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Chaepter is the first name and stage name of Chicago-based music artist, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Chaepter Negro. Hailing from Central Illinois, Chaepter grew up in a large Catholic family with 8 other brothers and sisters. Beginning piano and cello lessons at age six, his interest in music was sparked young, and by 13 years old, Chaepter began writing his own songs, playing in bands, and learning to record and mix. Since then, he’s released various projects under different monikers and bands, and in 2019, he moved to Chicago to pursue music as a solo artist under his own name. From 2019 to 2022, Chaepter dedicated his time to mixing, recording, and producing his debut album, a self-described “Midwest Gothic” called Kicking the Cat. With fourteen songs and a 56 minute runtime, Kicking the Cat is an ambitious album that meditates on generational trauma, aloneness, and religious decay. Songs like “Ritual” or “On the Mend '' highlight Chaepter’s ability to craft catchy pop tunes, whereas songs like “The Prairie'' show off a rare songwriting ability. Recorded in various bedrooms, closets, and Chicago practice rooms over the years, the album was mastered by Greg Obis (DEHD, BNNY, Paul Cherry) and released digitally and as a limited cassette run through Chaepter’s own label, Church of the Cat. Since its release, the album has circulated the Chicago indie scene as a hidden gem. In their review of the album, Chicago blog Second Street calls the album “an eerie collection of melancholic perfection,” and further says:


                     “There’s an old expression that says: ‘Where words fail, music succeeds.’ Even as a lifelong                                       instrumentalist, I have rarely felt the meaning of this phrase until just recently. Kicking the Cat                           is one of these occasions where I truly feel the gravity of that statement: I want so badly to write                           about this album, because it makes me feel emotions that are near impossible to put into simple                           words. It’s quite the paradox.” 


While difficult to narrow and ever-changing, Chaepter’s music could best be described as dream pop / experimental rnb, with indie rock tendencies. His production is unique, and his songwriting works in extremes, always balancing precariously between earnest and cryptic, vulnerable and brooding. Chaepter typically plays shows around Chicago with a full band, but also has a solo set prepared. 

Kicking the Cat, released 10/7/22


2/11 @ Reggies 

2/24 @ Gman tavern

3/2 @ WZRD radio

3/15 @ Empty Bottle


"Ritual" music video

Live performance at Church of the Cat

"In Flux," live at The Burlington



photography by Vanessa Valadez

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