- Hi Chelsey, can you tell me a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician? I grew up on a farm in Southwest Missouri (just north of Branson). I was a competitive cheerleader junior high through college and never really got involved in music when I was in school. I stayed close to home for college and went to Drury University in Springfield. I graduated with a business degree and went into real estate when I graduated.
- What made you decide to have a career in country music? One night while I was in college, I was hanging out with some girlfriends and we were all getting ready to go out. I was singing along to some song on the radio and one of my friends noticed, turned the radio off and said, “Oh my gosh, sing some more!” I was totally embarrassed, but I ended up singing a Carrie Underwood song for them. I remember them all freaking out and telling me how good I was and I really didn’t believe them to be honest! I liked singing by myself in the shower or car, and maybe some church and school programs as a kid, but never really considered myself to be that good. Over the next couple of years, these same friends pressured me (which I am very thankful for!) into singing at local karaoke bars. I gained some confidence after doing that and eventually joined a cover band, having no idea what I was doing, but ended up having great success. Once I started performing, I quickly realized this was what I was meant to do. It took me some time to build up my confidence, (I was pretty terrified for quite some time every time I had to step on stage), but once I did, I started wanting to create my own sound and songs. I didn’t think I had what it took to write a good song, until one day, a song just poured out of me almost completely on its own. That definitely gave me the confidence I needed to keep writing more and more. I realized I had a lot to say and loved that I got to pair what I wanted to say with what I like hearing musically as well. I’ve always loved country music and could never imagine doing anything else after these experiences I have been blessed with.
- Who are some of your musical icons? I grew up listening to country music in the 90’s, so my first memories of hearing country music are Faith Hill, Martina McBride, Sara Evans, Trisha Yearwood- all such powerful female voices. I remember when Carrie Underwood won American Idol and put out her first record. I memorized every song on that album! She was a huge influence for me because of how vocally challenging, but so profound her vocals were/are. As I got older, I started getting more into rock music as well and love bands like Journey and Shinedown. I obviously gravitate towards artists who have that huge vocal and full, dramatic sound! 🙂
- What is the background behind your brand-new single “The Men and the Boys?” I had the instrumental base track to this song from my producer, Mike Bailey. I loved the sound and knew I wanted to write a song to it. I took it to a couple friends of mine and said, “I’m not sure what I want to write about, but I love this sound. I want to write something that both men AND women are going to want to listen to.” Oran Thornton, one of the writers, threw out the phrase, “what separates the men from the boys,” and I immediately knew what the song was going to be about. That phrase reminded me of all the times my girlfriends and I would go out to a country bar in town and see nothing but “catalog cowboys” as they’re called in the song. You know the kind, the guys who dress up like cowboys, but had probably never worked on a farm a day in their life. I would always say, “Is there even a real country boy in this place?” (haha) So, that’s where the idea from the song came from.
- How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words? High-octane, authentic, powerful, country/rock mix.
- What is your recording process like when creating and making new music?After I write something, I like to live with it for a little while with a track before I go into the studio to record. I’ll usually listen or sing to the track over and over in my car and figure out how I want things to sound. Once I go into the studio, I usually sing the song about 5 times through fully, then go through and fix some things I might not like. Then comes another round of listening over and over in my car to make sure nothing needs fixed again. Usually something will really stick out that I don’t like that I will have to go back in and fix. It’s a pretty tedious process, but it’s all worth it once you get that final product.
- What are a few of your favorite venues to play at? I always love playing at home, because I get to look out and see all of my friends and family. When I’m home, I play at a venue called “Southbound.” I have to say though, it’s hard to beat just singing to an acoustic guitar at a little bar in Nashville. I love playing in Nashville because everyone is there to listen to original music and you know they’re really listening.
- Is there anything else you would like to share? I plan to put out a new single about every 2-3 months this year. 🙂
- What is one of your favorite quotes? My favorite quote of all time is probably, “Success is on the other side of fear.” I’m not sure who said that, but I have found it to be absolutely true, especially in this industry.