Harmonies of Growth: Artists Chantae Cann and Derrick Benford discuss their musical journey

Cann and Benford will debut new music at Hook in St. Clair Shores on Saturday, April 13.

Derrick Benford (from left), Nick Austin and Chantae Cann pose for a photo at WDET.

Derrick Benford (from left), Nick Austin and Chantae Cann pose for a photo at WDET.

Every artist’s journey begins with a single step, often taken behind the scenes. For Chantae Cann, a singer whose voice blends the intricacies of jazz and soul, and Derrick Benford, a pianist steeped in Detroit’s rich musical heritage, these steps started in the background. Their recent collaborations highlight how vulnerability and openness in their music have been instrumental in their artistic development.

In a recent interview with WDET, Cann reflected on her start in music growing up in her church youth group. She says being forced out of her comfort zone helped her blossom later in her career.

“I think being in a place where I had to be afraid and do it anyway or do it scared — that kind of set the precedent for openings and doors in the future,” said Cann.

For Benford, the first step in creating his solo release was learning to become vulnerable.

“Once you make that decision to be vulnerable and put your art out there and be open to whatever it is going to happen — positive or whatever — I think you can just move from there,” Benford said. “Miles Davis said it takes a musician a long time to accept the sound. And so I think I’m kind of stuck into that right now.”

Both Cann and Benford have a big 2024 as they release new music. Cann’s third album, Rhythm and Revelation Vol. 1, dropped this month — and she teamed with Derrick Benford again on his new single “Realized,” from his forthcoming debut solo album.

Watching the interview in its entirety above.

Chantae Cann and Derrick Benford perform Saturday night at Hook in St. Clair Shores to preview Benford’s as-yet-untitled record.

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