Commentary
12:00 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

A Musical Life: Lalanea Chastain

Credit Courtesy photo

Lalanea Chastain has been performing music since she was a teenager, focusing on blues and jazz, although she is comfortable in most genres. “I’ll sing virtually anything,” she says. She lives in Wichita, where she is currently honing her guitar skills.

My name is Lalanea Chastain. I’m a local singer. My latest project is with the blues band Yale Street Players. I also play with a cover band, Blue Eyed Soul. I started playing music with my family.

Everyone in my family has a lovely voice and was raised with beautiful harmonies and a wide variety of music. I was raised in the Pentecostal Church, so music and harmonies were really important in that space.

I was drawn to blues early on through Taj Mahal, Bonnie Raitt, Muddy Waters. My mom turned me onto those cats and I learned through them the importance of shutting up, of being quiet, that space.

Music is my soul. It’s how I live in the world. It’s how I perceive the world, it’s how I’m able to share myself with the world. And it simply fills my soul. If I’m in an environment where I can’t sing regularly I begin to wither. And if I’m in, alternately, an environment where I can sing often, I grow and I thrive and I feel connected to the universe and to people.