Q&A : ReverbNation Competition Winner Chelsea Blues – Authentic Soulful Music

Interviews

For those people that haven’t heard of you before could you tell us a bit about yourself, your story?

I was born and raised between The Bahamas & The Turks & Caicos Islands. ​I began writing poetry and making up lyrics at 8 years old and began wanting to do music more (i.e. Youtube vids) at about 16 then forgot about music as a dream until about three years later when I eventually moved to London, UK (aspiring to be an actress) and met other musicians that relit the fire for music. Ever since then I have been working on my music dreams and goals between London and The Bahamas.

After leaving uni I returned home for a year and a half and hit a depression as I couldn’t find a way to continue music. Eventually I was taken to the only open mic on island (Nassau) at the time. Changed my life. Eventually began running that open mic on a weekly basis, then was approached by a few friends who wanted to run a web TV series. IndieVybez ran for a year before I returned to London. Ended up working with the top reggae band on island singing BVs and opened for reggae legends Tarrus Riley & Beres Hammond.

I returned Jan 2016 to London and finally releasing my first project.

Who inspired you to get on stage and perform?

​Oh – so many people. I love the stage presence of Ella Fitzgerald; Seinabo Sey; concerts in the TCI of persons like Ashanti, Shaggy; Alicia Keys; Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill.

Could you tell us a bit about the writing/recording of the Reverbnation Competition Winning track emotional availability?

​Emotional Availability was originally a track only made for a uni audition. I was applying for ACM.

Making the track though… When Joshua (the producer) made the beat – I was already with a paper full of lyrics. It instantly made me want to confront the lack of love shown to me in this town sometimes. Everyone is so cold at times here – and not just because of the weather – but the way of life. It shone through in the situationships I found myself in. The beat just took hold of my emotions and this was born. When he sent it to me though – I was blown away – truly; at how he captured the essence of my feelings so well.

What influences do you draw upon when writing songs?

​When I write or freestyle songs – I tend to focus on if my writing coincides with my musical ethos.

I dive into my spiritual influences; books I’ve read (i.e. The Alchemist – Paulo Cohelo; The Secret; The Celestine Prophecy), colours and what they mean (i.e.: chakras), numerology, theories I know.

Also, I look at my musical idols. What – to me – was the best way to say something or portray an idea and how can I improve for my sound. I look to persons like Bobby McFerrin, Ella Fitzgerald, Amy Winehouse, and Erykah Badu. How did they get the feel to match the words? How’d they make that string of sentences work and have double meaning — can I flip it also? How much breath should I give the beat? etc.

And also my cultural influences – how can I make something that can be understood regardless of cultural background? When do I want lines that are mainly significant to my people so they feel the love special for them – that doesn’t also exclude the wider audience I am trying to reach with my message…

What is the most interesting venue that you have performed at?

​Oh wow.. There are several venues I have enjoyed performing at…

Stoke Mandeville Stadium – Aylesbury, UK where I got to open for Reggie & Bollie. I was supposed to be an opening act right before the main act section of the evening – but ended up having M.O & Stooche open for me and then I for the Reggie and Bollie who were the last act of the evening.

The crazy thing was 1) it was really far out! 2) no one in the crowd knew me at all!  Many persons stayed to find out who I was and then everyone came to me expressing their joy for waiting and that it was worth it – very humbling experience. Confirmation that I guess I’m not half bad!

Ronnie Scotts, Soho, London <— Life’s dream to perform here. When I finally did I managed to bring a decent sized crowd and it was absolutely magical. I truly feel blessed to perform where the likes of Ray Charles and Ella Fitzgerald have performed.

 

You also perform freestyle and spoken word, how does that differ from a traditional performance?

​It’s so much fun! A traditional performance is fun also – but the adrenaline of not knowing what you’re going to perform is electrifying!

It’s a moment of absolute wholehearted living.

I mean forget the fact that if you mess up there’s no filter or re-do. Once you’re there you’re there! The crowd makes it though. When you tell them you’ve done a freestyle after you’ve sang – about 20% of people will believe you. When you tell them at the beginning – depending on how magical it is – 50% will believe you.

When you call out for 3-5 words to create a song on spot – ahh – NOW you have their full attention. When the whole place is now fully attentive to see how you find to string together the words “Bacon” “beach” “fire” and “concentration” – it really is both a little daunting and yet exhilarating. Only you know what may possibly come next but the more fun you have with it – everyone else does and it becomes a memorable and intimate moment that lasts between you and the crowd and their phone cameras! They then go online and talk about the “summer nights of fire and bacon, chilling on the beach, concentratinggg on not caring who sees!”

What do you think is missing from today’s music industry?

​Authenticity. I feel the business side of music can sometimes make you feel you need a “bigger” personality to your own and unfortunately that seems to sell.

Real lyrics. Have we truly exhausted every avenue of story telling that we are beyond them?

Soul-full music. Soul food music. I believe all genres can make music that truly uplifts or gives life back to our listeners. Yes – screamo metal is included! I feel it’s okay to be down sometimes but I feel we as artists can do more to leave those we aim our music to, with more than just a moments pleasure in time. Something that helps and gives them resolve to see life through to their hearts content.

Here at Artistic Echoes we are always on the look out for new artists do you have anyone to recommend?

​Yes! There are so many artists I’ve met along my journey and they are wonderful people and their music is incredible!

Cookie [cookielanes], Earth [hernameisearth], Jayana UK,  Ricci Queens, Blue Canariñho, Melle Brown, Elysian Divide, Chairo The Fox, Sherwood Rahming, Foreign Sound, Bey Chaino, Shadez The Misfit

What plans do you have for the rest of the year?

​I am releasing my first project ‘t e x t u r e s’ made in collaboration with Blue Canariñho this Summer; launching my third poetry book ‘PO3TRY’; peforming for AirBnB Experiences, Canary Wharf’s Introducing Stage, Magical Festival and a warehouse event in Madrid in September.

I am hoping to put on my Winter Solstice Festival in The Bahamas in December.

Find out more:

Website : https://chelsearblues.wordpress.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChelseaBluesOfficial/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cblues.jazz/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/cbluesjazz
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/7hyXr4rPGIsR7LUCAKQh52
Apple Music: https://itunes.apple.com/bn/artist/chelsea-blues/1321488837

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