Today we’d like to introduce you to (DJ PVMA) Chance Trahan.
Hi Chance, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today.
Hi, I'm Chance Trahan. I'm 43 years old and I am a prolific DJ. I got my start by DJing at a house party in my younger years, then eventually I got my own set of turntables and started practicing my own mixes at home. These turntables couldn't even sync time, one side kept going off time. But, after a while I got my hands on virtual DJ and started messing around with the app at home after work on my dad's laptop. I started recording my mixes and making mp3s to put on MySpace. My friends at the club I worked at heard what I uploaded and started talking to me about what they liked the most, and from there, I became the DJ that I am today.
What really got me into DJing was watching my friends DJ while I worked as a barback at Almaza Ultra Lounge (now closed) in Vegas, because watching them DJ and hearing their routines regularly helped me get familiar with what kind of energy and sound that I should put out there with all of my live performances. And let me tell you that we had the best DJs in town all weekend long, too!
Before too long, I found myself Livestreaming, and once I discovered Livestream DJing, I ran to Guitar Center and bought my first DJ controller so fast that it would make your head spin, and I’ve been consistently performing once a month for all my fans who like to watch from home ever since. However, I would like all of my fans to know that I started out DJing on actual turntables. Meaning that my career as a DJ wasn’t always as easy as pushing a button to instantly sync beats, but I do appreciate technology making it that easy now. But, if challenged, yes, I can DJ on a real set of turn tables.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The success that I’m experiencing today was a lifetime in the making with lots of little pitfalls along the way. My discovery in business was all about finding my own niche, figuring out exactly what I truly love to do, and then fully pursuing that with all of my heart. One of my biggest challenges was not staying persistent, and often forgetting to remind myself to keep pushing forward one step of the way every day that I’m given the opportunity, and to be thankful for all of the things I have, and using them while I still have them at my disposal, even tho I thought that I, nor any of it, would be enough to make something great happen. With that said, my greatest challenge was always self-confidence. I’ve always known that I have an insane amount of talent, but I've struggled in the past with having the confidence or persistence to express my original art in front of other people and even my own family.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I’m a professional singer-songwriter that really didn’t understand just how much that I loved DJing until I finally got my own DJ controller and started performing for all of my friends online. After I saw DJs spinning live on Twitch, I was hooked. I started investing into my Livestream DJ setup, switched to using Dlive instead of Twitch, and I haven’t looked back since. The funny thing is that I kept questioning the purchase of my DJ controller, wondering if it was a wise investment or not, and to think back to that time makes me laugh today. How foolish is it to question what makes you truly happy? Investing into myself to become a DJ was the best step forward that I could ever take in my career, because it's opened so many doors for me. Even though it was a little intimidating at first, I am very happy with my Pioneer Rev1. Over the years, I’ve chased so many dead—end dreams, and what I wanted to really do with my life was somehow hidden in plain sight the entire time.
I’ve written many albums of music that range in various styles all while trying to find my niche, and while I’m very in love with all of my creations that I’ve made in my pursuit of this music—career of mine, nothing makes me more happier than standing behind a DJ controller and bringing music to life with my own personal style of mixing. My style is like nobody else’s, and that’s something that I’ve worked very hard for, is to separate myself from the rest of the crowd with my own unique flair. I adore the attention.
What I’m most proud of though, is having the courage to stick with my plans to become a professional DJ when there are so many things that are trying to separate us from happiness. What I’m most known for is my insanely positive energy that I bring to every performance. I have an incredibly raw style that people say they can actually feel. I mostly specialize in technique and an innate ability to sharply improv at the drop of a hat, and am known to turn heads every single time I perform. I mean, I write songs so fast that I can just make them up as I go. I guess that you can say that I’m very shoot from the hip, and quite creative at what I do, and how I approach my work.
If we knew you growing up, how would we have described you?
As a funny short and scrawny pale—kid that had a lot of energy, and not a lot of patience. I grew up in a house with a single mom, and I had to eat things like Hot Pockets for dinner a lot when I was younger. I mean, we didn't really have a lot of money, and my mom never did really have a lot of time, so, I mostly ate off of the value menu as a kid at the fast food drive thru. Fast food, ha. Boy, there's a story! If only dome lights could speak, they'd weave a tale or two.
I'm vegan now, so I don't eat fast food like that anymore, and I had my favorites out of all the fast food joints, but my all-time fave was always C & D Burger Shoppe in Houston, right off Fuqua (now closed.) Crazy. Because, I always thought that shoppe would be in business until the end of time, haha. Imagine that. C & D was one of my mom's first jobs. She had me when she was just 17, so, we spent the majority of my youth being best friends, and this typically made my other friends jealous that my mom was so cool. Bless my mom's soul, she describes my youth as us both learning how to grow up simultaneously. But, my family helped to raise me a lot, too. Takes a village, they say. I'll agree.
Speaking of my mom's earlier jobs, she took me to work with her one day when I was about 3 years old and when we walked into her job, we were in an arcade repair shop. As soon as we got there, I saw arcade games all opened up, some of them were half-gutted, and I didn't understand what I was even looking at. It was like a horror scene, and I was legit scared for a second. This blew my mind! I couldn't believe all the wires and everything that it takes to make a video game happen on the screen. It was one of my first memories that I ever had as a kid. When you see something as shocking as that for the first time after being fascinated with video games at such a young age, it's kind of hard to forget. And little did I know, that this was only the half! Hah.
