Chae Hawk - Dance Party for the Heavy Hearted

By: Kevon Greenidge | Posted September 23rd, 2014

With his second full-length album, Dance Party for the Heavy Hearted, Chae Hawk opens a window into his life and shares his experiences - triumphs and heartaches alike, in a way that is all too rare. The ambitious project includes 20 studio tracks and several accompanying short-film visuals. The final visuals are in pre-production and will be released in the coming months, completing the audio-visual journey that has been the vision from the start of the now 4-year journey.

I first came across Chae's music in 2010 a few short months after I first arrived in Buffalo and his Ambition video was one of the first music pieces featured on BuffaloVibe. More than a year later, in early 2012, I saw him perform live for the first time in support of Talib Kweli at the Town Ballroom. Finally, this past spring I had an opportunity to meet Chae and get a closer look at the artistic process and what drives the self-styled Progressive Rap Cinema Artist.

I was invited by Chae to spend some time with him and the NYC-based film crew on the set of the Dinner Plates shoot. We met in Downtown Buffalo, and on the 40 minute drive out to the farm-house that would serve as the backdrop for the story, I chatted with the beautiful and talented Natalya Oliver - the video's co-star. Chae had seen her work online and reached out to her with hopes of getting her involved in the project. A few short weeks after he first contacted her, we were together on our way to the set, chatting about the Bills, horoscopes and cuisine.

Director Alex Amoling, who also collaborated with Chae Hawk on the visuals for Chin Ups and Remember this Night drove in with his crew from NYC for the 2-day shoot and after some brief introductions I got out of the way and let them get to work. The first thing that struck me about Chae, is his singular focus on the task at hand; that focus and dedication is always evident in the final product.

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Like most stories worth telling, this one starts with love... but ends with a knife to the back in a shallow water-logged grave. "If I had to describe it like that, I'd say Dinner Plates would be the heart of the album" Chae explained when I asked him which song would be the closest thing to a title track. "Remember This Night would be the spirit and Chin Ups the struggle."

About 3 months after I visited the film set, Chae Hawk released the visuals for Dinner Plates with a three-city premier tour making stops in New York City, Washington DC and here in Buffalo.

Following the short-film release I caught up with Chae again and we chatted more about his journey, plans for the future and life as an artist blazing a new trail in this city.

Watch the Films

The Interview »

DIRTY RICH (Official Visual)

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The Interview
September 2014 at Oshun Restaurant

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Dance Party For The Heavy Hearted

Story and layout design by Kevon Greenidge
Cover Photos by Don Murdock Schwartz | Videos and Music via