A new album released by Chelsea J manages to touch on several pop tonalities and subgenres while remaining true to heart, and even empowering at times with a colorful musical character and energy that becomes quickly infectious.
The Moon Spirit album is packed to the brim with personality and a unique blend of textures and soundscapes that come together to create an atmosphere that you really don't want to leave.
The record shows such a vibrant and memorable presence and lets Chelsea shine as an artist as the record seems to be free-spirited and inviting while she takes you through what feels like different chapters of her life.
There are more than a few singles that stand on their own two legs throughout the course of this release however listening to the full album is the best way to go here.
There's something special about soaking in this record as a whole and I suggest you do that if you have the time.
Her vocals are really what pull you in and you begin to pay attention to what she's saying lyrically this gives you insight into the different vibes of the songs but at the same time, the music of it all and the production really pack that pop punch that you want to hear on a record like this.
This release is alive and breathing and feels really good to listen to especially first thing in the morning.
Chelsea blends hints of this vintage pop alimentation using certain kinds of synths and instruments along with bringing in touches of R&B flow vocally and the whole thing is something that wrapped itself around you and keeps you right where it wants to.
This was an impactful and incredibly danceable record through and through and while it has that fun pop feel, it does get personal and does tell stories from song to song.
So, you get the best of both worlds with this record, and it gives you a little more of a sense of who Chelsea is as a person which I think an album like this should portray.
One of the best things about it is that you can clearly hear her love for the craft as the record plays through and the songs have a lot of soul and some surprises around some corners.
Chelsea did quite a job taking music that influences her and making those sounds her own.
She has a very powerful way of creating a staple sound for herself and this album is the epitome of that.
With the release of such a wonderfully woven album, we wanted to have a sit-down with Chelsea J to find out where this record actually came from and what might be coming up next for the artist.
Here's what happened.
Buzz Slayers: Okay, let's start with the Moon Spirit record! This album had a colorful and vibrant pop tonality that blended R&B but also kept a vintage pop feel! How did this release come about?
Thank you for the love and support! This album is about relationships in all facets, like having to stand up for yourself, having peace with yourself in isolation, or struggling with fake friends. The process took about 7 months. I wrote these songs mostly at night and refined them before I was in the studio. I had just lost my grandmother who I was very close to, and wasn’t in a good place. However, I met my producer and friend Quincy who came alongside me at the right time. I also must say I enjoy the red-tape process of music making like the details of metadata, designing my cover art for the album, picking the track list, and getting my samples cleared.
Buzz Slayers: How did this all start for you as an artist?
As a baby, I would try and mouth what my mother sang to me and I’m sure it sounded like nonsense, but I loved the way music felt. I started in church choir and as a young child, I remember loving how people could never be indifferent about music, they had to have an opinion about whether they liked or disliked certain songs. I also studied classical voice which consisted of Italian and German operas, and musical theatre.
I get inspired by melody then lyrics, or lyrics first, then the melody. I released my first ever single in 2011 called “In Love From Afar” and I have been on a journey of writing and releasing singles, and collaborating with other indie songwriters and producers to make more songs. I released my self-written EP "Baby Girl" in 2018, and that was my coming of age in a sense. The lead single ‘Stretch’ was featured on the CW channel on the show All-American. Now with my first full-length album, it’s a full circle moment of the ups and downs in my journey.
Buzz Slayers: What kind of things really inspire songs for you?
My life experiences or experiences of people close to me. It’s almost as if we are walking storyboards, and we never really know how similar our struggle is, until someone vocalizes it, and you can have empathy with others because you see the bigger picture.
Buzz Slayers: This record has some interesting approaches to it! Can you give us some of your biggest influences musically?
Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Brandy, and Barbra Streisand. I really love their entire discographies and the systematic way they approach writing a song or singing a song, that makes it engaging from a universal perspective. They know how to have that balance of writing from a personal experience but making it relatable for all.
Buzz Slayers: What are you doing when you're NOT working on music?
I was a theatre major in college, so I like to immerse myself in watching movies. I have had experience in short films, indie films, plays, and modeling. I also enjoy hanging out with my friends and making them laugh.
Buzz Slayers: Who's in your headphones right now?
Beyoncé and Taylor Swift when I’m feeling flawless. They are my biggest inspirations for singing and songwriting. When I’m feeling my musical theatre roots rising, I put on Barbra Streisand.
Buzz Slayers: Are you doing any live performances right now?
At the moment, I’ve been writing more songs, but hopefully, I’ll be on the ticket to perform at some festivals soon. Manifestation for the win!
Buzz Slayers: Do you record these at a big studio or do you have a home studio set-up?
I actually have a home studio where I record ideas and melodic toplines so I have the barebones skeleton idea of what I want to do.
I do this for a couple of months before I record in a studio setting with engineers. I want to shout out Clear Lake Recordings. I’ve been recording with them for years and their engineering team really understands their artists' visions.
Buzz Slayers: What can your fans expect from you in the near future?
Definitely more music, I am also developing another short film. I really love directing and acting, because it’s another form of storytelling without music.
Buzz Slayers: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?
Thank you for being a listener. It means more than you know. If you have ever felt isolated to the point where you needed your “Moon Spirit” to rise like a Phoenix, in order to take control of your life again; I’m super proud of you. You are not alone.