LA CANVAS Exclusive: Q+A with Chela Shot by Dana Boulos
Welcome the pulse of artist Chela. This musical babe hailing from Melbourne (and directly planting herself in the LA music scene) tunes up alt-electro chords that propel us into pure nu-pop bliss. Whether it’s showing humans how to properly get down to one of her mixes or taking you on her unique musical journey with stellar vocals, Chela has truly cemented herself as one to watch. For any emerging artist, exit life, enter work. A lot of it. Mainly, it pays off. In Chela’s case, she’s proved her stellar production capabilities from her ’12 debut single, ‘Plastic Gun’ to her more recent standouts, ‘Romanticise’ and ‘Zero’, released through cult label Kitsune. Her rise to the attention of international music media, as she stepped up and was the voice to the Goldroom hit ‘Fifteen’ and Viceroy’s hit ‘Dream Of Bombay’ to name a few. This year alone has proven a monumental one, which saw her appear across eight shows at SXSW including showcases for Nylon Mag and hitting the stage at Coachella. As she gracefully set down the mic after playing more shows at the iconic El Rey in LA and The Brooklyn Bowl in NY—and even situating herself behind the LA CANVAS decks at our Dive Club pool parties at The Roosevelt Hotel—she’s back in motion with a ‘Handful Of Gold’ release off iheartcomix while bouncing around the states for the Check Yo’ Ponytail Tour… and finding time to do sit down and discuss important things with us at LA CANVAS DOT COM:
LA CANVAS: How would you describe your musical style?
CHELA: Cool pop!
LAC: What are some of the culture shocks experienced in LA that you didn’t experience back home in Australia?
C: Homelessness is the standout thing here that you don’t see as much of in Australia. I hope this problem can vastly improve within the next few years. It also took me a while to get used to driving on the opposite side of the car & road!
LAC: Let’s dive into your music mind. Who’s your ultimate favorite artist of all time?
C: I don’t like playing favorites, however in terms of pop artists – MJ is the ultimate.
LAC: What are you working on right now we can look forward to?
C: My next single ‘Handful of Gold’ which is coming out on iHeartComix.
LAC: How long have you been in this and where do you see yourself in the years to come?
C: I have been working on my solo project for 2 and a half years. Previous to this I sang and played bass guitar in a punk band for 4 years. I believe that I’ll always make music and let it evolve along with the changes in my life.
LAC: Collaboration wishlist would consist of:
C: A duet with Bowie and/or Prince!
LAC: We peeped your style over the summer and dig it. What does that all mean to you?
C: In early teenage-hood I realised I didn’t need be a clone of anyone, that felt totally freeing. That feeling of being unique is liberating, I embrace that. I look out for one-off items and enjoy finding ways of expressing myself through fashion.
LAC: Favorite process about creating music?
C: I always write about subjects that mean something to me, usually it’s great therapy. So once I have found my topic I get excited because it fills the song with passion, and to me that’s what makes a song special, when the emotion is real.
LAC: What about LA inspires your sound?
C: People are constantly creating here, so there’s that buzz in the air that makes the energy circulate. It’s hard to feel stagnant when it comes to creating here. It’s also mega inspiring knowing that most of my idols have created their art here too. I live very close to MJ’s number #1 studio, I always smile when I drive past.
LAC: Favorite song lyric. Ever.
C: There are too many to choose from! Here’s one – ‘But I learned fast how to keep my head up ’cause I know I got this side of me that wants to grab the yoke from the pilot and just fly the whole mess into the sea’ – ‘Young Pigrams’, The Shins.
Pre-Order Chela’s Handful Of Gold RIGHT HERE.
photo DANA BOULOS
mua MARYGENE ROSE
stylist KIRSTY BARROS