a mould whilst shedding the shades that make them themselves. But for Chance, those days are over. As a self-described ‘lover’, Chance’s debut single ‘Can’t Trust Summer’ affirms his talented lyricism whilst bringing focus onto the topic of blind love, reminding us that what we ignore in the beginning, always comes back in the end. It’s through the subtlety of sensitivity Chance reveals the humanity in superhumans.
Stood strong amongst the sprouting overgrowth, photographer Shanna Fisher captures Chance in the splendour of retro chaos whilst stylist Alyssa On honours Chance’s individuality as he swaps ‘short-sleeve t-shirts with prints’ for the fit of a seamless leather jacket. Maybe you thought superheroes don’t exist, but I certainly beg to differ…
Chance's next single 'Stay Golden' is out on the 8th October, 2021.
Actor. Power Ranger. Musician. Father. Who is Chance in your eyes?
Firstly, I'm a lover. I'm a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to myself and the things that I like to do. I like to be really good at stuff, which is a good thing and a bad thing. I love my family. I enjoy playing video games a lot - I like to play them probably more than I like to admit. I spend a lot of my free time playing video games. I'm a pretty simple guy. I just love the things that I do and I love the people around me. I try to be the best me that I can be.
Let’s talk about your debut single ‘Can’t Trust Summer’. Can you tell us about the meaning behind this track and what it means to you?
The writing process started a little over a year ago. When we started it, we had no idea what we were going to write about. There was this guitar riff playing and we started writing over it. It started off as a reggae jam which was pretty interesting. I thought it was kind of cool, but it ended up developing into this 80s pop up-tempo track which I'm really in love with. Props to Nate Merchant for producing that - he's amazing. The song itself is about those relationships that you're in that are really not good for you. You can see red flags in the beginning, but you ignore them because you're in love with this person so much. You're so infatuated that you can't let go and you just burn out. It’s that toxic kind of relationship.
You started off in the industry on a reality TV show. How did that experience shape your first impressions of the entertainment world?
Well, the show itself started with 30 contestants and went all the way down to the top 5. Honestly, the show was incredible. Everyone on the show was amazing: the producers, the videographers, everyone was great. Afterward, when we won the show, we started touring and getting music sent to us and recording…I’ll be honest…we were thrown. Like okay, we’re going to the studio this day, interviews this day, flying across the country this day, staying in these hotels, and we’re going on tour in two months. It was a baptism of fire. You’re trying to keep up with everything and doing the best that you can with everything that's handed to you. Now that I'm a little bit older and more experienced in the music industry, I'm able to put my two cents in - I know when I don’t like something, I want it this way, this is the way that it needs to be done. I can do that because I've been through the other route. I want to be able to make these decisions now. I've definitely learned a lot.
I’ve read that you have always had a passion for the entertainment industry. What about it is so special to you?
It's probably the same thing for a lot of people as it is for me. It's the place for expression, freedom, and creativity. For me growing up, I did show choir in middle school and high school, I watched my older sister do it, and my dad was a singer and he played guitar. Music has always been in my life and has been that realm where I've been able to feel the most expressive and the most myself. That's why I gravitate towards it so much.
Following your success on the show ‘Boyband’, you were a member of ‘In Real Life’. What’s one of your fondest memories from your time in the band?
We had so many good memories and a lot of great times. It’s impossible to say really, but just doing the shows, going on tour and performing around the country, and visiting new countries together was awesome, because we're all best friends. Every day, it was just like, ‘oh my god, what's going to happen?’. You know, just all laughing and riffing off each other and seeing the fans in the crowd and interacting with them and knowing that they were there to see us. It’s an experience that you'll never get anywhere else. It's unparalleled. It was really amazing.
You also play Javier Garcia, the Black Ranger in Nickelodeon’s ‘Power Rangers Dino Fury’. How does it feel to be part of such as iconic franchise?
It’s incredible, man. To have that childhood nostalgia becoming a reality when you're an adult. How would you ever think that would happen? I remember running around with my friends when I was six or seven years old with the old school Morpher from Time Force. I had the suit for Halloween multiple years in a row. I even had the underwear! I was a big fan! Now I'm a part of that franchise, it's legendary. It's really an honour to be that kind of role model for kids who were our age when we were watching it. I've had kids come up to me and say, “Oh my God, you're so cool!”. I'm just happy to be a part of it.
