Chad Johnson and Jeenti Dunta lit up the Centennial Student Union Hearth Lounge Wednesday in the latest Serendipity Concert Series.
Johnson has been playing music since he was in middle school, when he had the desire to start playing an instrument. He started on drums and transitioned to guitar.
“When I was 15 or 16, I started dabbling with the guitar a bit and learning a few chords. I never had any lessons or anything. I just learned slowly,” said Johnson. “By the time I was 19, I didn’t want to play drums anymore. I just wanted to go forward with guitar and singing. So now it is intertwined with the Cajon and my acoustic shows to bring back that percussion side of how I started.”
Students noticed Johnson played guitar while singing and making acoustic drum sounds with his feet.
“I always noticed that I naturally moved my feet to the beat when playing guitar. So I figured out, ‘OK, I need to find a way to get a couple of things going with my feet,’ whether it’s a kick drum, a tambourine or a shaker. Something to incorporate those things,” said Johnson. “So, my feet were already naturally doing that when I was playing my guitar. It was an easy transition for me to try to do something like that, and it has a cool element to our acoustic shows.”
Some of Johnson’s inspirations and influences are veteran artists.
His parents would play various music while he was growing up. Those styles and artists influenced him in his music style today.
“I had these influences that kind of cross between rock ‘n’ roll and country. So from that age, I was always really into both, and I liked both equally,” said Johnson. “When I was in junior high, I started being inspired by and wanting to play music. That was in the mid-90s when Nirvana and all these alternative rock bands were really big. That’s when I got influenced. Rock bands were coming out in this little town called Canada Falls. It has a world-famous studio. So knowing that Nirvana and all those bands were recording right by where I lived was super cool and inspiring.”
Johnson’s favorite part of performing is getting to do different things.
“We’ll do full band shows with our band, and it’s a lot of fun to get people out there dancing,having a good time and partying. With our acoustic shows, it’s a bit more intimate, and people get into the lyrics,” said Johnson. “I like both sides of it, I feel like I get the best of both worlds when it comes to that. I get to experience the songwriter side, and people are just in there, hanging onto every word, and I get the other side of the party dancing, having a good time.”
Header Photo: Chad Johnson and Jeenti Dunta, above, known musically as the Chad and Jeenti Duo, performed at the Hearth Lounge in the CSU on Wednesday. Their music is criss-cross of rock and roll and country. (Phideas Pierides/The Reporter)
Write to Lauren Viska at firstname.lastname@example.org