Continuing with our weekly style & music interview series we bring you an interview with songtress Kelsey of Chicago . We came to know Kelsey via her "A Delightful Sadness Train Tour" from 2012 and became instant fans of her music. Check out the interview inside where she talks thrifting , re-inventing her style, musical influences , and last but not least almost being attacked by a street performer on her 2012 Train Tour....
Let start things off with a blast from the past . If it were 2006 what would you be wearing ?
In 2006 I would have been a sophomore in high school. So that means I would probably be wearing a band t-shirt, ripped jeans and converse. That's around the time I really started getting serious about guitar and playing venues. Me and my friends went to see a lot of shows and that was the thing to sport your favorite band tee.
At the moment do you have a favorite designer or brand ?
I wouldn't say I follow a particular brand. I have always had a pretty eclectic taste in fashion. When I am going for a certain look it doesn't matter to me if I find it at a thrift store, a department store or a name brand place.. As long as it has the type of character I was looking for and I feel like I can rock it.
Looking at your videos one can't help but notice how your look changes. Are you one to switch up your style daily or reinvent every so often?
Definitely. I think I've always gone through phases where I completely change my style depending on my mood. There are times where I feel like wearing high heels, dresses and lipstick. There is a certain kind of fierceness to a woman in heels. But I can also say the same for when I'm in a leather jacket, boots and a beanie. I tend to flip flop between the two extremes a lot because I think both looks reflect a certain aspect of my personality.
What are some of the things that have influenced your personal style over the years?
I get inspired by street fashion. I people watch a lot when I'm out and I'll take notes on certain looks or pieces that I think are bad ass and then I add to it. Like if I see someone with a sick jacket on I'll imagine it with a scarf or accessory that would make it more my style. And then the next time I'm shopping I keep those images in my head and try to piece the outfit together.
Music How did you get your start in music and , Did you always know you wanted to do something that would make you standout such as music.
It sounds crazy but I have never, ever had a doubt in my mind that I was going to do music. I have a little note I wrote when I was about 7 years old that says "When I grow up I'm going to be a singer and be on the radio." I've never made a back up plan for myself or felt like maybe I would be better suited in a different career. I've always had a very stubborn mentality about it. It comes so natural to me that if a couple months go by and I'm not writing or singing progressing in my career I start feeling depressed and lifeless. It's like I become a different person. I remember having feelings like that as far back as grade-school. I think that maybe I was surrounded by so much music when I was younger that it has become my one constant and I will always return back to it no matter what.
What artist have had the biggest influence on you when it comes to music ?
I don't think there has ever been one artist that has influenced me the most. I've always flipped around from different music styles. I began making mixes when I was in high school of whatever I was listening to at the time. I still do even now. And they are usually pretty diverse. I might have a hip hop track, then a punk song, I'll jump to African blues, and then throw an old soul song followed by a bluegrass song. But I think I will never grow tired of all the ladies in music that have inspired me the most. Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Lauryn Hill, Fiona Apple, Alanis Morisette, Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Courtney Love, Joan Jett, Nancy Sinatra, Bjork, Patti Smith, and now my new favorite Lana Del Rey. There is something so authentic and inspiring about each one of these ladies.
When you create what do you set out to give the listener?
I think as a musician your job is to create moods and emotional landscapes for people to lose themselves in. When I write something I try to take people into a certain world of feeling. I want it to inspire or enhance peoples moods the same way music does for me when I listen to it. The thing that makes music so universal is the fact that it has the power to transcend any emotion or feeling or experience and make people feel feel less lonely or sad or empty. Or on the contrary it can make you feel even greater even when you're already on top of the world. There is a type of music for every experience. People use music kind of like a drug. It's a mood enhancer. It alters your state of mind. But the best part is music doesn't have any terrible side affects.
We recently posted video from your 2012 Train tour . I must say that was a great idea . What was your most memorable moment from that?
The most memorable part was almost getting attacked by another street performer! At one of the stops I guess there was another guy performing on the opposite end. I didn't see him when I started singing. And all of the sudden I see out of the corner of my eye some huge guy running towards me swearing at the top of his lungs! He got in my face and told me (in much more aggressive language) to leave because this was his spot and I was taking business from him. A few people had to step in-between us and try to calm him down! He did have a point because there is a rule that street performers must use the designated performance spots at a first come first serve rate but he handled it like a lunatic! I didn't really know all of that when I started but I am much more aware of street performers etiquette now, believe me.
As far as the music goes what can fans look forward to in the future from you ?
I'm currently working on the next e.p now. I am confident that this next e.p will keep the same momentum that "A Delightful Sadness" created. I think this last e.p set the bar for the level of music I put out and it is my goal to improve beyond that and expand my writing and creativity. And it looks like within the next 6 months to a year I could be on tour! I think I'm ready to expand out of Chicago finally. But of course Chicago will always be my true home.