MY NAME IS Chasen “Chase” Hampton, I’m a recording artist/ actor/ producer, mentor, and -above all else- a family man.
If you watched any kind of TV in the ’90’s you most likely caught a few shows or films I was blessed to be a part of. Buffy The Vampire Slayer, X-Files, 7th Heaven, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Blossom, Rules of Attraction and others.
But most remember me for saying “CHASE” as an original member and eventual Co-Host of “The All New Mickey Mouse Club of the 90’s” that aired everyday at 5:30 on the Disney Channel.
Wait, is that the show with…
Yes, the show that discovered such stars as Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake, Ryan Gosling, Keri Russell to name a few.
Pre-internet or YouTube the show was cast by holding auditions across the United States and Canada. After 7 seasons the casting director had seen over 85,000 kids that made up the final group of 35 that were featured.
It was an incredible way to grow up going to school and filming in a theme park with some of the most talented kids of that time. All of our families relocated from our home states to film at Disney’s MGM Studios, now known as Hollywood Studios.
The MMC was filmed in front of a live studio audience and of the 317 episodes, I filmed 226. The best part is we were unknowingly sharpening each-others iron by performing together every day.
Around age 14 Hollywood Records was formed and five of us left the show, to become the first group signed and released for the label. We were a pre-Black Eyed Peas, high energy dance band called “The Party” and were produced by an all-star list of names such as Dr Dre, Teddy Riley, Delicious Vinyl (known for Young MC/Tone Loc), Andre Cymone (Prince), Stephen Bray (Madonna), Pharrell Williams, The Neptunes and more.
It was INSANE! We were 14-year old kids and being dropped off at Diane Warrens studio to write one day and then sent over to Death Row Studios for a writing session with Dre, Snoop and The DOC the next. At that age we were absorbing so much being in the presence of these brilliant minds, it was a priceless education.
We released four albums as The Party and a Greatest Hits collection. We made all the rounds with MTV, VH1 and BET at the time and our highest American Top 40 charting single was the Dokken remake “In My Dreams” reaching #16 on R&R.
The group toured the world with Taylor Dayne, Vanilla Ice, Color Me Band, Hi-Five and others and I absolutely have some iconic Boston performance memories with The Party taking over Boston’s City Hall steps and selling out The Orpheum Theatre.
After the show ended and the contracts were over, I was 18 years old and was living and auditioning in Los Angeles, trying to find my direction, doing lots of commercials and guest spots on popular 90’s shows of the time.
I was playing the “strip” (Roxy/ Viper Room, Whisky, Billboard Live) with my band and really began to gain some substance in my music that I felt had been missing.
Along with the TV shows I was seen on, my voice could be heard on shows such as Disney’s “Teen Win Lose Or Draw”, “High School Musical 2”, HBO’s “Big Love” and International brands Coca-Cola, Pepsi, MTV, Expedia, 7/11 and Kia.
I was finding work and I was able to reel all those life experiences in to finding a style that defined me. But where was it all gonna lead?
Most actors in Los Angeles at some point have to get a side job to supplement income and keep you accessible during auditions and in between projects. I was no different and quickly found myself as a passionate MD (Music Director) for two music schools in Agoura Hills and LA teaching hundreds of students creating concerts and opportunities for the community.
This job became an ah-ha moment for me.. a calling and purpose. Recognizing that my history was anything but normal and packed with priceless experiences I needed to share it with those who seek that knowledge.
Opportunity is bleak for so many kids especially in the field of music education and sometimes all someone needs is a point in the right direction.
Some of my former students are currently on tour playing in bands such as The Wallows, Aly and AJ, Lovely The Band, Hunny, TeleKAST and others. Some have already gone platinum, playing Lollapalooza, Coachella and winning Billboard Music Awards. It’s so awesome to see and I live for it!
I’M A 35+ YEAR VETERAN of this industry and what gets me most excited is being able to affect others by giving back, being a Go-Giver rather than a Go-Getter. The very moment I decided to walk that path the craziest things fell into place for me. I started having access to all the things I was striving so hard for prior.
I had people I admire asking for my help and offering exciting opportunities. I started doing charity work for Shred Kids Cancer, Funding Cancer Research Trials started by the very kids I was teaching.
Slash would show up to play with us, The Elton John Band, Shavo from System of The Down and even Nikki Sixx. We would have the greatest celebrity judges from Carie Ann Inaba, Tom Morello, Jack Osborne, Dhani Harrison, and so many others in the name of Music Education. It gave my work the meaning I had been searching for, that I was showing kids how to use their talents to not only have a career but to help others, join a cause and stand for something.
HOW DID A MOUSEKETEER END UP IN BOSTON? Well, at some point after teaching so many incredible kids I knew I wanted to have a family of my own. Lots of friends and fellow musicians were moving out of Hollywood to Nashville, I had been in California around 23 years and there was a girl I’d never gotten out of my mind.
I went on a date with her when I was 14 one night after a taping of the show, she was on vacation with her parents in Orlando. We walked around Pleasure Island which is now Disney Springs and shared a kiss that tied a string around my heart for life. We always kept in touch over the years as friends and I always knew she was the one. So when I finally accepted that I was ready to leave Los Angeles, I asked her to marry me and was on my way. We now have two beautiful children and have been married 10 years.
I CONTINUE PERFORMING AND PRODUCING charitable events and appearances throughout the year with fellow cast-mates raising millions for charity under the Always In The Club Foundation 501c3, helping terminally ill children, first responders and those in need.
We were recently all together in Anaheim California at D23 representing Disney diversity at their biennial convention.
As well The Party reunited for an incredibly awesome House of Blues concert special filmed at Disney Springs Orlando that will be released this summer!
Side Note: (For those The Party fans out there, during the pandemic, Hollywood Records released the entire catalog on all digital platforms. All 47 songs are ready to rock all your 90’s nostalgic needs. Follow us on Spotify.)
My solo music can be found on all platforms, including my most recent release “In Your Eyes” with En Vogue’s Rhona Bennett and Journey’s Arnel Pineda that I was blessed to produce.
Some local music legends I have worked with while living here are rapper and Good Dad Gang creator Termanology; along with REKS, Dutch ReBelle, and producer American Antagonist.
I have proudly been mentoring future rock stars for 16 years and will continue supporting young artists at the highest level through my company CHASENLIFE LLC. I’m a staunch advocate for music education, giving back and supporting young entertainers.
Thanks so much to BostonMan Magazine and The Legacy Club community. I’m very honored for the opportunity to introduce myself. The history and pride I’ve felt living here is powerful. I feel embraced, a part of this community and love making an impact here.. Keep creating and CHASENLIFE!
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All images courtesy of Chasen Hampton