TULSA, Okla. – Shannon Chambers has roots in Chicago, but has lived in Tulsa for about 15 years with his wife, Deborah Perry-Chambers.
“There was always music in the house when I was little. I grew up in a suburb just outside of Chicago called Elgin. But in the early and mid-80s there was this phenomenon in Chicago, musically called House music and it’s and it’s kind of what we now call dance or electro or EDM,” recalls Chambers.
Chambers actually started out as a DJ and before that he was a dancer.
“I was starting to want to create the music that I was playing as a DJ. I felt like I could contribute something to that and that’s when I started producing music,” Chambers said.
In 1992, Chambers studied marketing and theology at ORU in 1992, then returned to Chicago.
“It’s so interesting and I tell everyone. I started feeling homesick for Tulsa,” Chambers said. In 2006, he settled permanently in Tulsa, but still remained in contact with the musicians and producers of Chicago.
Chambers is now the executive director of a non-profit organization called Neighbors Along the Line. He adds that moving from Chicago to Tulsa gave him the time and mental space to be more creative and continue writing music.
He was inspired to compose a song in 2020 at the height of the pandemic. It was called “Be Free”.
“You know, it kind of became the anthem of COVID-19. You know it’s an anthem in itself if you ask me, because it’s about a human condition about us wanting to be free. You know and not just free. Be free for freedom, but freedom, love free to live free to give, free to share,” Chambers said.
Then he collaborated with a friend who encouraged him to take this song to Byron Stingily with Ten City, a house music group from Chicago who were working on a new album for the first time in 25 years.
Needless to say, Stingily loved it and “Born Free” was the first single produced for the “Judgement” album.
The album was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Dance/Electronic Music Album category.
Best Dance/Electronic Music Album
- “Unknowingly” – Black Coffee – Winner.
- “Fallen Embers” – ILLENIUM.
- “Music is the weapon (reloaded)” – Major Lazer.
- “Shockwave” – Marshmello.
- “Free Love” – Sylvan Esso.
- “Judgment” – Ten City.
Chambers said it was “incredible” to hear Ten City’s “Judgement” announced as a nominee on Sunday night as he watched the Grammys from his living room in Tulsa.
“You know, it’s actually something that I grew up watching again, you know, and you know it was just in the back of my mind. It’s like, oh, I wish be there one day, you know,” Chambers said.
Black Coffee’s “Unconsciously” ended up winning the Grammy.
“So we are already working on the new album. So look for us next year,” Chambers shared. “When I look at my life, I make music, something that I love but also my work is something that I love and that I’m passionate about. You know, I’m living the dream.
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