Iamchelseaiam has been hard at work since Iamtheindustry.com last featured her (check out the review on her Live at the Bitter End EP here http://www.iamtheindustry.com/?s=chelsea). She’s preparing to do a three-city tour, and has plans to release new music later this year. This time around IATI got to talk one on one with Chelsea to discuss the her writing process, more about her tour, and her thoughts on the current state of the music industry.
Iamtheindustry.com: The last time Iamtheindustry featured you, your EP Live at the Bitter End had dropped a few months earlier, and we did a review on it. What have you been up to since your last project?
Iamchelseaiam: Yes, a great time! That EP dropped right before I played the CMJ Music Festival, which was a very humbling experience from me. I used to volunteer to get a badge to that festival and to become an artist on the festival just made everything come full circle for me. Since then I’ve had been performing a LOT. I performed in Washington State, Ohio and in the New York City Area. In addition I was blessed to start my own residency at Nabe Harlem where I showcase other Singer/Songwriters every 1st Sunday of the month. Recently I was featured on “Date While You Wait” a social experiment here in NYC where TJ will have a “date” with people while they “wait” for the train.
As an independent artist, I’ve been exploring new ways to grow, writing new music and planning a tour.
IATI: It seems like it’s becoming rare to find an artist who has an appreciation for true musicianship. As a writer and performer, can you explain your creative process?
Iamchelseaiam: I write a lot on the subway. It’s one of the best places to write for me because I’m able to see a real perspective of a lot of different people in NYC. Plus some people are loud, on the phone and telling all of their business which can lead to great songs. One of my favorite songs “If You Think You’re Lonely Now” was actually inspired by one of Bobby Womack’s musicians who was arguing on the phone with his girlfriend at the time.
IATI: Where do you draw inspiration?
Iamchelseaiam: I get a lot of inspiration from the people around me. In addition to performing a lot, I go to a lot of shows to study how other guitarists play, their musicianship as well and I always see something new.
IATI: What music are you listening to these days? Who impresses you right now in the music industry?
Iamchelseaiam: I’m listening to a lot of Terrace Martin (Kendrick Lamar’s producer) who has this amazing R&B/Jazz album out. Also I’m in love with Twenty88 right now.
IATI: You’re preparing a three city tour, how did that come together? What cities are you visiting?
Iamchelseaiam: London, New York City and Chicago. I had been planning for Chicago for a while because I went to school there and I had friends requesting that I come play. God just made sure everything else fell into place. I sent out some emails and I guess people liked what they heard.
IATI: Will you be performing brand new music on tour? What can fans expect to hear?
Iamchelseaiam: They can definitely expect new music. I’m playing 2 songs from the EP, one of which is “Winners & Losers” the lead single. I’m also delving into some new covers.
IATI: What are your thoughts on the current state of the music business? Why do you think it’s difficult to break into the business these days?
Iamchelseaiam: I think the definition of “breaking” into the industry is changing. With the internet and other entrepreneurial ventures I think it’s possible to be a successful artist as long as your brand and following is strong. I think the challenge in today’s industry is dealing with people who have a large following but aren’t necessarily talented at their craft.
IATI: Aside from your upcoming tour, what else can listeners expect from you this year?
Iamchelseaiam: An EP release in Fall 2016 and more performances.