NHTE 158 Chalise Zolezzi AND Citizen Shade

Chalise Zolezzi sat down for a Q&A and then Citizen Shade performed and then was immediately interviewed as well during the Winter 2017 NAMM show in California. Chalise Zolezzi is the Director of Public Relations and Social Media for NAMM and talks about the Show, the Foundation, and various awards, plus the NAMM Day of Service. Citizen Shade – songwriters Will Howard (vocals and percussion) and David Lezcano (piano/keyboards) – has just released a new single and also did a Lukas Graham cover that has 3.2 million views on YouTube. The duo has drawn comparisons to John Legend (Will) and alternative pop bands such as Bastille. Among other topics, they talk about having performed at the Greensboro Coliseum.

Show Quotes: 


“NAMM is old home week for many of us who’ve been coming for years and years and years.  It’s the place where you see your friends in the industry, the place where new products are launched, you make valuable business connections, you get to see your favorite artists, you see how your favorite products are used – or should be used, for those of us that are hobbyist musicians.  And it really is the music products industry coming home.”

“As someone once told me, music is too important to leave to the professionals.”

“Any time, if people can be recognized, not myself but all the unsung heroes in our industry for the wonderful product innovations, for the work that they do to advance music education, ya’ know, I applaud that.”

“NAMM is really the platform for all those brands, all those entities, to come together to create business, to drive our industry forward, (and) to keep education, best practices… it really is a professional development organization but then also an organization for our industry as a whole and the many issues we face.”

“Every story of how we start playing music is really individual, very personal to us.  But at the same time, from our first heartbeat to our last dying breath’s rattle, we’re music.  We are all music as people.  And so whenever I have a chance to ask someone their story of how they started playing, I’m fascinated by that.”


(Will) “If you were to see us live, I would be switching between the piano and – well, synth, occasionally – guitar and then drums and of course singing.”

(David) “That’s another thing you probably see live on our stage – we run loops and we have backing tracks and try to make it as fun as possible.”

(Will) “The biggest thing (to having success on YouTube) is releasing content on a regular basis… Number two (piece of advice) is just collaboration.”

(David) “We love to perform out, and so an opportunity to play in front of anyone who’s going to listen is always something.”

(David) “We’re music lovers and we’re music creators.  So being around everything that’s (at the NAMM Show) is like a kid in a candy shop.”

Songs on this episode: 

Citizen Shade
"Through It All" (live)
“This Time Around” (live)