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Underground Flex: Chandler Ward

By Rosie Fawzi

August 12, 2021

2 min read

This afternoon I sat down with a local beat composer and rapper, Chandler Ward, while I enjoyed his offering of dried mangoes and a glass of water in his backyard. When I asked Ward how he would prefer to be described in this article he told me, “I’d rather be called a magician than an artist because they are interchangeable words”.

As children, most of us are taught that failure is strictly a negative occurrence, saved only for when we lack a skill or did not try hard enough. As this perception manifests within us into adulthood, being “a failure” in our relationships, careers, or passions has traditionally been seen as being inadequate. But how does this mindset translate to the artist’s world? This was the question I had for Chandler Ward.

To Ward, success is “working consciously and finding simplicity and intention in your work”, he goes on to explain that his goal in creating music is to create experiences and evoke emotions for people through music. When his creations lack this value, Ward described this shortcoming as working inefficiently. “Working inefficiently is taking a piece of information for granted” he explains, highlighting how he feels working unconsciously is worse than not working at all.

To understand our, often subconscious, views on failure it is important to also reflect on our understanding of success as well, as they are related and given that there is beauty in both. While creating art is the complex action of bringing things into existence and also breaking them down, finding your own ugliness in this process can feel overwhelming, as creation itself, is a vulnerable undertaking. Ward went on to talk about how vulnerability in failure can feel discomforting and debilitating when it feels his intended message gets lost in his own attempt at translation. With this thought he emphasises the beauty in ugliness as this is how creation is made, “you have to see the ugly in order to excavate and see change”, he told me. Balance in art is the same balance present in our world. Art is the perception of the world and so without awareness of ugliness, art would not be beautiful. As the truth of the world is ugly, without this, the world would hold no true beauty. Chandler Ward’s latest album “Kicking and Screaming” is streaming on all digital platforms, a great example of appreciating the beauty in creation.

Listen to Chandler Ward's music on Bandcamp here.

*Originally published in-print in Boston Compass Newspaper #138 August 2021


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