Notes for changes

Sophomore Asia Chrones writes, sings and records songs in hopes of changing peoples lives.

Emma Kroeger

Sophomore Asia Chrones writes, sings and records songs in hopes of changing peoples’ lives.

The clock reads 2:30 a.m. and, while most everybody else is dreaming about the way they wish their life could be, sophomore Asia Chrones is wide awake, taking the first step in making her dreams come true. She uses the moonlight peeking in through her window as a lantern while she jots down the lyrics for a new song she’s been working on. The moon is her friend, whispering lyrics and melodies softly in her ear.

“Sometimes, these things just come to me. Everything I feel, all of a sudden, just comes easy to put into words, and I kind of just write whatever that is. Whatever I’m feeling in that moment I write it down and figure out a melody that fits,” said Chrones, with a distant look in her eyes. There was a hint of a smile on the corner of her lips. “Sometimes it’s hard to do, but it’s always worth it in the end. Songwriting is what I really love to do.”

The moon is her friend, but so is a boy she’s gotten close with – Gabe. Brown hair, blue eyes, and a voice that sometimes lulls her to sleep, he gives her a lot of songwriting material to work with just by talking with her; they usually talk all night.

“We talk about dreams, about fears. We talk about ‘what if’s’ and ‘should haves’ and the things we want to get out of life. We talk about everything. He’s one of my main inspirations for the music I write, no doubt,” she said, not being able to hold back that smile.

If you listen closely enough to her lyrics, it’s easy to recognize which words are a shoutout to him, their friendship, and their conversations. With Gabe, she just feels so much that it’s almost impossible to not put into to words. Although, not everything she writes is about him; some songs are about other aspects of her life too. But Gabe is definitely one of her main inspirations.

“Music writing is the only way to really understand all my thoughts and emotions and everything,” she explained. Every lyric she puts in is for a specific purpose; you just need to listen to really hear that.

Sometimes Asia sings for Gabe, to ask his advice on a song she’s working on. “I love her voice. It’s not a perfect voice, but that’s what makes it perfect. The best thing behind it is passion. She really cares about what she is singing,” he said.

Nearly blinding, the sun wakes Asia up the next morning, and it takes a second to remember even falling asleep. Her eyes squint to see that the phone is still on the FaceTime app from chatting with Gabe the night before; she hears his snoring and clicks the “end” button so that she doesn’t wake him too. It’s time to start the day. As a usual morning ritual, she goes into her music library and scrolls down to the “T” section, looking for the band name: Twenty One Pilots.

“That band is my number one inspiration next to Gabe,” Chrones said. “They make me, I don’t know, feel all these things… I can relate to every word they put into their songs, and even if I’ve never experienced or felt what the song is about, I still feel like I have. If that makes sense. Tyler and Josh [the members of the band] are musical geniuses. Every time I play their music and really hear the message they’re trying to convey, I think, ‘wow, I want to do do that. I want to make music like that.’ I want more than anything to make people feel the way Twenty One Pilots makes me feel. It would be best, most humbling thing, to ever to have that kind of effect on someone.”

But making a difference in other people’s lives couldn’t even be in the question for Asia if she didn’t start recording her songs, if she didn’t start putting to life the melodies and lyrics that until this point, only really lived inside her head. It wasn’t like she’d been looking for a studio when it happened but, as if fate reached down a hand and set a larger plan into motion, her younger brother began with a drumming teacher in a studio in downtown Hinsdale.

“I started talking with his teacher after my brother’s lesson one afternoon last summer, about my musical interest and we made plans that day to start recording as soon as it was possible for both of us. We started right away. I love the studio because it’s quaint and filled with lots of instruments; there are drums everywhere, and guitars, and microphones, and all this other stuff that mesmerized me the first time I saw it and still does even now,” Chrones told me, recalling that fateful instance. “I feel totally comfortable showing him my work because even if the melody I heard in my head isn’t up to par out loud, he knows how to switch things up enough so it sounds completely different, but still somehow the same. He can change a song I originally imagined as slow and mellow, to a total fast-paced tempo, and I still fall in love with the way I did the first version. It’s really cool, I think. We’re doing something good there and I can’t wait to see what other stuff we can come up with.”

Her dream is to affect people and make them feel something, to feel good about their lives and themselves, and although it wasn’t all about music in that specific instance, her close friends told me that she had already done that with them. Sitting down at a pancake house that is right next to Chrones’ music studio, they shook their heads in awe when they described their friend.

“Her personality is contagious. She makes us better versions of ourselves just by being in the same room as us. I don’t want to say she’s perfect, because we all have flaws, but she is one of the most amazing people I have ever met. And her music talent is crazy; she wants to make an impact on people’s lives, and I have no doubt that she will be able to do that because she’s already made such a difference in our lives,” said Jala Skinner and Francesca Halikias, sophomores.

The sun has since set and the moon has risen, and while most everybody else is asleep, Asia Chrones is wide awake; she’s writing as many songs as her brain will allow and doing everything she can to make her dream as a songwriter and musician come true. She’ll be up until a few hours before dawn, but there will be no regrets in the morning because she knows her work will pay off in the music studio. Every late night is just another day closer to making it big in the music world, and hopefully making a difference in a larger audience’s life.

To see more of Chrones’ creations, visit her YouTube channel.