Melbourne based soul vocalist, songwriter, broadcaster and DJ Chelsea Wilson just released her brand new single Through With Lovin’ You with a launch party in Brisbane and is about to hit Melbourne. It is the first single from Chelsea’s upcoming debut album I Hope You’ll Be Very Unhappy Without Me to be released mid-2014.
What was your favorite part about working on the release of your new single Through With Lovin’ You?
I had an absolute ball making the film clip! The video is a ‘girl’s night out’ theme and shows me hitting the town for dancing and karaoke with my gal pals. The clip was directed by Adam Rudegeair (PBS FM’s Black Wax show presenter and incredible jazz pianist) and features a bunch of my real life closest girlfriends Shae Mourtzakis, Shirley Davis, Christina Arnold, Florelie Escano and Jennifer Kingwell (who are all amazing vocalists you should check out!). There was champagne and lots of giggles at every location ha ha! We did the karaoke scenes in a bar in the city – we had the room booked from 1-6pm but we were done shooting by 3pm. The girls were so good we got all the shots done in no time! So after the crew left we ordered more champagne and actually did karaoke till we were asked to leave. Karaoke with a bunch of professional singers is actually quite hilarious. A whole lot of Mariah, Whitney and other diva covers! We will be projecting the clip on the big screen at the launch can’t wait for you to see it! I’m a bit nervous about my face supersized on a large screen but I will probably be backstage during that bit ha ha!
Was the launch in Brisbane everything you had hoped it would be?
I LOVED performing in Brisbane, I hadn’t sung at the New Globe Theatre before so that was terrific! It’s a great room and the lighting looked beautiful. I was supporting the fabulous Bullhorn and the atmosphere on the night was brilliant. Bullhorn asked me to do a guest song during their set as did Kerbside Collection who were supporting also so I got to do some guest appearances with Brisbane acts which was loads of fun. It’s a great scene up there and all the musicians are so lovely. Everyone hugs each other, wears colourful clothes and is really positive! We also played at Sol Bar in Maroochydore and Cafe Le Monde in Noosa so I was feeling pretty loved by Queenslanders by the end of the weekend. I even managed to fit in a sneaky recording session in West End, breakfast with a girlfriend and a beach swim on the sunny coast so all round a very successful weekender!
Produced by yourself and Jake Mason, the track features an incredible list of musicians including Lance Ferguson (The Bamboos) on guitar, Lucas Taranto on bass (Gotye), Ivan ‘Choi’ Khatchoyan on drums (True Live) and Michelle Martinez (The Voice) on backing vocals. Have you recorded other tracks with these musicians?
Yes! I recorded my EP Bitterness with Lance, Jake and Ivan back in 2010 so it was fabulous to work with them again for my new album. Michelle is Sydney based and was in town for a TV appearance and I nabbed her to do some recording after her film shoot. We met at a Women of Soul gig a few years ago and I was very chuffed to have her on the album She is an incredible singer so it was a thrill to work with her in the studio! The album also features Phil Binotto on percussion, Dorian Broomhall on trumpet and Mitch Power on guitar from Deep Street Soul and the gorgeous Candice Monique on backing vocals. Not to forget the fabulous Lucas Taranto who I call the ‘zen master’ of the studio – he is super chilled out and calm in the studio and I was super lucky to get him on a touring break to come in and record as he was off and away with Gotye for quite a while! Recording the album was a lot of work but a really good experience and I feel really lucky to have worked with a bunch of great musicians.
Through With Lovin’ You is an empowering song. What was the reason behind the lyrics?
Thank you! The song is designed to be a bit of an anthem for breaking free from emotionally draining and abusive relationships. It’s a song I wrote for myself, my Mum and my girlfriends but I think the fellas can relate to this too. I hope it inspires anyone in an abusive relationship or an unhappy situation to get out of it now! I love singing ‘Through With Lovin’ You’ live and I can’t wait to sing it at the Melbourne launch show. The backing vocalists and I have some special dance moves worked out for this one which I can’t wait to do. I don’t ever imagine getting tired of singing this song – it’s kind of cathartic.