Acting is a relatively new venture in your career, are there any dream roles you would love to portray in the future?
Definitely. I want to do something action-related. It would be really cool to be in some kind of action thriller, but I'm really open to anything. I want to try all different realms of acting and expand my palette in that way and become a better actor. If you want to be as knowledgeable as possible, in every field, you need to learn something new everywhere you go and from everything you do, so I want to try it all.
What was the most unexpected discovery you made about the industry?
Honestly, I don't know if there was any. I never really had any ideas in my head of what I thought anything was going to be. I was rolling with it, enjoying the process as we went and doing the best that I could.
Do you believe the perception of masculinity is changing within the music industry?
I'm not too sure in terms of masculinity. I did notice when I was in the band, you had so many eyes on you. Whether it's the record label, fans, or whoever it is, everybody's watching you. You're also looking at other boy bands, what style is in right now, and things like that. You start conforming to the way you think you need to be. I was wearing chains and short sleeve t-shirts with prints all over them, stuff like that. That was never me. I look back at it now and I'm like, ‘dang, I really was just conforming to those types of things and not staying true to the things that I like’. I like leather jackets, straight cut jeans, and tennis shoes. I wasn't doing that because I thought this is who I have to be, towards the end at least. So yeah, it shaped me in that way but I've grown out of that.
What are you excited the most about your new solo endeavor?
I'm most excited about having the things that I've written and that means a lot to me be out there for people to listen to. Sharing my stories and my experiences and creating it the way that I see it is so amazing to be able to do that. We weren't able to do much of that when we were in ‘In Real Life’, we only really started writing the bulk of our music towards the end and it didn't even get released because we split before that time. Once we split and I started writing my own music, I was really able to figure out what kind of artist I wanted to be, what stories I wanted to share, and what kind of sound I wanted to have. Now that I'm able to do that, I'm excited to share it with everyone.
You’ve cited your late father, a musician himself, as your greatest inspiration. Can you tell us a little more about how he’s inspired you?
He has inspired me in many ways, more than just the artistry, being a musician, and musicianship. He was a wonderful guy. He played guitar and he sang. He actually only picked up the guitar I think around six or seven months before he passed, and he wrote his own songs. My mum had him record them on a tape recorder before he left, so we still have all those. We lived in an apartment complex and he would take his guitar down to the jacuzzi, to the barbecues, and to the pool and play for people and our friends would come and watch. To see my dad just do something that he wanted to, I was like, ‘wow, that's really cool’. He was the type of person who inspires me to be a better person. A story that I like to share is when I was in kindergarten, I didn't know the difference between a buzz cut and a trim, so I asked for a buzz cut thinking it was a trim. I was very upset about it; I was crying about it a lot. I went to my first day of school with a bald head and the next day my dad buzzed his head too so I didn't have to be the only one.
That’s true love.
Yeah. Just selfless love right there. That's the kind of man that I want to be for other people and for my family and for my daughter. That's someone who I look up to.
Tell us more about life before you entered the entertainment industry. You’re a certified emergency medical technician and were on track to become a firefighter.
When I was growing up, people always asked me what I wanted to be. They were telling me that I should be a singer or performer and I liked that idea. It was something I always loved but even as a little kid around 10 years old, I never thought that could be a career. I thought that there's only certain people who get to do that. I'm not those artists, I don't know if I'll ever be those artists, but it's always been something that I loved. Then when I was 17 and I had my daughter, I put the music thing aside because I felt like I needed to have a stable career, but I didn’t know what to do. It was actually my girlfriend's dad who had mentioned firefighting and it really clicked. I knew that it was something that I’d enjoy doing. So, I started taking my EMT course and got my licensure. I was trying to take fire tech classes at Santa Ana College, then right when I was about to get hired onto my first ambulance service, the show Boyband came around on ABC and everything changed.
You have a 6-year-old daughter, Brooklyn. What’s one of the greatest lessons your learned from fatherhood?
