Extra Chill is Evolving

As I sit here in my office in October 2020, I find myself reflecting on what Extra Chill has become over the past several years. I’ve reflected like this a lot over the past few weeks, and along with everything else that has happened in 2020, I’ve decided it’s time to make a change.

I started this website back in 2011, when I was a freshman at the College of Charleston. It was a personal blog back then, and I posted musings about my life, poems, short stories, and shared random music that I was listening to. Hardly anybody read it then, other than my close friends, but I enjoyed it and kept up with it because it was a creative outlet for me.

Eventually I got involved in the Charleston music scene, and around late 2015 I started to shift my focus toward music related things that were happening here in Charleston. That’s when the growth started. It was slow-going, but I enjoyed hanging out at local shows, partying with artists and musicians, and I was meeting a lot of cool people, so I stuck with it.

2018 was the year when things really started to take off. I was starting to push a lot of content and I even had a few more writers join the team to cover different angles and genres. In 2018 I also met my good pal DJ Edwards, and in addition to helping me gain a better perspective on what I was doing with Extra Chill, he also became my sidekick in the planning of the first Extra Chill Fest.

Extra Chill Fest changed everything. It brought this little project I had been building in a dark room late at night into the real world. Suddenly it was a real, tangible thing with a giant stage, a PBR sponsorship, and 10 different bands. Two hundred people showed up and hung out to watch local artists do their thing, and I came to understand that I might be onto something here.

From there, hosting events became a regular thing, and Extra Chill started to make a little bit of money. In February 2020 we hosted our first sold out show at The Royal American, which opened some doors to big things that I had been planning for the rest of 2020. Extra Chill Fest 2020 was lined up for a bigger venue, we were looking into booking some out of town artists for our standalone events, and we had even worked out a deal with a local brewery to have an Extra Chill beer made. Many things were falling into place at once, and it was very exciting.

Then, of course, COVID happened. I was laid off from my day job in the tourism industry, and the music scene as we knew it evaporated into uncertainty. At first I tried to remain positive and vigilant, sure that things would be back to normal soon. Now, though, it’s late October. It’s obvious that we aren’t just going to snap back to normal life. The music scene as we knew it basically does not exist anymore, and we’re all figuring out how to handle it as we go.

And that, my friends, brings me to the change that I’m going to make here at Extra Chill.

For five years now I’ve placed this blog into a box by trying to only write about South Carolina music. Now, though, the website is getting over 5,000 hits a month from all over the world, and I’m being bombarded with emails every single day from artists all over the world. Some of the music being sent my way is pretty damn good, but I’ve found myself passing on it because it’s not based in South Carolina. I also listen to a lot more than just South Carolina music and find myself wanting to write about it.

That’s why today I’m taking Extra Chill out of its box and beginning the transition towards becoming a more free-flowing music blog. I still live in Charleston and will still focus on South Carolina music, but I’m also going to start writing about whatever music I like, regardless of where it was made.

I think this change will make Extra Chill an overall better website and it will also help bring a creative spark back into it for me, which is desperately needed at this point. Writing about strictly South Carolina music without the social aspect of the music scene to fuel my spirit is honestly exhausting and not sustainable for me anymore.

Things may be a bit strange around here while I figure out exactly how I’m going to work this change, but I’m excited to put my energy towards it which is the most important thing.

As always, thank you for reading and I hope you stick with me into this next phase of Extra Chill.

Cheers,

Chris

Follow @extrachill on Instagram!

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