We recently stumbled across this seemingly unknown artist, all the way from Sydney, Australia. After the first listen to his latest track ‘We Will Rise’ we decided to get in touch and find out a little more about this new kid on the block they call ‘Chung Nation‘ – Read on to find out more!
Entertwine: Could you tell us about your musical background? What got you into writing music and performing? When did you begin producing?
I actually grew up listening to a bunch of punk bands in high school and really wanted to learn an instrument but didn’t know where to begin. I couldn’t afford lessons so I just started to bash out to some of my favourite songs on the drumkit we had at school. I’d play along to bands like Pennywise, NOFX, Millencolin and old school Silverchair, and eventually I was good enough to start jamming the songs with a guitarist, and then a band, and then play our first live show…thats how it all starts! It was motivation to be good at something I loved doing, and up until that point in my life I hadn’t ever felt anything as good! I’d have to say looking back I probably sounded so shit, but back then I was a 13 year old kid with big dreams in my head and a big smile on my face; I thought I was killing it! Producing my own music has been quite a recent thing, but I guess like anything else in life, you need to progress and keep evolving otherwise it gets stale and boring and I definitely think since I’ve started producing my own music that its given me a new love for making music in a different way.
What led to the formation of this musical project? What is the significance of your moniker?
I guess I have always been part of a band, or played as a musician for someone else’s project and I really wanted to just start doing my own thing. I can be super unreliable when it comes to writing music. I hate working with deadlines, and I definitely like to have some control over where the project is headed. I think if you want to write a good song, you’ll do it when your motivated and don’t feel pressured to produce it just because people expect it. ‘Chung’ is actually a nickname I copped back at high school, and I thought if I was going to run with an artist name, I’d like to create a loyal family base that felt like a part of the project rather than ‘fans’, so I ran with ‘Chung Nation’!
What is life like in Sydney, Australia? What is the music scene of Sydney like?
I feel priviliged to live in Sydney. I live in a place called Maroubra with my wife and son. We’re 5 minutes away from the beach which makes me feel even luckier to live where I do. The music scene in Australia is definitely hit or miss. I’ve seen some of the most amazing talented artists never get beyond pub gigs, and I’ve seen shitty boy bands sell out stadiums. There aren’t too many venues playing the kind of tunes that I like producing here though, but Australia is slowly catching up to you guys in the US!
Could you tell us about some of the most exciting or interesting performances you’ve been a part of?
Theres too many to list, I’ve done some pretty fun tours throughout my career but one standout would have to be one of the first US tours I was fortunate to be a part of playing drums for my best mate Kid Mac. Mac had been invited to one of Snoop Dogg’s Studio’s in California, so we went and by the end of the day we ended up going to his show down near San Diego. We were driving for ages in what looked like a desert. Out of nowhere, this full on festival type setup in a casino carpark popped up, there would have been at least 10,000 people there and we sat right on stage watching the whole set. Then we got to hang out with Snoop, Warren G and a bunch of other old school legends after the show. What made it even more amazing was that I got to enjoy it with some of my best mates. Still blows my mind to this day!
What does your writing and recording process look and sound like?
I try to focus more on the motivation behind the track. Certain chords can make you feel a certain way, so I play a lot with that when I’m writing a new tune. I use Ableton live for recording and use Ableton and Serato for playing live depending on the gig. I use a bunch of VST’s, Im always coming up with new sounds, its definitely an endless art, you can keep tweaking and coming up with new sounds and months have gone by and nothing gets done. I definitely like to get the skeletons of the track ready, and then give myself a rough deadline to have a track finished, otherwise it never gets finished!
What instruments and musical equipment do you use live and in the studio?
My home studio is pretty small, I have a small Graphite 25 midi controller, an Axiom Pro 61 midi controller, a couple of nEAR 10” monitors, and then the rest is all through Ableton live, my sample libraries and VST’s. I also have a couple of cool Mapex drum kits that haven’t been used in a while, and a few guitars which I’ll be using on the next few tracks. I really want to use more real instruments in future releases, I think it’s where electronic music is headed. Next bit of gear would be to add a nice vocal mic to the studio aswell.
What can you tell us about your run of performance dates with Kid Mac back during the final three months of 2013?
Yeah, I’ve been super fortunate to be a part of the live Kid Mac shows, and I’ve been able to travel the world and do things not many other artists have had the opportunity to do. Toward the end of 2013 we toured Australia, China, Singapore, Canada, and then Mac was invited to play at the Playboy Mansions Halloween party which is the biggest party of the year at the Playboy Mansion. Just getting into that party was tougher than crossing the border into the United States! It was definitely one of the best parties I’ve ever been or will ever go to, but again it was such a highlight to be able to be there to enjoy it with good friends!
Can you tell us a little bit more about your latest release “We Will Rise”? Where can listeners hear what you’ve released? Do you have music on the iTunes store?
I’ve been obsessed with space and the idea of this huge universe we live in since I was a kid. I wanted to write a track that was a little more chilled with layers and layers of music that still felt pretty ambient, that just sounded big and airy, and made you feel like you were going on a journey to space. I like making music that can take you away to a different place even if its just for a couple of minutes, and that was really the main goal with this track. I was super lucky to have the amazing Mookhi feature as the vocalist on the track. I’ve known her and her amazingly talented family for years, and when the opportunity came up to work on the track together, I knew it was going to be a perfect fit. Mookhi is a super chilled producer herself, so we literally spent 4 hours tracking vocals and swapping ideas, and I spent another day editing and mixing, and it really came together quickly. It really helps having someone that is on the same page, and isn’t throwing their ego around the studio or trying to be a perfectionist, it made my job of producing much easier. I don’t have music available on iTunes just yet, but I’ll have stuff available on band camp pretty soon. All my music can be found on my soundcloud (soundcloud.com/chungnation) and I have facebook, twitter and instagram accounts aswell to keep updated with.
What activities and hobbies do you enjoy outside of music?
Living at the beach, I definitely love the beach culture. I love surfing, swimming, pretty much anything water related. I’ve just had my first kid, so Im looking forward to getting him onto a surfboard as soon as he can stand by himself. I definitely appreciate the simple things, hanging out with mates, and lazing around on the couch are up there with some of my favourite things to do. And sleeping. I love sleep!
What does 2015 hold in store for Andrew Jhavery and Chung Nation?
Who knows! I try not to plan things in too much detail, but I’ll definitely be working on a few more collaborations with some new feature artists, Im working on a sick new remix of a 90’s banger at the moment, hopefully we can get it cleared so it can be officially released. I’m also working on a music video with Mookhi for ‘We Will Rise’ which I want to have released in the next month, and then I can start looking at releasing an EP which will be available to buy in the next few months. I’ll definitely be busy making more music, so keep an eye and ear out for it!
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