Simon Jay and Luke Shrestha, Pop Production & Songwriting Duo Chapters Share Their Process and Journey
HI SIMON JAY AND LUKE SHRESTHA, WELCOME TO ABOUT INSIDER. THANKS FOR TAKING THE TIME TO CHAT WITH US! CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT CHAPTERS IN YOUR OWN WORDS?
Thanks to you guys for having us. We’re so stoked to be here and to be talking with you all about our journey! Chapters started 5 years ago but we started working together 5 years before that. Both of us started playing piano when we were 4 years old so learning language at the same time we were learning music was really influential on our understanding of what music really is, which is a form of communication. In many ways we both communicate our emotions better through music than words, and this is a really unique skill we bring to the artists we work with.
WHAT IS THE STORY BEHIND YOUR NAME “CHAPTERS”?
The name ‘Chapters’ really started when our close friend Chris White was branding us through his company Cult Creatives and talking to us about our sound. We wanted to create a brand for our music that really explained who we are as producers. All of us have songs that bring us back to the exact moment that we first heard it. No matter the genre or how much time has passed, we all have songs that allow us to travel back in time and access memories or feelings from our past, or specific “Chapters” of our life. We want to create songs that are so interwoven with people’s experiences that they can use our music to remember experiences they’ve had.
HOW DID YOU GUYS MEET AND HOW DID YOU KNOW THAT, YES, WE CAN ROCK TOGETHER?
We met almost 10 years ago now. We instantly connected over both having been raised learning and playing music. We both knew we understood music in a similar way, and we both connected over our dedication to music as well. We’re both huge music nerds, and I think that materializes differently for both of us; but being around people who really dedicate their lives and their existence to making art at the highest level possible is very rare. We’re always pushing each other to be better producers, musicians, and even humans.
WHAT IS THE BACKGROUND STORY BEHIND YOUR LATEST TRACK “I HOPE” BY TAYLER HOLDER?
Hahaha oh boy, I think this is definitely Tayler’s story to tell. But the gist of it was, he really fell for this girl, and he has always been a hopeless romantic. We got in the studio that week and we actually ended up writing a love song. Over the next few weeks, I believe he started discovering that she was still in love with her ex. Ultimately, they parted ways and we were working that day. I’m pretty sure he texted her, “I hope he loves you in ways that I don’t, I hope that he’s the one you call home.” Our ears perked up and we dove straight in on writing this song. You can really feel the heartbreak he felt in the way he sang the song especially since every lyric is absolutely true.
On the production of the song we wanted to give heartbreak some warmth, like the one who hugs you at the end of it all and lets you know, with a feeling, that everything was meant to work out this way. The upright piano and background vocals really help give the song a warm but expansive feel.
WHAT ARE SOME OTHER CURRENT RELEASES YOU’RE EXCITED ABOUT?
Right now we are super excited about some of the songs we are doing for our artist Faime who we have been executive producing for 3 years. Faime blew up in Asia after one of the BTS members shouted out one of our songs and we discovered a really unique musical brand for Faime that is like nothing else out there. We also have some new Tayler Holder songs in the works that we are collaborating with some of the biggest pop writers and producers on. It’s been so rewarding building a project with such a talented team. Charlie Walk, who we have been working with for a few years now, has been managing Tayler and Lisa Einhorn Gilder who is Lady Gaga’s coordinator has been coordinating the project. Recently, we had a song on Euphoria called “Love Me Low” with an artist Ai Bendr. At the time she was independent so it was career changing to be able to facilitate a sync for her that helped her gain her first initial fans. Shortly after she was signed to Interscope Records so to be apart of that journey with her was surreal.
IS THERE ANYTHING SPECIAL THAT YOU DO TO GET INTO A CREATIVE MINDSET?
In our younger days, we both really loved to burn the midnight oil. I mean, we both still love working long hours every day; however, a big thing for us is balance. We both really love living our lives to the fullest every day and taking what we learn to our artists to make art that connects to unique emotions and feelings the listener might not have felt before. Whether it’s tech, instruments, creative ideas, or anything else, we both loving picking things apart and really understanding it.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU HAVE FOR SOMEONE WANTING TO FOLLOW IN YOUR FOOTSTEPS?
A strong ‘why’ can survive almost any ‘how’. Really think about why you are wanting to pursue a music career. Ask yourself the hard questions, be as specific as possible. Think about how you can bring value to your artists and bring out their story. The ‘producer’ role is really a service job so everything you do is in service of the artist and the music.
WHAT IS ONE MESSAGE THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO GIVE TO YOUR FANS?
Thank you so much for following our journey. I hope we inspire you and make music that will take you back to those special chapters of your life. It inspires us to hear from you guys so please connect with us on our socials!
WHERE CAN OUR READERS FIND YOU ONLINE?
Our Instagram handle is @chaptersmusic. If you want to connect with our personal accounts, we are @luke_chapters and @simon_chapters. If you’d like to hear some of select discography or pictures of our studios, you can visit www.chaptersmusic.com.