Chelsea Cutler is a rising young singer, hailing from Westport, Connecticut. In just two years, Chelsea Cutler has gone from a bedroom producer and musician, to a household name. With multiple songs and tours under her belt, she now releases her debut album “How To Be Human,” ahead of her upcoming tour and Coachella set. I caught up with Chelsea to discuss her motivation, inspiration and aspirations.
What inspired you to pursue music? Connecticut is not particularly known for its smash hit music scene.
Honestly my parents really gave me the push I needed. I knew I enjoyed making music, but I didn’t think in my wildest dreams that I could make it as an artist until my parents encouraged me.
You have a very unique musical style and voice. How do you describe it and what pushed you towards this style?
I don’t really know how to describe it, it just feels like me! I just make music that I think is cool.
You have been very open about your mental health, what has the response been like? How does being open impact your music? Have you had any concerns about discussing your mental health? How have you grappled with that?
I think being open and transparent with my mental health has shown a lot of people that they’re not alone. I think authenticity is really important, and I think that resonates with people. I don’t really get too concerned about my openness. Mental health is an important thing to discuss!
You spend a lot of time touring, including your upcoming “How To Be Human” tour. How does that impact you as a person and artist?
Touring is incredible. It gives me a lot of time to travel and explore, and of course I love playing shows. My tour crew members are some of my absolute best friends, so I think touring has made me a very grateful person. And obviously getting to meet fans face to face and connect with them and hear their stories is the coolest thing ever. It’s hard to understand how my music resonates with people, until I actually go out and meet fans and experience the energy in the room with them.
You are about to play Coachella. This is a really big move as an artist. How do you feel about this?
It’s surreal! I don’t even know how to feel! It’s definitely been a bucket list item of mine, so I’m excited to finally play it.
Over the past few years you have really blown up as an artist, how have you worked with this fame? How has it impacted you?
I definitely don’t think I’d call it fame yet, although being more in the public eye has posed its challenges for sure. I’m definitely learning how to balance being open and authentic with retaining some degree of ownership over my private life. It’s a learning curve, and I don’t have too many friends who can relate, but I think I’m getting better at handling it all.
“I Was In Heaven,” is very beautiful and yet heartbreaking, what specifically inspired you to make this song?
I was going through a really difficult time this summer, and I honestly just wrote the song about a very vivid dream I had, hence the opening line of the song.
You do collaborations with artists like Quin XCII, Jeremy Zucker and Alexander 23, what is your collaborative process like?
The collaborative process really varies. With Quinn XCII and Jeremy Zucker, I wrote songs with them together in the studio. With Alexander 23, I wrote “Lucky” alone and thought he’d sound great on it, so I sent it over to him with a blank verse, and he recorded it in LA and sent it back to us.
“How To Be Human,” your debut album is coming out soon. What has been your process while making this album?
It’s definitely been a long road. I’ve written in green rooms, on airplanes, on tour busses, in my bedroom, in studios, etc. This album comes from many different places geographically and emotionally. I went into the writing process with no real expectations, so I’m really proud of the fact that I ended up producing 14 of the songs on the album.
What inspired the album? What story do you want it to tell?
What really inspired the album was my own confusion about how to be a person. We spend our whole lives in institutions (school, under our parents’ roofs, organized extracurriculars, etc.) and all of a sudden, we’re adults, and we’re thrust into the real world. So I think the album is just me sharing my experiences with this.
How do you think fans will react to it?
I hope people like it! I feel like I wrote about things that are all pretty universally relatable, so hopefully people hear the album and know that someone else understands what they’re going through.
Listen to Chelsea Cutler’s debut album “It Was Heaven,” out now!