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Face Balian from Soul Chalice: “Making music in a lot of ways is me embracing my trauma”

Soul Chalice is a hip-hop fusion band hailing from Delaware in the USA. I’ll be honest…I only became familiar with their work when they recently released their latest full-length album, ‘Embracing Trauma’. What I found was an album unlike any I’d really heard before. A fusion of sounds, styles, and approaches that was just too exciting and inviting to ignore! 

Wanting to get to know the band a little better, I was really excited when lyricist and vocalist Face Balian agreed to chat with us! Taking us through the group’s formation, which acts inspired and helped shape their overall sound, and what he would love to change about the industry, please give a big welcome to our new friend Face Balian from Soul Chalice!

Hey Face, thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us! For those not yet familiar with you and Soul Chalice, could you tell us a little bit about your musical journey?

Hello!  Thank you.  Yes!  Soul Chalice is a collective of musicians from different demographics and musical backgrounds.  I believe that is what makes us unique.  We have all had our own journeys with music and we have come together to put our hearts and souls into it to make something new and beautiful.  

It started with Dan (guitar) and Mark S. Reeve (bass, vocals) jam sessions.  By chance, I discovered these jam sessions and joined immediately.  Shortly after, AJ (keys) joined. Together we started performing live shows.  We released our debut album ‘Enter the Game’ in 2021.  Tierre (drums) joins the group and we continue to perform live shows.  Presently, we have released a brand new studio album called ‘Embracing Trauma’.  

The brand new album ‘Embracing Trauma’ has absolutely blown me away! It’s such an unbelievably eclectic and inventive record. What inspired the album and which track means the most to you?

Thank you so much!  We really hope that the listeners feel the same thing when they hear it.  All the tracks mean so much to me but if I had to pick one ‘Day by Day’ would be it.  It’s a song about sticking, a process, building, and not squandering your moment.  

Writing has been a major outlet for me.  It has been my way of dealing with life experiences.  I write about my life and making music in a lot of ways is me embracing my trauma.  I really just want to share my journey through the music I make. 

Who would you put down as some of your biggest musical influences and who would you ultimately credit for helping shape and mould your overall sound?

For our sound, the artists that have the biggest influences on us are Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Roots, G Love and The Special Sauce, Cypress Hill, Body Count, and Rage Against The Machine.

German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said, “Without music, life would be a mistake.” What would your life look like without music in it? And what fills your days when you’re not busy creating?

I honestly can’t imagine a life without music.  I am not only a producer, I am a fan.  Since I was a child I always remember music being there.  My parents always had music playing.  My grandmother was a singer.  My father plays the guitar.  When they were gone and I had no one, I put my headphones on and lost myself in music. It surrounded me so much that when I was old enough I knew that I wanted to make music. 

When I am not making music I spend time with my daughter.  And honestly, I don’t even think making music can compare to the time I have spent with her.  She’s still young so it has been very important for me to be there and present for her because unfortunately for me there were many years I didn’t have that as a child. 

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

I would say making more money off of streams.  Snoop said it best: “Artists do major numbers with streams but it don’t add up to the money.”  I don’t have an answer on how to fix something like that but I know that it doesn’t make sense to me either.  I believe we should be getting more than a fraction of a penny for a play.  

Could you tell our readers a little bit about your creative process? How do you take just a thought or an idea and turn it into a song?

Well, when I have a thought or an idea I always try to write it down.  After that, I figure out where that thought or idea will fit.  Could it be a concept for a new song or does it fit with something else?  When I am with the band and they play something new I feel the vibe it gives me and I go from there.  Once I feel the vibe I am able to add my parts.  Most times I’ll pull from some of the ideas I have already written down and build upon that from there.

If you were allowed to collaborate with any musician or band, who would you choose and why?

I have always wanted to work with E-40.  He is one of my favorite rappers.  He has a unique style and I like his voice.  And I already have the concept lined up for a collab!

What comes next for you and Soul Chalice?

We are going to get back to performing live and go from there.  I know some of the other guys want to explore their music and take their careers in other directions.  I believe some solo projects are on the way.  I am actually working on a solo project at the moment.  Those are our plans before we get back in the studio together to create another record.  


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We also write about the music industry, the creative process, and modern culture. We tell stories and occasionally have strong opinions about art.


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