Chelsea Jade

Local artist, Chelsea Jade,  may call L.A. home now but we are excited to see her back in Auckland this March, headlining the Live Music Event on Fort Street as part of 4 Days of Fashion. We caught up with her on her own fashion influences, music inspiration and how it feels performing back here in New Zealand.

You recently performed at Wondergarden, how was it returning to New Zealand and performing in front of a hometown crowd?
I didn’t realize until I watched the footage back that there was a massive swarm of voices singing my lyrics along with me. I worked really hard to make it a special and it was fortifying to feel like the audience had the same idea for me. It felt symbiotic. The mutual feelings made it good.  

How has your own fashion style evolved over the years? And do you think that your music influences this or vice versa (or perhaps it is symbiotic)?
My primary objective is always to feel unfettered. Now more than ever, with so much movement incorporated into my live show, it’s about practicality and allowing each limb maximum agility. I don’t think my style has changed so much. Maybe my sensibilities are just refining around my original goals. I can tell very quickly if something would settle into my gamut. I like muted colours and masculine shapes moulded slightly to honour femininity.

Do you think your environment influences your style both musically and with fashion? (Having lived in Auckland and Los Angeles?)
I thought my sensibilities would become haunted by the environment because it’s just so one-note weather-wise in Los Angeles. Instead I’ve doubled down. I think the constant hum of sun and heat provides a blank canvas and you become more attuned to your own internal mood shifts. I think it makes you more honest. Or at least more unabashed.

To that effect, I never felt like I was executing the pop music I loved until I entered Los Angeles. I also never treated song writing like a proper job - which it is here. Once a friend mentioned that since you’re often self-governed when you’re hustling in this strange business, it can be helpful to wear a suit to distinguish your work period from your downtime. It’s an amusing way to somehow take yourself more seriously. 

Who on the New Zealand fashion scene do you admire (could be a designer, stylist, blogger, friend) and would trade wardrobes with for a day?
Greta van der Star. She’s got a knack for easy, practical elegance. She’s understated but doesn’t shirk the details. 

What does your ideal weekend day look like (this could be at home in LA or on a trip home to Auckland)? 
Weekends are such an abstract concept to me right now that it feels like I’m writing fan fiction about my own life BUT I love to talk maximum trash with my excellent friends. All the better if we’re also eating very good food. If I could combo the two regions, I would bring all my Auckland friends to the LA parking lot containing my favourite taco truck and we would do the trash talking in between slurps of horchata.

What are you most looking forward to in the year ahead?
My job is weird in that I never know what will be coming around the corner but I’m excited for the seeds I planted in 2017 to start blossoming. It will be relieving when my record and all its accompanying detritus comes out. I want to swim in the ocean of what I’ve made, finally.

Don't miss Chelsea Jade performing live on Fort Street, Saturday 24 March, click here for all the details.

Image Credit Chelsea Jade by James K Lowe

Last updated: 25 March 2018