AAA Music Approved: Chelsea Blues
aaamusic | On 12, Feb 2019
Who are you and where are you from?
I’m Chelsea Blues and I am from The Islands of The Bahamas. I currently live in London, UK and have been for the last few years. I am a jazz-soul singer/songwriter, poet, spoken word artist and entertainer. I’ve been pursuing music since I was 15/16 beginning with YouTube Videos, then moved to London at 18 to take my aspirations further.
What inspired you to get into music?
I chose jazz-soul as I grew up with the influences from Ella Fitzgerald, Eartha Kitt, Erykah Badu, Amy Winehouse and Bobbi McFerrin. These were artists that spoke from the soul and brought real original creativity into their art forms. Music is a means to an end in my hopes to inspire my nation and be a driving force of hope (of various others) for those that aspire for their creative dreams to be realised. Everyone needs to see that their efforts can be worth it, if you stick to it and put that hunger and talent to use. Let no one stop you.
What have you done?
I’m proud to say I’ve achieved the release of my first body of works called TEXTURES, available on all major streaming platforms. Also, I’ve released three books of poetry on Amazon: 2014=7, In the Mind of a Psycho Goddess and PO3TRY. At the end of last year, I was selected as nominee for this year’s Elevation Awards: Bahamian International Artist of the Year award. This has been a huge step forward.
The impact my reach in my art was visible when I returned home for the holidays and seen the very ‘beginners” I watched blossom through an open mic I ran, really bloom in their art forms and creating the opportunities we lacked growing up for music and the arts as a whole.
What are you like live?
Going from singing BV’s for a renowned Reggae band back home, Willis & The Illest, to open for the likes of Tarrus Riley and Beres Hammond – to holding my own on mini festivals, and the infamous Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club; I’ve watched my live performances really shape into quite the act.
Imagine Ella Fitzgerald, Erykah Badu and Amy Winehouse had a love child but was raised by Bobby McFerrin – that’s me. What I sound like, what my vibe is like. Oh yeah – throw in some Bob Marley messaging on good vibes and one love!
What makes you different?
I haven’t previously mentioned, but my niche is freestyling. I love to ask the crowd for 5-10 words and create a song for them right there on spot on the stage. No rapping, just singing. The excitement is that the crowd, the band, nor myself have any idea what to expect until it’s all done!
Physical vs Downloading vs Streaming…How do you listen to music?
If I’m in my car, I definitely want the CDs or the ‘what’s trending’ radios. If I’m in my house, the idea is to have all of my music on vinyls! At the moment I am a streamer. In high school I was a downloader from sites like Limewire and BearShare.
I guess, it really depends on what device I am listening from. As an artist there’s the confliction on what’s the just way to support an artist. The idea of ripping music from the internet was seen as a big no-no. Now the way things have changed; you don’t care where people are listening to your music from – you kinda focus on making sure it’s EVERYWHERE and someone IS listening to it. Then you pray they loved it enough to share and tell a friend so they can all share and stream and download and then one day pay to come see you live!
What have you been listening to?
Oh man – this is so tough to answer. I listen to a lot of music and in so many different genres.
FKJ and Masego are a constant in my playlists they go hand in hand with the baille funk from Sango. Yet, I am also very much into Lo-fi-HipHop/Jazz and have HUGE respect for Nujabes. Classic!
What are your aspirations for the future?
At the moment my focus is to plan a tour, release a track called ‘Crown’ for Int’l Women’s Day, keep up the promo. I am on the look for more music to be made and always on the lookout for collaborations.
Three major London goals I’d like ticked off my list are: BBC Introducing acoustic session, Colours Studios Session and perform at the Jazz Café. After that, I’d like to shift my focus to taking on more in Europe and around the globe. Then make all the riches and influence, to give to those who’ve assisted me along the way and to invest back into The Bahamas and it’s art scene.
Questions answered by: Chelsea Blues…