Interview: Chaz Bommarito
This week we caught up with Chaz Bommarito to talk about his music and learn more about the daily grind for this up and coming local musician. Chaz self describes his work as “cerebral and rhythmic” and pairs introspective lyrics with beats laden with diverse samples. Here is what the artist had to say about venues, organic food, and what a practice session is like.
DMM: What pronouns do you use?
Chaz: He/Him, thanks for asking!
DMM: What is your inspiration?
Chaz: A creative day feels good, to put it simply. Whether creating or receiving, I love when a piece of art grabs my attention such that I forget about everything else for that moment. I strive to create and share that feeling.
DMM: What was your first instrument?
Chaz: Drums! And they're still very important to me, whether programming them while producing, or performing live or in the studio.
DMM: What is your favorite venue to play?
Chaz: Probably a party/house show. I love talking to people after a set, and a party is a great environment to relax and do so.
DMM: What is a practice session like for you?
Chaz: It comes in different forms, when I'm writing something new, or producing a beat, or feeling out a set; but a common form of practice is rapping to myself while doing the dishes, or on a bike ride. I like to have a piece internalized as second nature before performing it, so I rap it over and over to myself, here and there. I find it helpful to rap while something else is going on, because a performance is never like practicing by yourself in your room – it's always a new environment, with unexpected moments; and keeping your flow going while, for instance, chopping veggies and keeping an eye on a stir fry, can simulate at least some aspect of performing with the unexpected.
DMM: What has shaped the musician you are today?
Chaz: Growing up a jazz drummer is the root of the musician I am today, and I think this shows in the kind of beats I produce to rap over. As for rapping, I got into it almost by accident. I'd been making beats on the computer forever, since middle school, then a couple years ago, I decided to make a cover of one of my favorite songs, Aesop Rock's 'Daylight.' Once I'd programmed my version of the beat, I naturally wanted to hear someone flow over it, so I pulled up the lyrics and just started rapping for reference. I'd never really rapped before … but I had so much fun doing it, and I haven't turned back. I'm working on a version of that cover to actually release soon!
DMM: How do you deal with a bad crowd?
Chaz: The toughest crowd I've experienced is a small crowd. It's hard to keep up the energy when you're putting out so much, and you don't feel it bouncing back. In a situation like this, I try to remember what it's like to be part of the small crowd – some of the most memorable shows I've attended had little crowds, which made for an intimate and up close performance that a big bouncing audience could never provide. It's not easy to put your guts out there for a handful of people, but if you do, they might come away with a very personal experience they'll keep forever.
DMM: What do you think the Seattle scene needs right now?
Chaz: For my own health, and the world's, I try to eat and support organic food as much as I can, and Seattle continues to make it easier with more organic restaurants and cafes, but I'd love to see an organic eatery offering regular live music, or a venue with some kind of organic food offering. Not sure if that's what the scene needs overall, but I'd really appreciate it.
DMM: What pushes you?
Chaz: Other artists. Whenever I hear something really cool, the first thing I want to do is buckle down and create.
DMM: Where can people find your music?
Chaz: ChazBommarito.com is a great place to find my personal releases, or search my name in the typical places like itunes or spotify. Check out my new single Dreams, featuring Asy Saavedra of Chaos Chaos! You can follow along from the social media links on my website.
DMM: How would you describe your music?
Chaz: Cerebral and rhythmic.
DMM: Who do you want listening to your music?
Chaz: You! I make a variety, so it's hard to say exactly. I think fans of poetry, rap, and jazz will like ConunDrum, but a track like my single Dreams would appeal more to the pop and EDM crowds. I've got more rap, and more electronic music in the works now.
DMM: What is your favorite music to listen to?
Chaz: So many things, from old jazz, to rock blues, to rap and EDM; but I'll shoutout – anything with Chris 'Daddy' Dave on drums. He's a monster in the realm of jazz and hip hop crossover beats. You can find him often playing with the Robert Glasper Experiment.
DMM: What is your next career move?
Chaz: Learn how to freestyle rap better. When I play drums, so much of what I do is improvised within a structure, but I haven't been able to comfortably translate that to my rap yet – it's almost all written and rehearsed. Improvisation and spontaneity are so powerful, and very dear to me from my jazz roots, and I'd like to bring that into my rap more.