California native Chellcy Reitsma is a true Renaissance woman. Before venturing into the indie music scene, she was a dancer, choreographer, artist and poet. Since she had some time on her hands in 2015, she decided to try singing and songwriting. Ever since then, Reitsma has been focusing on writing and performing her music.
Please welcome Chellcy Reitsma to the blog!
Who is answering the questions?
Chellcy Reitsma, singer-songwriter, poet and visual artist.
Band/Artist Name: Chellcy Reitsma
Tell us about your latest project:
My most recent single and music video ‘Happy New Year” was inspired by the one year anniversary of my cousin’s death. He died on Christmas Eve in a motorcycle accident, hit and dragged by a semi-truck on a highway in California. We grew up together and were neighbors for some years. He was only a few years older than me and his death really struck a deep chord with me.
Then I thought about all my many family and friends who have died and felt like I could end up, eventually, being the last one left at this party we call life. So I used a New Years Eve party as a metaphor for life and death. The song is my way of processing all of this and a tribute to those who have gone before me.
Music video: https://youtu.be/Ky_bMNb3jWI
Where was your first concert as a fan? As a performer?
As a fan my first concert was Weezer in Visalia, California at the Redwood High School Auditorium.
As a musician my first concert was singing for a charity event in Malta with a youth orchestra called “The Philippines Orchestra and Friends’ benefit concert led by Peter Paul of Tribali (a famous Maltese world music band). Our first ticketed concert as headliners was just last summer 2021 at the Ivy House in Malta.
What is the secret to writing good music?
Patience and taking risks. Being open and receptive to the ideas coming to yourself and your collaborators without placing limitations on it. Just allow the music and creativity to flow then everything will fall into place. Challenge yourself and create freely from constraints of theory, genres and styles so you and the music can evolve.
Do you have a bucketlist? If so, what’s on it?
Creating several full albums, creating more music videos, writing and publishing several books of poetry, traveling to see more ancient archeological sites like Machu Piccu for example, hang gliding and more.
What was the last thing that you read?
I usually have 2-3 books I’m reading at a time. So the latest list is:
Seductress: Women Who Ravished the World and Their Lost Art of Love by Elizabeth Stevens Prioleau
When the Drummers Were Women by Layne Redmond
What are you listening to at the moment?
I’m currently obsessed with Asaf Avidan, Kocacs, LP, Nick Cave, Patti Smith and Leonard Cohen. I can’t get enough of them. Been listening to Blue October and BRMC a lot lately too.
If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing?
Well, I am also a visual artist and poet. I graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Art has been a passion of mine since childhood so I would definitely be pursuing a career in art. I love to blend my visual art and poetry too by creating short stop motion animations or simply illustrating my poetry with painting and drawings. You can see some examples here on my poetry page: https://instagram.com/ephemeralcompass?utm_medium=copy_link
Before I started music however, I was a touring professional dancer, choreographer and teacher. Had I not been injured beyond repair at age 40, I would most likely still have my dancing career going.
Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?
I would like to continue my collaborations with my band members, Peter Borg at Railway Studios MT and Mat and Ville Leppanen at The Animal Farm Music. I love working with these talented guys and we have great creative chemistry together.
But in my collaboration fantasies and wildest dreams… I would love to collaborate on a poetic music project with Patti Smith and the Soundwalk Collective! Dream big or go home right? Lol!
What do you want people to know about your music?
Our style is a bit eclectic because we write the music to fit the song with out concern for genres. Our fusion style is a bit poetic and retro, smooth and mellow but still fresh from alternative rock to blues rock, from Americana to adult contemporary. I try to write from a very personal and authenic place in hopes that listeners will connect with me and my music and feel empowered and inspired.
I also have a new single coming out on the 4th of March title ‘Feshbot Prison’. It’s an angry rock song and artistic theory of human existence. Here is the presave link: https://smarturl.it/crfleshbotprison.