I'm not as patient as I thought I was. It's hard to be patient sometimes with a kid, but she's a really good kid and she makes it pretty easy. I think the biggest lesson that I've learned is that when teaching her and being there for her, it always needs to come from a place of love. Otherwise, your kid’s not going to listen. They need to know that they're loved, that they're heard, and that their feelings are valid. You need to take yourself out of whatever's going on and when it's time to have a moment with your kid, be attentive, be patient, and be open and the growth is undeniable.
I imagine it must have been a lot to take on at such a young age.
I grew up pretty fast. It's funny, when I went to the hospital and she was being born, they gave me a child visitor's pass because I was 17. From that moment, it was so hard. I was like, ‘whoa, I have to have a child’s visitors pass...and I'm having a child…wow’. That set me up to be like, ‘okay, you're going to be an adult now’. I still got to have those fun experiences that teenagers have, especially on tour with ‘In Real Life’. I wouldn't change it for the world. She's the reason I am who I am today.
What lessons have you learned so far in your life that you will teach to Brooklyn as she grows up?
I would say I think one of the biggest things that I've learned and that I'm still learning is you have to trust yourself. Know that the things you think and the things you want are important. It's easy to listen to other people and be like, ‘Oh, I'm doing it wrong because they think it should be this way’. It's easy to listen to other people and get distracted but you need to be confident in yourself. Believe in yourself, love yourself, and whatever you do, put your heart into it. Whatever you choose to put your heart into, give it 100% and you'll be okay.
How do you juggle the demands of fatherhood, your career, and time for yourself?
Honestly, the last few weeks have been really great because I've gotten breaks here and there. My daughter just started school, she's in first grade now, so she's at school from eight until two which gives me some time to figure out who I am again, decompress, and be myself. Things like that are really helpful. When she's home, it's me and her: we're hanging out, we're going in the pool, we're going to get lunch, or we play video games together. In my free time, I'm able to practice guitar, practice my songs, write more songs, and play video games. It's a nice healthy balance right now. At night, when she goes to bed, my girlfriend will help me do self-tapes, so it's all balanced out. It's a lot to juggle, but it's my life, you know?
How do you deal with the pressures of the entertainment industry?
If this is the kind of career that you want, then you just have to be comfortable with putting yourself out there. That's definitely something I've had to learn over the last few years. It’s things like what I'm able to share and what I'm not able to share - like lives on Instagram, making videos on TikTok, or whatever. That's all really important for getting yourself discovered and putting your content out there so people can see who you are. But if I'm in a not-so-great mood or I'm tired, I'm not going to do that just because it's what I’m supposed to do. You have to make sure that you're okay with what you're sharing and what you're putting out there as well as what state of mind you're in when you're doing it. It's your job to balance it out.
What is your go-to if you’re having a particularly tough day?
Video games is one of them. I don't play for too long though because it's easy to lose track of time. I journal a lot - I get everything that's in my head out on paper so I can analyse it and put it somewhere so it's not constantly banging around in there. There's this book that I've been reading called ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’. I'm only a quarter of the way through it, but the lessons in there are about being what we've talked about a little bit: being comfortable with yourself and loving yourself. It's also about being self-aware and knowing that you're not a product of the things that are happening around you. You don't have to be affected by that, it's your choice. If someone says something to you that would make you upset, choose to let it go, choose to not let it upset you. Once you realise you have that power, you can dictate how you feel. It makes day-to-day life a lot easier.
Would you say journaling helps your lyricism?
I haven't had many experiences where I'm writing something and I turn it into a song. It's more like whatever's going on in my head that's really taking up my time and bothering me, I put it on paper. But it allows more creativity to flow in because I'm more open and receptive than just contemplating whatever is bringing me down. So yeah, it does help.
What is one thing many people don’t know about you?
I don't know, I was going to say that I can do a trumpet noise with my mouth, but people know that. Well, actually maybe they don't know that… [*makes incredible trumpet sounds with mouth*]
That was actually incredible, I wish I could include that as a clip so everyone could hear!
Well, there is a song I wrote where I put the mouth trumpet in which is kind of cool and that'll be released soon…
What are your goals for the rest of 2021?
I would like to release another song or maybe two songs before the year is up. I have a list of songs and the order that I want to release them, so hopefully, if everything goes according to plan, I'll get another song or two out. I would also like to do a couple more shows in the US before the year is up. Then hopefully next year do a tour, that would be really cool.