Chapel Hart Bids Farewell To Industry Pressures, Makes Decision To Make Music on Their Own Terms
“We’re not here to get famous. We’re here to serve the people,” Danica Hart declared.
Chapel Hart; Photo by Jamie Schramm, CMA
The trio of Mississippi singer/songwriters known as Chapel Hart has announced that after nine years of trying to find success with major labels and country radio and still falling short, they have decided to step back and refocus their music careers moving forward.
Who Are The Band Members In Chapel Hart?
The group, composed of sisters Danica Hart and Devynn Hart, and cousin Trea Swindle, hosted a livestream on Facebook on Sunday, November 12, where they opened up about their feelings of defeat and frustration surrounding still being independent artists despite their accolades and achievements.
“It did take a long time to come to this conclusion, but we feel like it’s really the only way we can proceed,” Swindle began.
“We’ve been trying so hard to make it in the music business, to break into the music industry. As many of you know, we’re still independent, and still doing it out here on our own,” Danica Hart continued. “We’re trying our very best to keep up with those who are in the music industry, and on a record label. And in a way, I feel like we’ve done pretty well because our names are in conversations.”
Makes Career-Changing Decision
However, while attending the recent CMA Awards, the realization began to set in that they may never actually see the mainstream success they have been striving for.
“We went to the CMAs the other night, and in the room that only industry people have access to. Every single person knew who Chapel Hart was. Exciting news for us, but also sad news, because for us that means everyone knows who we are, and we still don’t have a record deal, we still don’t have a publishing deal, we still don’t have sponsorships, and we’re still out here busting our tails. We’ve been on the road this year more than we ever have.”
Found New Levels Of Success After Appearing On America’s Got Talent
Chapel Hart took their career to new heights when they appeared as a stand-out act on the 17th season of America’s Got Talent. During their time on the singing competition show, the trio earned the coveted Golden Buzzer from the judges and made their way all the way to the finals.
This experience put their names in front of major names in the country music community, including Dolly Parton who publicly sang their praises for their reimagined tune, “You Can Have Him Jolene” and Darius Rucker who recruited them for a song on his latest album, Carolyn’s Boy. Before her passing, Loretta Lynn also personally requested that they write the song “Welcome to Fist City,” inspired by her 1968 classic “Fist City.”
After the show, Chapel Hart’s momentum continued to soar as they made their Grand Ole Opry debut, embarked on a headlining run and released their Glory Days album. Despite all their efforts, they have yet to be picked up by a major label and still struggle to fill the 1,200-1,500 capacity venues where they are booked for shows.
Chapel Hart went on to explain that instead of trying to keep themselves afloat amid the incredibly challenging world that is music business, they are choosing to do music on their own terms. The main thing to keep in mind, Chapel Hart is not going anywhere. They will continue to make music and videos that evoke joy in a way that allows them to connect with fans in a different way. “We could NEVER LEAVE YALL,” they confirmed in a following post.
Taking A Fan-Centric Approach
“We’re just so tired of trying to compete in an industry that is just making no effort,” Danica said. “This is to serve notice that we are no longer competing in the industry … We’re so busy trying to keep up in an industry who isn’t even acknowledging us when we could be doing the things that really make our heart happy. We’re not here to play fame. We’re not here to get famous. We’re here to serve the people. We’re here to write the songs that makes you feel good from the inside out.”
“We’re deciding to stand 30 toes down …We got to get back to our original commitment. We were here for the people. We were here for our fans … We’re just gonna open the doors. We started to make people happy, to write music that people love, to watch people grow, to grow with our fans.”
This means that their status as independent artists will remain and when it comes to future shows, Chapel Hart will continue to perform simply for the love of performing. For the time being, they have decided to no longer play public shows that fans have to buy tickets for, but rather they will bring their music to schools, Veteran’s hospitals, etc. On the rare occasions that they do play in a more public setting, they will relieve the pressures of achieving the standards set by the industry by making it a free show and only receiving support through donations and merch sales.
“Not every show is free & neither will they be free forever. BUT For right now we feel in our hearts and for the holidays, it is the right thing to do please pay close attention to our website as it will keep you updated with all the things you’ll need to know about the shows. Last, but certainly not least, we will be taking a look at ALLLL the offers on the table and WE WILL CHOOSE what shows we want to do and want to be apart of!
Showcased Gratitude For Their Fans
Lastly, the group gave a heartfelt shoutout to their loyal fanbase who has continued to stick by them throughout their journey. Chapel Hart is certainly feeling the love and they expressed hopefulness that the support and connection to listeners will only continue to grow stronger in this new phase of their careers.
“THE CONGREGATION!!! Y’all have been there for us every step of the way. The good the bad and the ugly. We have rallied together to raise funds. We’ve also sat together in sorrow, and we are here to say that ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WILL CHANGE!!! We will only be BETTER!!! people always tell us about how crazy our fanbase is and how much y’all love us, and we 150% AGREE & we love yall back 10Xs as much as you love us!”
Chapel Hart still has a number of upcoming shows that they committed to prior to making this decision. As a result, they shared that they will make it clear on their website which shows will be free and which shows require tickets. For those fans who have already purchased tickets to their previously scheduled shows, the group is currently in the midst of figuring out how to issue refunds or offer “something extra super special” instead.
Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.