Your forthcoming album I Hope You’ll Be Very Unhappy Without Me will be released on your independent label House of Valerie Joan. When was the first time you established your label?
I have about a million ideas for events, releases and compilations I want to do and I have always wanted to start my own label so this year House of Valerie Joan was born! The label is named after my parental and maternal grandmothers who both sadly passed away. I like to think they would dig the name and the record! I have a stack events coming up I am putting together (including the next Women of Soul show at Bella Union on May 17) so stay tuned for upcoming HVJ news!
The album artwork concept was directed by you. Have you designed artwork before?
This was my first time directing a shoot and doing album concept design and I loved it! I actually did a number of photo shoots for the record initially, none of which were very successful unfortunately. I looked like a stunned possum in the first bunch of photo shoots and the images just weren’t really relating to the music. So I decided I needed to try again and direct it myself. I did a huge stack of research going through piles of magazines and books, trawling the web for pictures, and even watching youtube tutorials on modelling and photography to prepare for the shoot. Once I had the concept in mind and the outfits I booked a photographer friend of mine (Helen Melville) from Sydney to come down and do the shoot and went over with her in detail exactly what I wanted. I then enlisted my brother to do a ‘practice’ mock shoot for me at home as a practice run. I tried on all the outfits and tried out a bunch of poses and he snapped pics of me on the iphone so I could work out what looks I liked and what was comfortable to do. It was actually quite a hilarious afternoon with my brother and we were cracking up a fair bit but from that little ‘home shoot’ I had a draft kind of version of the images I wanted to show the photographer. All the work paid off – I’m really happy with the end result. We did all three looks in the one day and it all went really smoothly. My advice is to have a clear concept and find a photographer you feel really comfortable with. Helen was amazing to work with. She listened to everything I said, had some excellent ideas and did an incredible job with the pictures.
Is it true the artwork for your album was inspired by Cher?
Haha! Yes. The album is called ‘I Hope You’ll be Very Unhappy Without Me’ and the photo shoot concept was ‘Rock Star Divorcees’ where I channelled the looks of three 70’s it-girls, Bianca Jagger, Priscilla Presley and Cher. I had so much fun putting the shoot together and styling each look. Each look is based on original images of all three ex-wives. I borrowed some pieces, bought some others and had a special headpiece made for the ‘Bianca’ look based on a picture I saw of her at Studio 54 with Mick Jagger back in the day. I’ll be releasing the album midyear, can’t wait to show you the cover shot!
If there was any new artist you could chose to work with. Who would it be?
Such a tough question! Can I only pick one? I would love to work with Quantic on a Latin album, Sia on a pop album, Sam Sparro on something disco fabulous, Marcus Miller on a jazz record and Erykah Badu on anything she wants to do ha ha! My dream though is to be Kylie Minogue’s backing singer. Watch out Miss Lucy and Miss Roxy ha ha!
The Melbourne single launch stars your 12-biece band with support from QLD’s Bullhorn and King Seven. Do you know Bullhorn and King Seven quite well?
I got to know Bullhorn a little bit over my recent QLD stint supporting their single launch shows and they are a lovely bunch of Brisbane men who can really play! They have a huge sound and get the crowd really pumped up – I’m excited to have them down in Melbourne! King Seven is a brilliant DJ, broadcaster and Elvis impersonator. He marries people too, what an all-rounder! I’m not sure if he will be wearing his white jumpsuit to the show, but I hope so! He is a very funny and generous human being and has the best hair in Melbourne.
Can we look-forward to an album tour later this year?
Definitely! I want to pack my bags and hit the road. I love performing and can’t wait to take the album tracks on tour!
Big thanks to Speaker TV for making Through With Lovin’ You song of the day last week, I’m stoked!
Chelsea launches ‘Through With Lovin’ You – Saturday March 29th at Shebeen – Melbourne, Vic