Entering the job market amid a global pandemic isn’t ideal, Ben Chaverin admits, but its challenges can become opportunities for those creative (and willing) enough to turn adversity into a new playlist.
“I’ve learned so much in the last couple of years — and grown so much as a human being,” Chaverin said, recalling his December 2020 graduation from Kansas State University, where he studied operations and supply chain management.
“Not only had I not been in a real classroom for months, but on top of that we had the stresses of the world … political and social unrest all over the place,” he continued, adding that in an era that upended the world, he found the chance to redefine his wants and to challenge the expectations he’d set for himself.
“A theme in my life has been indecisiveness. I remember for the first year or so of college I didn’t even know what I wanted to do,” he recalled, noting he eventually grew attached to an operations-focused career and the kind of lifestyle it could provide him with.
Amid such internal chaos, Chaverin found solace in music or, as he called it, his greatest love; a passion of his youth, rediscovered.
“That indecision led me to writing many songs,” he said, noting the experience ultimately resulted in two EP’s and gave him the confidence to change course when the world fell apart.
“Coming out of [the pandemic-era,] I’m a voice teacher. I’ve been able to find a place where I can express my love for music and pass it on.”
Possessing an “alt-pop-indie kind of vibe,” Chaverin, who was raised in Lenexa, Kansas, now showcases his musical talents across the metro — an extension of his work playing college gigs in Manhattan.
“I’m an entertainer at heart,” he said, referencing complimentary passions that include acting, modeling and stunt work. “It’s always been a part of me. [When I was] a little kid, I would do talent shows for my family and play guitar for my friends.”
“I like creating a space and environment where people can enjoy themselves and enjoy wholesome entertainment.”
Click here for tickets to Chaverin’s New Year’s Eve performance at ReRoll Tavern in Kansas City.
But Kansas City, try as it might, isn’t likely to contain the talents of Chaverin much longer, he said, acknowledging limitations on entertainment-based career growth in the region.
“I think it’s hard to make this your only thing in Kansas City — but I think Kansas City can be a really great jumping off [point] for people,” he said.
“It’s welcoming. A lot of midwestern people are very friendly and open. I love Kansas City, the history, the music, the environment … but it’s a really hard place to go straight [into entertainment.]”
That isn’t to say such a path is impossible, Chaverin added. But for him, especially with regard to stunt work, cities such as Los Angeles or even countries like Japan provide more viable career options — and a chance for the young artist to make a name for himself.
“I say Kansas City has a lot of history, but [in Japan] they have so much history around music and it’s such an important part of their culture and it’s affected the rest of the world — through anime and through the radio, et cetera,” he explained, noting a move would provide him a chance to stand out among the crowd.
“They use different instruments over there, they do performances differently. Their language is built around respect and honor. I think that could be a really beneficial thing for me [as an artist.]”
The influence of the Kansas City region, however, will travel with Chaverin wherever he lands, he said.
“I will always be a piece of Kansas,” he said. “I remember being involved with the Nashville Songwriters Association and just how passionate people were about songwriting and how they knew exactly what they wanted to describe and how to describe it.”
“Where I learned to write songs was Manhattan, Kansas. And it was from country singers and writers. … The roots of the Midwestern folk scene [will always be with me.]”