Exploring Debut EP ‘2U’ with Bryan Chase

THEBLACKLABEL’s Bryan Chase recently dropped his first official EP, 2U, on June 28th of this year. Full of his hopes and desires to push boundaries and break molds, the EP contains the artist’s thoughts and ideas in one cohesive piece. Following the release of the EP, APA connected with the rapper and producer to discuss his music, creative process, and more.

When looking back on his career from his independent debut in 2015, Chase has released several collaboration tracks and singles, but this is the first time he’s put together an EP. “It’s always been a goal to put out a full body of work with THEBLACKLABEL to give listeners a more complete experience with a theme and visuals.” Finally bringing this goal to fruition, the EP has been a long time coming, although it wasn’t necessarily planned. “In 2017 when I first started, I didn’t have the idea of an EP in mind. It began with individual songs, where each song came from my own personal experiences and inspirations. As I wrote and explored new ideas, the songs naturally started coming together. Then, [I began] experimenting with different production and visuals to ensure that each song not only stood on its own, but also contributed to the overall narrative of the EP.”

While creating 2U, Chase featured songs of varying genres and meanings and put together a track list that shows off his artistic versatility. “The songs came naturally as some tracks stood out more as I was working on them. I believe each song represents the essence of my journey as an artist. And although there were a few songs that didn’t make the cut, I’m still very passionate about them and their potential to resonate with listeners, and I have intentions of releasing them as singles in the near future.” As for the meaning of the EP’s title itself, 2U signifies the connection between Chase as an artist and his audience. “The process of writing this album has taught me a lot of valuable lessons. It gave me an opportunity to look deep into my experiences, and I gained a deeper understanding of myself.”

One of the songs on the EP is “Restart It,” which is a track that pays homage to Chase’s beginnings with The Cohort. Representing the start of his new musical chapter, this song is the first one on the EP for a reason. “As the first song of the EP, it plays a role in tying together the themes of growth, self-discovery, and embracing change,” he started. “Each track expressed different aspects of my experiences and emotions, but ultimately, I want people to feel empowered, uplifted, and encouraged to take on new beginnings in their journey.”

Although Chase has been in the industry for quite some time now, his musical process was a little different this time around, as it was his first time working on an EP of his own. “When I’m working on my own music, I get to fully express myself. It’s a more personal and internal process where I take inspiration from my journey as an individual. On the other hand, collaborating with other artists allows me to step outside of my comfort zone and explore new ideas and sounds in ways that I may not have on my own. It challenges me to find new features and often brings out new aspects of myself.” In terms of how long this process usually takes him, it varies from project to project. “The writing process is different every time. Sometimes it happens fast, and sometimes it happens slowly. From my experience, good songs usually come, so I don’t try to force it. Instead, I let the initial spark, whether it’s a melody, lyrics, or an emotion, lead the way. Then I build on that, allowing the rest of the song to come together.”

Eager to keep moving forward and trying new things, Chase keeps his motivation by staying open minded. “I embrace change and growth. I believe it’s vital to keep learning, unlearning, and exploring new ways to grow. Collaborating with different artists and discovering new talents always inspires and drives me forward.” Thinking back on his recent releases, Chase has two recommendations for first time listeners: “Nightfall” with Taeyang and “2U” with A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie. “Both songs are really special to me because I see myself somewhere in between. Collaborating with Taeyang and A Boogie, who are at the top of their game, is an honor and a dream come true,” he explained. “Their talent and artistry inspires me to keep evolving and creating music that can resonate with audiences worldwide.”

Wrapping up the conversation, Bryan Chase hopes that he can continue to grow as an artist and share his journey and music with the world, starting with his 2U EP. “I’m incredibly proud of the final result, and I hope listeners enjoy the EP as much as I enjoyed creating it.”

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