WAXAHACHIE — Music is a universal language that moves people in such a unique, unexplainable way, no matter someone’s ethnic background. From Mozart to Bruno Mars, Garth Brooks or Twenty One Pilots, music has a knack for intertwining lyrics and melodies into a personal ethereal experience. Up-and-coming band, “D and Chi,” is taking the stage with music that not only reaches the ears in a pleasant way but also speaks to the soul.
Red Oak natives and musicians, Darren “D” Eubank and Chima Ijeh, began “D and Chi” as a unique ensemble with a distinctive sound of indie-pop and R&B that is knocking out the “genre giant.”
“We always say indie-acoustic, hip-hop, pop-rock,” laughed Eubank about their music’s style.
An eclectic collaborative of talent that includes members from diverse musical backgrounds have come together in a balance of harmony.
“Our sound isn’t straight up pop, or straight up rock, each one of us comes from different musical backgrounds and training, and it’s all in the music. Somehow it all comes together very pleasing to the ear. I think that in and of itself, honestly, it’s a blessing from the Lord and it’s something that sets us apart,” added Ijeh.
Starting in the summer of 2013 in the heart of the Bishop Arts District in Dallas, Eubank and Ijeh developed their sound from busy street corners during their earlier performances.
“A friend of ours invited us out to the Bishop Arts district just to play music out there and to see what would happen. We ended up making quite a bit of money out there. That’s actually where our band came from. That’s where people discovered our sound,” Ijeh said.
Eubank and Ijeh played for a wide variety of onlookers and spectators before booking any venues.
“There’d be times where we’d be catering to pre-teens, and the next minute, we’d be singing to an elderly couple,” Eubank said. “We had no intention of really taking it – ‘oh, let’s make a band out of this,’ but the more we played down there, the more they were asking for music when our next show was. And we didn’t have an answer to either of those questions. We were just kind of like, ‘well, let's take steps to do a show.’ One show to another, here we are.”
Ijeh also added, “One of the cool things, anyone I show our music to - they like it. So whether that’s kids, older people, whether they're black, white, Hispanic, it’s just a sound that’s very universal.”
Growing in popularity, Eubank and Ijeh have played in over 70 shows this year alone, which included venues, such as The House of Blues, The Door, Club Dada, and over 22 Universities across the countryside where they played for a crowd of 2,500.
“This whole year has been our first year touring and traveling the country. We’ve really been catering to the college age,” said Eubank.
LIFE IS A HIGHWAY
Through the miles traveled touring, both Eubank and Ijeh recalled their favorite highlights of the year.
“We played Deep Ellum March Festival this year. When we finished our set, and we’re backstage congratulating everybody and this woman who is not a performer, she sneaks backstage and comes up to me and says ‘I haven’t felt anything in two years, and when you guys started to sing that last song, I started to feel things again.’ She began to break down in that moment. I don’t know what it feels like to not feel for two years, but that’s a powerful thing that our music can help that,” claimed Eubank.
Interestingly, a story written in Conscious Lifestyle Magazine, reports: The field of music and neuroscience is significantly expanding and is indicating many beneficial ways music can engage and change the brain. Research shows that music stimulates emotions through specific brain circuits. Listening to music can create peak emotions, which increase the amount of dopamine, a particular neurotransmitter that is produced in the brain and helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers.
In addition, a study from the Journal of Music Therapy shows that using songs as a form of communication could increase emotional understanding in autistic children. The study incorporated specific songs to portray different emotions. The children could then indicate and identify emotions based on the songs that represented them. Music succeeded where verbal language failed. Music was able to bridge the brain and heart.
“It’s really a phenomenon. We’re praying that our music will pull on heartstrings and it’s a cool thing to see that almost tangibly happen while we’re playing. After the show, your talking to people and their responding in a way that hearts are leaving softened. And for us, that’s a positive thing,” said Eubank.
The power of music can evoke profound sentiments that trigger the brain to process emotions. It can also reconnect songs we pair with memories through emotional response. This reaction is made possible through the brain’s self-recognition of neural connectors and the highways they create throughout a person’s lifetime.
Consider music as the HOV lane, stimulating and sometimes rerouting the brain through emotional acknowledgment. When music plays — the road is open, the cars of emotion pass through the brain. When the music stops, the lane closes as cars resume on the original highways our mind first built.
Whether listening to a song or playing an instrument, music is an undeniably powerful tool that influences individuals and connects people together.
“Everything we do really shows up when we can do a show with our band. In those moments, you’re sharing that stage with your brothers. There’s such an energy up there, and you’re also sharing it with everyone attending the show,” said Ijeh.
Music isn’t only purposed for entertainment, but also for inner healing.
“We’re living in a world where it’d be very easy to have a solid, rock-hard heart and not really be open to anything. But for us, we’re pulling on heartstrings the whole show,” added Eubank. “Being able to find a common ground with someone that you never met before, someone who has an absolutely different lifestyle than you, and be able to speak with them is honestly is just a win in and of itself.”
WE’VE ONLY JUST BEGUN
The future of “D and Chi” is bright as they continue to play, encourage people, and plan out their next tour in 2018.
“We’re looking to release new music at some point next year. [We’re] looking to tour more, and we’re looking at more partnerships that could help to expand the brand that is ‘D and Chi.’ We have no plans of stopping anytime soon,” said Ijeh.
“I don’t think we’ll slow down,” Eubank agreed. “I think you’ll see us doing a lot of touring next year. I know we’re going to be taking some steps to revamp. We’re going to keep our foot on the gas pedal and keep going forward.”
To find out more, visit D and Chi’s at dandchimusic.com or @DandChiMusic
— Chelsea Groomer, @ChelseaGroomer