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Life In the Carolina's Podcast

Jan 27, 2021

On this episode of the Life in the Carolinas podcast, Carl sits down with Charlotte-based pianist and composer Chad Lawson. Ironically, Chad did not grow up in a family that listened to music, much less played instruments. What actually sparked his interest in taking piano lessons was a TV show he grew up on, Sha Na Na, and the rest is history.

Chad recalls having his music used a few years back, without his permission, as a background track for the podcast Lore. He reached out to host Aaron Mahnke for a potential collaboration, and the two quickly became friends. Eventually, Lore got picked up by Amazon for a television series written by Glen Morgan of The X-Files fame. As fate would have it, Chad was their one and only choice to be the composer for the series.

“All of that stemmed,” Chad reflects, “from my being okay with someone using my music.” He goes on to suggest that other artists be more open to giving other parties an opportunity to use their music. “Within limitations, I want to encourage others to do a little bit of homework, check it out, and be okay with it. [...] You never know what doors open.”

Chad’s music, much like his personality, can be characterized as quiet, calm, and soothing. Ever since lockdowns were implemented in the first quarter of 2020, Chad fondly notes the explosion of emails he received from others who told him that his music had been helping them cope with the challenges.

“I get those emails almost daily now,” says Chad. “I can’t travel, but I want to be able to engage. I want to get deeper into the grit of life with my listeners. I want to find a way that if I can’t speak to them from stage, how do I speak to them? [...] Why don’t I create something where I’m helping them, emotionally, walk through this?”

Chad’s solution? His very own podcast, Calm It Down, a passion piece he created to help ease anxieties, COVID-induced or otherwise. He wanted the podcast to be a space for honesty and transparency, and to dissolve shame around vulnerability. As Chad openly shares from the heart on such topics as depression and suicide, he gives his audience permission to be real in a society whose knee-jerk reaction to tragedy and hardship has 3been, overwhelmingly, repression.

“The very first thing we have to do is make people comfortable with awareness. We just have to make the conversation comfortable.” Chad implores us to catch ourselves whenever our self-preservation instincts kick in, when confronted with uncomfortable topics. After all, the hardest step to healing is always the first. “You have to bring the conversation to your audience. That’s how it starts.”

Connect with Chad:

Chad Lawson - Official Store

Calm It Down | Calming & Meditation Podcast (


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