GETTING CREDIT

CHEL

London's singer/songwriter, producer and performer speaks on her latest single 'Different', the process of working on her upcoming EP with Termula and Levelle London and her love for making vibrant Pop-infused tracks.

You recently dropped your first single of the year ‘Different’, what were your initial inspirations for the track?


I started dating again after taking a hiatus from taking anyone seriously and was pleasantly surprised (not really) that people are just not as different as they say they are! I think some things are circumstantial, but honestly I wish people didn’t make false promises or make themselves out to be something they are not. So in summary that’s the inspiration behind the track!
 

How was the creative process of the single and who did you work with? 

I usually keep the beat of a song playing in the background on repeat and then out of nowhere a melody will come into my head, I record it on my voice recorder on my phone and then add the lyrics. I put out a tweet asking producers to send me beats. Termula was one of the producers that hit me up with loads but the R&B base for this one SLAPPED! So I chose it!

You also dropped a visual for the single on CONCEPT, how was working on the video and what were your main influences? 

It was amazing, it was actually filmed in my home. So probably one of my most comfortable and chilled. The majority of the team I've worked with before and are my main team, so it was more of the same! However, it was phenomenal to have an organisation such as CONCEPT commission and support an independent artist and give me a platform to showcase my work, whilst making the provisions for an amazing video. I produce all my music videos, so having them take care of the rest was lovely. It took some of the stress out of planning a video. The video was influenced by the colour blue which is a clear visual description mentioned in the first verse of the song.

"I run and manage my whole career alone. However, collaboration is key ... "

You’ve been working up to releasing your second project, how has the process been of writing this EP?

I wrote all of it last year and began recording this year. It’s been a process of self discovery and it’s defo a completely different artist from the EP released in 2018. It’s confident and unapologetic unlike the Chel of way back when. I actually believe in myself and my sound. You can hear it in the music lol!


You’ve been working with Levelle London and Terumla, how has it been working alongside them on your new music? 

I love working with Levelle, he gets me, he understands the melodies and ideas I have in my head and he pushes me. I don’t think you get that with many engineers. We rarely disagree when it comes to recording and mastering my tracks!

 

Termula is a young bright light with a plethora of work behind him. Honestly, I couldn’t believe how much he produces, very easy going guy so that was refreshing. I think he’ll always have music for me to work with.

 

How important is collaboration for you, for your growth as an artist? 

I run and manage my whole career alone. However, collaboration is key because I can’t produce all my work alone. I’m good at most things but not everything and it’s important to recognise that in order to get the best out of your ideas and work. So I make sure I work with the best in my opinion. People who believe in my craft namely.

"My vibe is R&B and pop fusion and the pop side is definitely more adventurous ..."

What do you want to explore both sonically and conceptually within this upcoming project? 


Sonically, I’ve given my engineer creative freedom to experiment with sounds and effects. My vibe is R&B and pop fusion and the pop side is definitely more adventurous, so I will be pushing the boundaries with that sonically.

 

Conceptually, I would like to not try and be so perfect with my visuals. Not only is it expensive ha! it’s tiring to put together and i’d like to release more. I want my listeners to see and hear more from me. Wanting to release perfect videos delays this.

How does this project show your growth as an artist from your debut EP ‘Reclaiming My Love’? 


'Reclaiming My Love' was seeking answers, looking for approval, I was hurt. With my new EP, I recognise I have most of the answers and when I don’t that’s ok, I’ll get there. I don’t need anyone’s approval. I am worth everything, I believe I am. I want everyone to feel this way. Why do we care what other people think when we are the bag? Why do we put people on pedestals where they can hurt us? I’m just not for making myself completely vulnerable anymore and all about putting myself first!

Last year you dropped a trio of singles, how did that allow you the space to experiment with each release?

I did! I started working with my then new engineer Levelle, so I believe this was an introduction of my new sound. The lockdown allowed me to space each release because I didn’t want to release everything all at once as I didn’t know when I would be able to record/film again! So it all worked out for my good really. 

 

"I know when people see me they expect to hear mainly urban sounds. However, I really enjoy bringing a commercial vibrant edge to those expected conventional sounds."


If you had to choose two of your tracks to best show your range as an artist, which two would you choose and why? 

It would have to be my single “Love Me” and my next single off my EP “Next Level”. One is afro-pop/R&B and the other goes right to the other end of the spectrum of Pop. I know when people see me they expect to hear mainly urban sounds. However, I really enjoy bringing a commercial vibrant edge to those expected conventional sounds.


Being from North London, are there any local artists you would recommend?

 

CR Blacks


Which artists first inspired you to get into music and who is inspiring you today?
 

Jojo was my MAIN inspiration. I had her CD album, I remember seeing her perform and I couldn’t believe she was only 11/12 at the time. Her range, vocal ability, confidence. The relatability of her lyrics. Young Jojo blows many people out of the water today.

 

Then my ultimate faves growing up Ashanti, Aaliyah and Usher. I had their albums on ROTATION! My TOP faves to go studio with would be Tank, Eric Bellinger, James Fauntleroy and Ryan Leslie.


If you had to recommend five artists to your listeners, who would you choose?

 

Jojo, Aaliyah, Ashanti, Tank and Eric Bellinger.

What’s coming up for the rest of 2021?

 

An EP in a month and a three song Afro-pop tape later in the year! I think one more amazing video too. All good things come in three’s right?!

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