We caught up with Aussie songstress and disco queen, Chela. Read more to hear about her musical journey, song writing process, and new Sunday Church dance party taking place at Tenants Of The Trees in Silverlake.
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Describe your style in 5 words or less.
Leisure, pleasure, light-hearted.
Tell us about your musical journey. When did you start playing and how has your music evolved?
I started by writing rap breakdowns to my sisters songs and messing around on Logic software when I was 12, when my #1 idol was Lauryn Hill. My life became tumultuous when I was 15 and I started listening to The Strokes, The Hives, The Cure, Pavement and Pixies. I taught myself bass guitar and started a pop-punk-rock band with my best friends. We toured Australia and had the time of our lives. Something that remained was my passion for movement and MJ. My solo project is truly a collection of all of these influences and more. It feels good to be free in my writing process and maintain a sort of continuity naturally. It's important not to feel creatively restricted, and I think that is why I have stayed independent for so long.
What artists inspired you growing up and who are you digging on today?
I mentioned a few earlier - 90's pop, RnB & Hip Hop were the soundtrack to my tweens, and then I fell in love with rock, punk, grunge and 80's pop once I'd had my heart broken. Recently I've been listening to 'Junk' by M83, Silk Rhodes and Nao - but it's less about albums these days and more about songs. There are many songs I adore from many different artists.
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Do you have a song writing process?
There's no formula. An idea hatches itself in different forms, whether that be a vocal part, a few words, a rhythmic idea.. I use my phone voice memos a lot to collect these ideas and jam them out in my bedroom studio before sharing them with anyone.
What can we find you doing when you're not playing music?
I'm passionate about staying strong, healthy and environmentally aware. I do pilates and get creative in the kitchen. If I had the time I'd like to be doing more environmental activism.
We can't wait to check out Sunday CHURCH at Tenants Of Trees! How did you come up with this event and what can we expect?
I'd been fantasising about creating a female-run, #LGBTQIA-friendly dance night for a while. Reza appointed it to a Sunday night, and CHURCH was born. The concept is aimed at creating a sense of community, welcoming and a place where dance is the ritual.
What's next for you?
I'm off to London to work on my first record with Chris Zane!