What's in a Name?

What's in a Name?



How was your weekend?!  Mine was amazing, but unfortunately we didn't have time to get any style photos done.  So none for this week!  Instead, I've got some thoughts for you...

When I started thinking about making new recordings earlier this year, I didn't know what I wanted.  Up to the Moon was sounding stale to me, and I felt like I was outgrowing it.  Conversations with the producer about a new direction were highly ambivalent, and I couldn't really say what I was going for.

I just wanted something new.

So fast forward a few months!  The recordings are done, and they have a slightly different sound than the last ones.  And when I was recently doing the redesign of my site, I was thinking about it through the lens of a future music release.  I started considering not only completely different look for my online presence, and a new sound, but also a new name...


Back when I was first starting out in the {music} world, it was a thing for solo artists to use a "band name' moniker, rather than the traditional :firstname:lastname: format. Looking back on those days, I wish I'd followed suit with the trend.  Because sometimes, putting myself and my name front and center out there in the world makes me feel exposed... whereas it used to feel awesome and empowering.

I've since realized that when you put your actual name on your business, or product, or blog, it can be a gamble.  If you succeed, you reap great rewards.  If you fail, well... yeah.

There's no invisible dividing line between you and any criticism you might receive. If people say they aren't into your music, it's almost feels like they aren't into YOU. If they don't like the Chantilly blog, it is harder to separate the fact that it's different from not liking Chantilly, THE PERSON.

Solo entrepreneurs, bloggers, and musicians, etc. use alternate names for tax purposes, and to "brand themselves", and whatnot... but also as a form of ego protection.

Plus, you can always just create another brand and distance yourself from one that isn't doing the things you'd hoped.  I've seen it happen a million times.  And a lot of times a "rebrand" does the trick, and turns an underperforming brand into a success.

I've thought about it a lot.  But for now, I've decided to stay the course and remain Chantilly.  I feel like I've been building something for awhile, and it's hard to just abandon it for a new concept.  I might change my mind in the future, but for now I'm happy to have one element that remains the same :)


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  1. So interesting and something I've been thinking about lately... I can't decide what to do, I've been just me for so long. Haha

  2. Oh, I had never thought it that way. I like it when soloists keep their original names, though.

    ... I am now kind of wondering if maybe some artists whose names sound like a "real name" use their real name or are they just made up? Feist? Devendra Banhart? I need to go look into that, haha.

    Happy Monday, Chantilly!

    1. Well I know with Feist, that's her last name... she's Leslie Feist :) Not sure about Devendra Banhart though... it sounds kind of made up, but sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction! :)

  3. INteresting... enjoyed reading it. I have also written a similar post, you could read about it here

  4. Looking forward to hearing your new album. I still really love listening to Just The Way You Are, but I'm intrigued about your new sound.
    Also, thanks for your nice comment about my costuming in! I'm still really enjoying making it.

    1. Yay, I'm happy to hear that!!

      I'm also thinking of putting up some of the demos that I've been doing as part of a song-a-week challenge. Really unofficial-like. They're not super-fancy sounding, like what I've done with Saul, but they're what I've been working on on my own for the past few months :)

  5. Ego protection is definitely a reason to change one's name. You could also change your name after it, but would you? What happens when you get attached to your new name?

    Well. I'm Syrenichol. I've been Syrenichol since 1996 when I started using that screen name and began building my website (currently down). In 2006 I tried to kill that name. I even made an image of a tombstone say it to indicate I was retiring the name. It's the name of my personal website and I miss it. I keep wanting to build it back up, but I haven't yet. I own the domain still. Unique and all. I still use the screen name for a lot of things. My Live Journal still exists under it, which is why I tried to kill the name. I started to be very negative outwardly under that name... just depressed (you might recall those days while we were in college!)...

    Anyway... I think it's a great idea. I keep www.nicolegraf.com as my professional site. There are so many Nicole Grafs out there. As far as I know, I am the only graphic designer. There's a doctor and a few photographers on the web. So I don't mind using it for business, but I don't plan to live off of my self-named business, ya know?

    Rocky Horror and friends know me as Coley.
    Pagans know me by a few other names.
    I have one for every social group.

    So if it were me, I'd pick a different name for that reason you mentioned. I don't know if I'd cope well with scars to my real name. Though it's really weird to use my actual name in my non-professional relationships. Ha! Weird. Um. So I just contradicted myself. I gave my personal life nicknames and other aliases, which have personalities of their own! :P

    So either keep Chantilly the business... or pick a new name!
    /end ramble.


thank you for taking the time to leave a comment :) i appreciate your thoughts.

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