He’s just 21 years old, yet the Northern Spaniard is no novice composer. “Leaving (Marie)” is Chet Bucke‘s first single as a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist.
This folk-pop song by Bucke is a musical reconciliation between his former musical history and his present aural identity.
Chet Bucke takes us on a tour of his career as an artist in this documentary.
What is your real name?
My real name is Chet Eguren.
What’s your official Showbiz name?
My artistic name is Chet Bucke.
How did you get into music?
I was obsessed with music from a very young age, as I recall going through all of my parents’ CDs when I was quite little, trying to find the next song that captured my attention.
I started playing the guitar and attempting to write songs around seven, and that’s when I realised that I could be a part of music just as much as it was part of me. That was what did it.
What field or genre are you into and how would you describe it?
As a multi-instrumentalist, I play all kinds of music, ranging from Jazz to hip-hop and Bluegrass Folk. As a songwriter, however, I’m much more drawn to alternative/ indie-folk and pop and am additionally influenced by both emerging Spanish acts and those from my childhood.
What were your first project and the people you worked with and which year?
My first project was a band that I started with my best friend called ‘Let’s Call it a Day’ around the age of sixteen.
We were both multi-instrumentalists and had quite a diverse live set-up, where we played originals and reimagined covers alike. We still co-write from time to time, and I was recently featured in one of the songs from his latest EP: i.tor- Catarino.
Who or what inspires you or motivates you? And why?
Telling the stories of people that I know and care about is what really inspires me, as well as writing to understand my own feelings.
I long to discover what moves people, so I just try and make songs that will bear some sort of universal meaning; something that someone might relate to and understand.
Any models you look up to? With reason(s) why?
I look up to so many artists, particularly the ones that inspired me to start writing in the first place. Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan’s lyrics taught me about the importance of honesty and writing from personal experience, and Van Morrison opened my eyes to the excitement of music, even in its traditional form.
Presently my taste has diversified quite a bit, but I’m heavily influenced by the artistic choices of acts like Bon Iver, Frank Ocean, Daniel Caesar or Parcels, as well as Spanish acts like Alice Wonder or my childhood’s Estopa.
What do you look out for in this line of business?
I look out for people that embrace change and prioritise working with those who don’t usually have a voice in the industry. I think that there needs to be a greater acknowledgement of diversity and its role in propelling new music forward and bringing people together.
It is in the hands of the more privileged people to hand out these opportunities, but the choices that we make as smaller artists in our collaborations and the visibility that we are able to offer should be inclusive of people who don’t get as much recognition.
What are some of the challenges you face in your career path?
I think a recurrent challenge for me is maintaining a sense of worth for the work that I do as an artist. It can be quite frustrating trying to reconcile your own life and experiences with an artistic vision when you are struggling to validate your own work, particularly when you set unrealistically high expectations for yourself. It is okay to feel uninspired sometimes, it doesn’t mean you don’t have anything to say.
How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?
The internet has been key in offering visibility to an infinite number of artists. It is an invaluable source of inspiration and interconnectivity between creatives around the globe and additionally, allows us to have a seemingly direct line of contact with artists that we admire.
However, it can be a challenging place to find yourself in, as its ‘transparency’ tends to promote unhealthy comparisons between people’s success, particularly in the creative industries.
Do you have any advice for aspiring songwriters?
Anybody aspiring to be a songwriter should lead with curiosity and observation. Life, when experienced from a place of acceptance and non-judgement, is an endless source of inspiration, even in the instances that appear entirely mundane and unexciting.
Never stop observing yourself and those around you, it will probably make you both a better writer and person.
What is your current project about?
‘Leaving (Marie)’ is inspired by part of my family’s history. Although it’s based on specific events, it alludes to the recurrent patterns of estrangement which have existed among us for decades.
This song will tie in with a future single which will offer another, perhaps more hopeful side of this story. They’ll both be featured in my debut EP, which will be released sometime this summer.
What are your hobbies?
As a fairly introverted person, I spend a lot of my free time discovering new music or reading. I’m a huge fan of poetry and find that it helps with my own writing. I also like to stay active and tend to go on really long walks at least once a week.
It’s quite an entertaining way of clearing my head and putting things into perspective.
Of course, I’m also really lucky to have incredibly creative friends and I’ll usually go to their gigs whenever I can.
What do you do aside from this profession?
Aside from songwriting, I’m also involved in screenwriting projects and am currently working on a short film which I hope to film in the coming months.
Whether it be music, film or nonfiction essays, writing tends to be at the centre of everything I create.
What is one message you would give to your fans?
I’d like to express my deepest appreciation to anybody that supports me or my music. I think it’s so crucial to acknowledge that the people streaming or sharing are the ones getting the songs out there and making any recognition or growth possible.
Really I’m just very thankful for anybody that takes the time to listen. Thank you.