BIG SHOW, BIG THEME SONG: SHAUN CHASIN
Ask anyone who does something artistic and creative as their vocation and they’ll tell you that there is a piece of themselves in everything they create. Though they might be given direction and boundaries, the inspiration that leads to success comes from a very personal place. When considering composer Shaun Chasin’s creation of the theme song for the animated series “Beyblade Burst” that might seem odd. A series appealing to the youth which centers on stories of competition against numerous adversaries might seem incongruent to that of a modern day adult composer/musician…but that would be an incorrect assumption. The Arts appeal to so many of us because we find their message relatable. It’s a skilled artist like Chasin who finds that connective tissue amongst all of us, regardless of age or aspiration, that stirs something. Getting to that point is not easy, as Shaun will readily tell you; but like the internationally hit show which his song is so identified with, it’s a journey that only the most committed and talented will finish. (Cue the theme song).
Seth Stachowski (owner and founder of Reality Tune LLC, custom music production and publishing company) was the conduit for Shaun and “Beyblade Burst.” Stachowski pitched the composer’s theme song to the production. He reveals, “The competition was extremely fierce. It is my understanding that every major music house was pitching on this so winning was quite an honor. Shaun is the composer of the title track, and after winning there were multiple rounds of revisions which he handled with the utmost professionalism and creativity.” Years as a professional composer have taught Shaun to not be overly precious about his work, choosing instead to focus on helping the creators of productions to realize their vision rather than insisting on his own. The greatest challenge is not necessarily in creating but rather in translating what non-musical people are trying to convey. While it’s not exactly speaking a different language, it is about finding a shared verbiage that allows for an ease of communication with those whom he works alongside.
The goal of technology, in its most benevolent sense, is to make our lives easier. As a composer, this is particularly poignant for Chasin. Using his iMac and Logic (music software program) and MIDI instruments (digital), Shaun was able to create a fully realized and completely produced/finished product at the pitch. Vocals and guitars were of course more organically produced but the idea of such a polished and complete product at a pitch has almost become the new standard in the industry due to the advances in studio software. The genius of it all still has a very human fingerprint though. It’s the craftsman, not the tools, who truly creates. Chasin explains, “This is not usually the case, but once in a while music comes to you very instantly. When I received the email about demoing for ‘Beyblade Burst’, I was in Toronto visiting my family. Being away from my studio, I was unable to immediately produce anything. I had access to a piano at my father’s house so I sat down and within ten minutes the chorus of the song came out: melody, chords, and lyrics. This version of the chorus is still in the final song and hasn’t changed since day one. This feeling of effortless flow when you’re writing music is a high that I imagine every composer is in a constant state of chasing.”
All of this makes it sound easy; inspiration, state of the art tools, etc. In actuality the process of tailoring any song involved in a production to the taste of its creators is the most tempering. The song went through a series of stylistic changes from the first version yet always retained its melodic DNA. At its core, it’s a rock song with big electric guitar power chords that fill the chorus and give it an anthemic feel. This is contrasted by purely electronic elements like synth bass and modern drums, such as the half-time dubstep influenced drum beat of the chorus. The entire track is supported by an orchestra. French horn and string lines open the track to give the whole thing a larger than life cinematic feel, all of which is tied together by Steven Allerick’s vocals infused with a Broadway sensibility.
Chasin would have been happy with creating this theme song for “Beyblade Burst” but the show and its musical identity have become an international hit. As a result, Shaun’s composition has been translated into German, Spanish, French (besides the original English). The show (originating in Japan) has been around for quite some time with an avid audience, which included Shaun as a twelve-year-old. Seeing his creation being embraced by the creators of the show and fans alike has been a welcome outcome for this composer. Both the film and the music industry have experienced major changes in the past decade based on technology’s effect; Shaun Chasin is using those changes and his talent to bring his own blend of modern and traditional to both industries.