Singled Out: Erica Chase's Paris
I truly believe that songwriters are vessels that allow songs to flow through us when we happened to be dialed into the right moment, frequency, and consciousness. For me, my songwriting process is as follows: I sit down with my guitar and begin to play and if a song is ready to flow through, a chord progression will start to manifest as will a melody and some nonsense lyrics. The melody will divide itself into the modern pop format of verse, pre chorus, chorus, verse, pre, chorus, possible bridge, chorus to end. The lyrics will start to emerge as a real narrative. This all tends to happen for me in roughly 20-30 minutes and I never write a part and then refine it later on. It is not forced and just kind of happens organically or it doesn't. When the song has finally flushed itself out, I get this unbelievable rush inside and it reaffirms why I live and breathe.
When I wrote "Paris," things came about in a slightly different manner. I was driving in my car close to my home in LA. As I was listening to some instrumental music, the first line and melody of the song, "I thought I left you in Paris," just blurted out of my mouth. It was such an odd thing and I had no idea where or why it was coming to me like that. Since I was close to home, I decided to attempt to do something differently and walked in and grabbed my guitar with the intention of trying to write this song that started itself prematurely!
"Paris" came out again in about 20-30 minutes and it was one of those songs and moments that as a songwriter and artist, you hope for and long to marinate in. I just knew there was something special about it. It had a different vibe than what I had been used to writing and seemed to signal a shift for me artistically as well.
When it came time to bring in my sack of songs to my producer, Dana Strum, I had written a bunch more so "Paris" had sort of moved down the list for me, because it is human nature to gravitate towards the newer. However, when Dana heard it and we began to demo it, we both looked at each other and knew we were onto a great thing. His big heavy pop production groove just married so well to the melody and earnest nature of the song. It came out better than I could have ever imagined. Dana ended up throwing out two entire completed versions of it and went back into mixing with a different approach. He felt it was too unique to just settle. What resulted is what you hear today and I couldn't be more proud or grateful for all of it.
Lastly, the best part of the "Paris" experience was making the music video. I was fortunate enough to have worked with one of my directing heroes, Chris Hicky (Keith Urban, Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood), and his treatment of the video totally matched my vision for it. That day felt as effortless and organic as the day I absentmindedly drove home in my car with that one line in my head.