Anyways.... From then on, I've just been a gamer for life. I remember first seeing super Mario Bros, and that's all I could talk about. I'm sure I drove my mom crazy! But, we didn't have a lot of money, so she had to write a letter addressed to me from Santa Claus that their toy workshop had ran out of Nintendos that year, (darn the luck, maybe next year.) But either way, I did end up getting my grubby mitts on a Nintendo finally, and kids.... Playing video games back then wasn't always as easy as playing video games is now. The way things are now.... why, now, everything is just plug and play.
Believe it or not, kids, you used to have to screw a coax adapter into the back of the TV, and if that adapter didn't work right, you had to hold the wire a certain way, which meant all types of puzzling, and mind bending, madness. And that's not including getting your TV to turn to channel 3, which sometimes took pliers, or in my case, a firm pointed grip. And, did I mention having to blow into the cartridges all—the—time through your shirt just to get the video game to work at all? And by the time you finally get there and you're all ready to beat the game, that video game is ridiculously stupid-hard, and you had to start over from the beginning when you lost, every time you lost, no matter how many times you lose. The beginning.... All the way back.... To the very beginning.
We usually played two games in my house, and it was Contra and Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! (and maybe throw in some Double Dragon and Final Fight) and boy did we have a really good time trying to beat them, (and some we did.) Late at night, on the weekends, that's whenever I got to play video games by myself, I would stay up later than everybody else just to get the controller all to myself without having to take turns. And, that's when I started to get really good at video games. I didn't have anymore distractions, and I could just ultra—focus on what I was solving. I grew up with ADHD and PTSD, so video games absolutely helped with that a super duper spectacularly tremendous whole freaking indubious lot, and it still does today. If it wasn't for gaming, and word-play, I'd go nuts....
I was always writing, drawing or making people laugh as a kid, or influencing others to participate in awesome stuff. Growing up, I kind of rolled with the punches and liked whatever everybody else liked. But, once I discovered what it was that I liked, that’s when I started really pursuing what it was that I truly wanted to pursue in—life; I quit following the crowd, and I quit taking suggestions as often as I usually would once I started realizing that it’s okay to like what I like and to do what I want to do. I was really into guitars as a kid, they fascinated me, and that’s how I started writing my own songs. I remember visiting the barber as a teenager and him telling me that he didn't really play guitar as much as he used to, and that just boggled my mind at the time. Because, back then, I couldn't imagine ever putting my guitar down. I was a kid that loved a good melody, and was always a real sucker for a killer hook, and I still am today.
Most music written these days can’t hold a flame to the Motown that I grew up listening to, and that’s where a lot of my major influences came from, is Motown singers and dancers. Performing back then, you had to be the triple threat; you had to be really good at everything you do. A lot of today’s artists don’t seem to hold themselves to that standard anymore. I grew up watching artists be actors, singers and comedians. You name it; they did it. That’s what shaped me personality-wise, built lots of character, was watching people work hard and smart at what they do and giving every performance that they’ve ever performed their all.
When I was 2 years old, my grandpa bought me a set of Smurf drums, and they were the coolest thing to me because I was able to make my own rhythm. So, to say that I didn’t grow up with rhythm in my soul would be a lie. I've been playing guitar since I was 3! When I was a kid, I didn’t really have too many friends, I would make friends here and there, and I would hang out with my friends sometimes, but the more I grew up, the less I wanted to hang around other people, and the more I wanted to stay at home and create my own music however I see fit. I would often work many nights and days learning how to code and build websites to represent my creations. If I was going to be an artist, I needed to have a press-kit. And if I was going to be a musician, I needed to know how to produce. So, I taught myself how, but I'm still learning.
I always grew up with a dream in mind and a fire in my heart with this passion that was always raging for me to become something in life. That something for me has always been to be an inspiration for other artists to have the courage to show their art to the rest of the world without them worrying about the fear of laughter and rejection. Not everyone is going to like that you’ve suddenly found your purpose in life, but you have to pursue it anyways. My mom says that I was a happy baby, always smiling. My dad says that I was born a 1-eyed jack, because, I looked at him with only one eye open right after birth. Turns out that I’m a happy jack—of—all—trades, as I did learn a lot trades growing up, many of which I taught myself to do, and I'm a lot happier because of it. I mean, I even taught myself how to play guitar by ear. I grew up writing poetry and creative stories, journaling, riding BMX, skateboarding, coding, photography, shooting, and living in Texas.
When I moved from Texas as a teenager, it was bittersweet. I wanted to stay, I didn’t want to leave all of my friends here, but it was time for me to travel and check out the rest of the world. So, we had to move, and we moved a lot. But, before I left Texas, I showed all my friends my first DJ playlist at my going—away party, and we all had a lot of fun talking about the music. That was my first time ever DJing a party.... with a mixtape. When we moved from Texas, I finished Jr high and high school in Colorado Springs, and after that, we moved to Las Vegas. Ever since I’ve moved back to Texas, I do find myself missing Vegas sometimes, but… Texas is my home. I’m happy here, but I definitely didn't miss the mosquitoes. Haha. I can visit Vegas any time; Texas is where my heart truly is. Yee-haw!
Image Credits: Chauncey Way, Daymond John, Vect, Dallas Walls