What do you call a man of tradition with both a sense of loyalty to the written word AND a love for genuine human connection? You call him my latest interview subject. Meet professional Jazz musician and bassist — and all around humanitarian — William Chernoff.
Born, raised and having spent most of his life in the uptown area of New Westminster, Will’s love for community is like second nature to him. Not only is he a lover of his physical community, but he has an affinity for his musical community as well. With that being said, I implore you to keep that very same affinity in mind for this next part.
It is now the month of March in the year 2020. The CO-VID 19 virus is running rampant across the globe. This is causing the world to shut everything down in order to save the humanity from this deadly illness. Cancellations of performances, postponing tour dates, and the uncertainty that comes with not knowing when your career will be allowed to flourish again. One could only imagine how a creative individual like Mr. Chernoff felt during the start of this world-wide quarantine. His community of musicians started to crumble before him. Being a man of hope and innovation, he comes up with an idea — some form of solution to help artists like him in this dark time. He creates a blog where other musicians can promote their latest releases. Where their listeners can get to know the person behind the creator. He creates…. Rhythm Changes.
William Ross Chernoff-known as Will to friends and colleagues-is a Canadian bassist, composer, record producer…
Already a working musician, William added “writer” to his list of skills by starting up this initiative. Impressive, yes. Admirable? Even more so. But I couldn’t help but ask the man: “Why put more on your plate of responsibilities?” Why write about music AND make it at the same time? Surely a person would get sick of doing so much of one thing, no matter how passionate they are.
“I wanted to turn the lights on so that the artists who are looking around for others don’t feel in the dark”
- William Chernoff
When asked this question, the B.C. Jazz savant’s answer was simple. In socially isolated times like this, Chernoff wants to make both consumer and creator feel less alone. By interviewing local artists such as singer/songwriter Laynah and New West brass band Noxious Obs, he not only shines a light on lesser established acts, but also lends a friendly ear to those very same musicians who — in a new era which discourages social interaction — could use it the most.
This same message also reveals itself in his unreleased single In Shadows.
Set to drop on the 8th of January, this R&B-esque song features the vocal stylings of Vancouver composer Kria Wall. Vocals? R&B? For those of you who aren’t familiar with William’s catalogue, you should know that those two components aren’t consistent with Chernoff’s past pieces of work. But that’s the great thing about being an independent artist.
“I can do whatever I want.” Says Chernoff. “There’s benefits to being a smaller, unsigned artist, and that’s having the freedom of choice.”
As for his love for the arts scene, that’s something that doesn’t get lost in his new song.
“With In Shadows, I strayed away from my usual writing style. I collaborated with a vocalist (Kria Wall). Working with others is another way of making people feel less alone, and it’s something that I want to start doing regularly.”
Well put, William. New year, new me, I guess?
You can subscribe to Will’s releases (both written and musical) using the links below.