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Chase Shellee | "It Wasn't Until I got Very ill That it Made It's Way Back And Saved Me

I grew up in the Philippines, a child of missionaries. I read at an early age, started writing stories at an early age. My first homeschool teacher, other than my mother, was a 65 year old woman named Lois Meyer who would never refuse me a story (more of an anecdote) when I asked her to tell me something. She also gave me my first singing lesson. I grew up singing in church, playing the piano, sometimes the flute. My mother and father always encouraged my singing and writing, and when I wanted to stop performing in church they didn't pressure me to continue. I stepped away from music for a long time, and it wasn't until I got very ill that it made its way back and saved me.

Chase Shellee

While going to school in New York I contracted West Nile Virus. I didn't know what was wrong with me and neither did the Doctors for quite a while, and never before had I been in truly profound pain. I could not work and so had to give up the city I was proud to be in and go home. For the next two and a half years I was in and out of the hospital every other month. When I would feel strong I would try to find work, writing and editing, or teaching English.

I was in the hospital and my mother had brought one of my journals/ scribbling books with half-formed poems and odd quotes I had either read or overheard, and I found myself humming and piecing some rogue and oddly angled poem into a song. That continued throughout the years I was back in the Philippines, healing, creating, being brought back to my first love. So many scraps of phrases surfaced out of journals I had been keeping, dreams I reported back to myself when I awoke, shifts in personality and perspective, heartache and the shivers of past trauma all rose to the brim and spilled themselves out in a melody.

"High On Maybe" is the my first album, and the title encapsulates what I had to live on and live by during that time. Hope is a funny thing; it is Faith's younger and clumsier cousin. The song itself is dedicated to my Mother and Father who kept me close while I was healing.

The song "Meri" is written for my dear friend who took her own life. She fought and struggled but didn't win this end of the fight. I sent it to her parents first and they allowed me to share it with the world.

"Silver" touches the surface (no pun intended) of my own trauma and the fight to continue on.

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