The RSOM team were delighted to sit down and have a chat to indie-pop, up-and-comer Chelsea Lorraine! Hailing from Gippsland, Chelsea is relatively new to the industry, but she definitely has a story to tell. Her debut single ‘Kaleidoscope’ is out now on iTunes and Spotify.
J: Hey Chelsea, welcome to RSOM! Would you like to introduce yourself to our readers?
C: “Hi! I’m an indie-pop, singer-songwriter based in Melbourne. And when I’m not gigging or writing, I’m teaching primary-aged children to sing their little hearts out. In my songs, you’ll hear tales of summer days, wondering minds, a little bit of love, and a lot of emotion.”
J: Awesome! So, how did your music journey start?
C: “I grew up in a fairly musical family. My dad plays guitar, and was in a band in his younger year. My sister is also a singer, and my brother is a drummer. He often plays gigs with me. So I was always surrounded by music, and there was a huge appreciation for it in our family. I remember weekends where we would listen to music either on the radio or CD’s, and try to learn all the lyrics, writing them down. Now you would just Google them. I also grew up going to church, and started singing in the church band at a young age. So that would be where my outward music journey started. I absolutely love doing it still to this day, but it wasn’t until I started studying music that I grew confidence in my original music and started to perform it.”
J: When did you begin song writing? Do you remember the first song you ever wrote?
C: “I don’t specifically remember my first song, but I do remember always writing little songs as a child. I have vivid memories at school of spending free time in class writing songs, and in high school my English portfolio was mostly full of songs or poems I had written. In primary school, I remember convincing my teacher to let my friends and I perform songs I had written to the rest of the class. I’m sure the class loved it *haha*. I find it very funny to think about now, and also a bit surprising because in every other sense I was quite a shy kid.”
J: Who are your musical influences?
C: “A huge musical influence is Joni Mitchell. I love the poetic and vivid lyrics of her songs, and can appreciate the way in which she tells detailed stories through her song writing.
Kate Miller-Heidke is another. I really like her quirky arrangements, and try to incorporate a bit of quirk into my music. I’m also really drawn to Regina Spektor’s percussive style of singing. They’re just a few that come to mind.”
J: Do you have a typical song writing process, or does it generally change from song-to-song?
C: “It generally changes from song to song. Sometimes I’ll wait until inspiration strikes, and write down lyrics in my phone, or if I have a melody in mind I’ll quickly record it, and come back to it (if it’s not at a time when I can’t sit down and explore it more right then and there). Other times I’ll sit at my keyboard and play around with chord progressions and little riffs until I hear something I like. In each instance, I always have the initial idea of what I’m writing about, and then the concept of how I want the song to play out. Lately I’ve been thinking about the arrangements of the song and what part instruments will play right from the beginning of the song writing process. I have found this to be really good for producing something with a new sound that really pushes myself out of what is known and comfortable.”
J: What was the inspiration behind Kaleidoscope? What was the process of writing and recording it?
C: “I wrote Kaleidoscope when I was going through a pretty tough time with illness. It was interfering with my studies, and getting in the way of what I wanted to do with my life. I really felt like I had lost control over my own life. And then I remember thinking to myself, ‘I’m more than just this disease and I’m not going to let it rule my life’. I had the imagery of a kaleidoscope of colours, and each time you turn the lens you get different colours and patterns, so depending on how you look at it you see something different each time. From there, this song just sort of poured out of me, and it’s about knowing that this difficult situation is only one part of your life and it doesn’t get to define you. ‘You are more! You are a beautiful kaleidoscope of colours!’ Once I had the lyrics, I then sat at my keyboard and played around with some chords. I knew I wanted it to sound really colourful to match the meaning of the song. So the chords of this song are not your standard chords but are quite dense in harmony.
We were really trying to keep the costs low (with the recording process). My husband, David, is pretty handy with Pro Tools and had some recording gear. What we didn’t have, we borrowed. We tracked all the instruments one at a time at home and then Dave mixed and edited the tracks, and we sent it off for mastering. I think we ended up with a good quality recording.”
J: What’s been the highlight of your musical journey so far?
C: “I would say releasing my first ever single. Even though it’s super scary to put your own stuff out there, it was a huge step forward for me. I’m extremely critical of my own work, and to be able to release this song was a step in the right direction. The single launch was also heaps of fun to play!”
J: How is the process for your EP coming along? What are you looking forward to most about releasing it?
C: “The EP is in it’s very early stages. I’ve got an awesome producer on board, and have just recorded some demos for him to have a look at. Hopefully we’ll start tracking in the next couple of weeks. I can’t wait to finish this EP, it has been a long time coming, so I’m just really looking forward to getting my songs out there!”
Written by Jordyn Hoekstra