It’s amazing to think of the different paths that we travel and how music plays a role within our journeys. Music consumption is much different than production but certainly each one has been apart of every person’s life to some extent. Music can be made in many forms but it always relies on rhythm and the ability to connect on a deep level with the emotion centers. Alan Chapell is an individual that has taken the scenic route to developing his musical craft and wouldn’t have it any other way.
Growing up in Stamford, Connecticut Alan had musical inklings bursting through his veins. He would begin to find his groove at age eight while playing the first chair trumpet and learning classical piano at age twelve. He became a regular organist at his Church and built enough skill that he would go on school tours as a recognized pianist. By age fifteen he would begin recording with reputable producer Jimmy Ienner who composed the soundtrack to Dirty Dancing with Patrick Swayze. This brought about invaluable experience in the form of failure. His youth coupled with self-imposed pressure led to an erosion of his love for writing music. Although his duration with Ienner was short-lived due to adolescent stubbornness and headstrong frustration he still grew exponentially from these interactions.
Watershed Moments in Digital Privacy
Within the next phase of his life, music became a passionate hobby as pursuing his degree became the sole focus. He went on to graduate from The University of Connecticut and earned a degree at Fordham School of Law with a specialization in Human Rights Law. His first job with Jupiter Research encompassed components of digital marketing, Internet research, privacy, deliverability and transparency within online spaces. He developed DoubleClick research product suites and worked with YesMail and Cheetah Mail. Working at Jupiter, at a bank and in the CANSPAM ad territory opened his eyes to how easy it was for personal information to be accessed via interweb. Companies would often grant free internet access to users in exchange for their information. These companies would then misuse that privilege by turning around and selling personal information in exchange for currency. They would also interfere with intellectual property through downstream ad placement. All of these troubling developments led Alan to enhance his tech industry pedigree en route to becoming a chief privacy guru in an effort to safeguard people’s personal information and advise major tech companies on privacy issues. He stands proudly as apart of the DMA Interactive Marketing Advisory Board, sits on the Co-Chair of NYC International Association of Privacy Professionals and is the Chairman of Mobile Marketing Association Privacy and Preferences Committee.
That is not to say that music was entirely placed on the backburner during his college era. Chapell and his friends still made some really large strides in the underground punk scene that resonate to this day. His band, “All the Voices” had a commanding stage presence and played extraordinarily well alongside adored bands such as Echo & The Bunnymen, Flock of Seagulls, Bay City Rollers and Three Dog Night. Chapell set out to never take the conventional route because, “It never felt like the right time.” There is certainly something to be said about this man’s will-power and downright dedication to multiple streams of influence.
All The Voices met their demise when the guitar laden grunge movement of the nineties became the new wave in punk rock. So, after college Chapell found his niche in India. While in Mumbai and Managua, he would perform alongside the fusion band Kalki who merged sounds of new wave rock seamlessly with classical Indian instruments. The two blended together so well that they went on to receive an invitation to the Peter Gabriel World of Music & Dance tour. Once the little amount of scratch Chapell accumulated dried up (Indian TV commercial jangles) he snuck onto a plane to Florence and scrounged his way back to JFK in New York.
Following his year hiatus, this man found incredible redemption through rekindling of interests and mentorship. His dear friend Chris Frantz introduced him to the founder of Talking Heads and Modern Lovers, Jerry Harrison. Harrison and Eric, “ET” Thorngren imparted spectacular wisdom regarding music business intricacies and songwriting that made an impact on Chapell. As a cerebral producer that blended sounds and textures particularly well with experimentation, Chapell soaked up boatloads of knowledge from these two seasoned veterans.
His incredible encounters certainly make a difference within his current bodies of work. As an artist who breaks the standard mold of songwriting, Chapell pens dynamic and heavily informative renditions. He is cathartic and tends to touch upon topics of growth and decay loss and transition and so on. Chapell has truly found his niche with socially driven material. He wrote a song about the BP oil spill called, “Heroes” which demonstrated animated accounts of misrepresentation within the media, economic inequality and corporate greed.
Chapell consistently satiates music fans insatiable pallets with an amalgamation of progressive punk rock, retro modern rock, indie rock and some Americana. His most recent release, “I Am Zuck” covers the devolving privacy practices of Facebook and Mark Zuckerburg’s Congressional testimony. Within these hearings, Zuck managed to deflect attention away from the way his social network has been collecting and utilizing data by shifting blame onto third parties. His failure to adequately monitor his machine was overlooked by uninformed government professionals who were unable to discern the most basic principles and features of Facebook. In any event, the topical song contains a dark aura but also enforces a strong Latin groove to spice things up. It contains well arranged instrumentation, eerie accompaniments, unusual combinations of piano melodies, vibrant mariachi horn blasts and smooth mellow vibes. The vocals are reminiscent of Michael Stipe (R.E.M.) and instill a strong sense of detachment which is ultimately pounded home by gloomy lyrics.
Some key influences upon Alan Chapell are The Cure, Butthole Surfers and Peter Corriston. Corriston relayed the importance of visual imagery to Chapell. He emphasized that differentiation via artistic exhibitions on album cover art is paramount. Through working with Corriston, Chapell learned how crucial artwork is to flesh out and how it directly translates to success within the multi-faceted music industry.
Chapell’s newest album, Penultimate is set to drop on June 15th. It bridges innate musicality with wordly perspectives within the rise of the Internet age. He simplifies his efforts by divulging only one trumpet and one violin rather than a myriad of full string and horn sections. This album will evoke optimism with refreshing takes on media within the current climate of constant surveillance. Chapell is invigorated to be receiving such a buzzworthy emergence past age thirty and claims he has yet to write his best song. That mentality coupled with downright fantastic output are sure to bring smiles to faces to whoever may tune in.