Airdrie musicians work with local producer to release single

Story by Stacie Gaetz


Photos by Courtesy of Jase Rathgeber

Two local songwriters recently worked in studio with local producer Bill Klippert to release a single after taking part in the Springwood Studio Song Writing Contest.

The contest took place during the cultural ARTember festival last fall and pairs up local musicians with songwriters giving them 72 hours to create a new original song and post it to YouTube.

Jase Rathgeber and Chèlise Jasper were paired up during the contest and worked on a song called Seasons Change but the couple did not win the competition.

“I will be honest, Jase and I were a bit shocked; I am sure the others felt the same way though,” says Jasper about them placing second.

“While we loved our competitor’s songs, we just felt that ours was so relevant and had a tune you just didn’t want to stop singing. It sucked, but we were super proud to get second place and to have participated.”

Klippert saw the value in their song and approached the two, saying despite the fact that they didn’t win, he would like to work with them to produce their single as well.

“Working with Billy was great!” says Jasper.

“He is such a fun guy and he challenged me to do more. He was open to anything I felt needed change and he would just rock out to our song. What more could you ask for from your producer? He loved our song and put so much love into it.”

Rathgeber has lived in Airdrie his whole life and Jasper has called our city home since 2014.

Rathgeber says he has been singing for as long as he can remember. He had his first gig at age 11 and has been singing in front of audiences ever since. He plays guitar, piano, Mandolin and says he “can get by” on bass and drum. He played guitar on the new single Seasons Change.

“We initially thought of it as sort of a pop country song, but the way Billy produced it, it ended up as more of a ‘Disney pop’ song – and were both very happy with the results,” he adds.

Jasper sang at home as a child but didn’t start branching out to sing in front of audiences until she recently started attending a few open mic nights in Airdrie. She says the song was inspired by her newly formed relationship at the time.

“I recognized the toll of how our mental health can affect us in a relationship and everything just came together from there,” she says.

“I started humming and picking up parts of verses over the course of a few hours before I went to meet Jase for the first time.”

The song is sung from the perspective of a woman who’s trying to help her partner as he’s going through a crisis and doesn’t feel like he can open up to her or be himself.

“It’s about how people can change, and their relationships can change with them, the struggles of such changes and how both people and the relationship can come out stronger,” says Rathgeber.

Rathgeber describes his style as classic country and western but says part of the fun of recording and writing with Klippert is that all three creative minds had different sounds and ideas for the song that melded together perfectly into the finished product.

“With songwriting, I like telling stories, and crafting them into songs,” says Rathgeber, who is an engineer by trade.

“I also love the collaborative element of songwriting; creating something unique with someone else that neither of us would have been able to do on our own.”

The two work so well together that they are currently working on another song collaboration which they hope to release by the end of the year.

“I think Jase and I work well together because of his ability to play instruments and pick up any beat I give him,” says Jasper.

“He has a great ear. He has a lot to offer both instrumentally and lyrically and does great at picking up on my ideas when I propose new lyrics. We are also both a tad bit awkward and we just love making music, so it was a great match.”

Rathgeber adds that the two come from very different musical backgrounds.

“We complement each other’s strengths and buttress each other’s weaknesses,” he says.

“We get along quite well personally and our musical tastes are quite similar, although we tend to play different styles on our own.”

To listen to Seasons Change, click here.