We sat down with rising singer/songwriter chae to get the scoop on her upcoming debut EP, ‘Letters I’ll Never Write.“
Chelsea de Silva – better known to most as chae – has been lurking in the shadows of the dance music scene for several years. Her thoughtful lyricism and airy, tender vocals have been tapped by a string of prominent DJs/producers for a topline that takes their tracks to the next level. Although she’s enjoyed some success in the EDM space – her 2020 collaboration with Monstercat mainstay Rome in Silver has amassed over 600k streams across all platforms to date -, she’s now preparing to write a new chapter in her story, one that is perhaps the most daring yet. In her upcoming EP, Letter’s I’ll Never Write, chae drops her hat as a featured artist and takes the reins for her first-ever solo project. Wandering into soul, indie, and R&B territory, her debut EP sees her break the mold for what fans have come to expect from the rising singer/songwriter. In Letters I’ll Never Write, chae writes her own set of rules. The 7-track EP acts as a note of self-reflection and acknowledgment of personal growth in the form of beautiful ballads, nostalgic jams, and catchy head-bopping jingles.
The LA-based talent has teased four singles from the project ahead of its June 24th release. She recently shared what she considers to be the lead single from the EP, “I Tried,” alongside a ’90s-inspired music video. We caught up with her to chat more about the themes of Letters I’ll Never Write, her background, her inspirations, her favorite tunes, and much more. Check out the interview and music video below —
Hey Chelsea! Thanks so much for taking the time to answer some of our questions. We’re loving the sound of your upcoming debut EP, Letters I’ll Never Write, and would love to learn more about it.
Hey guys! Thanks so much for having me! It really makes me smile hearing you guys are liking the music and honestly feeling excited to do this today with you.
Releasing your debut EP / project is a super personal endeavor. It can be equal parts exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. How are you feeling about it? Do you feel prepared?
I remember unintentionally writing what became the first song of this EP back in Feb 2020 – little did I know there were five more songs I had yet to meet.
I guess standing here, in the present moment, it does all feel quite fated – euphoric even.
I debated for a while if I even wanted to release any of it, so I honestly don’t think I’ll ever feel fully prepared with this launch but what I do know is that the work has been done and the music will speak for itself.
Although this will be your debut EP release as a solo artist, you’ve done many high-profile collaborations with notable names in the dance space, such as Rome In Silver, yetep, and more. How do the experiences of writing for someone else’s project and writing for your own differ? How do they coincide?
A huge part of why I love what I do is bringing the small voice notes, gibberish hummed recordings, scratch chords and rough takes into full-fledged emotional experiences.
Being a part of other people’s visions has been so fulfilling.
This solo project was a leap of faith. I had a ‘screw it’ moment during quarantine where I wanted to see what I was capable of.
I just decided that I wanted to try to make music that makes me feel good, reminds me of the best times and has me uncontrollably throwing on a stank face.
Going off of that, who are some vocalists in the dance music space that you’ve been digging lately?
I have to thank Aluna George, Alina Baraz and Lights for their incredible work and contribution to shaping not just the electronic scene but bravely carving out a space for themselves.
One vocalist has stood out to me over the years.
I will forever and always have undying respect for Yuna.
The versatility in her identity with sound and the pride she takes in celebrating her roots is something I personally aspire to be like. She has blessed us with anthems in the electronic world, as well as countless gems in pop/r&b.
The songs on Letters I’ll Never Write translate as deeply autobiographical. Can you give us the TL;DR for what inspired the EP?
The project, in contradiction to its title, is written as a letter.
It is to someone specific and I feel expresses lingering passion and gratitude towards them.
It carries the love, the pain, the growth; the understanding and acceptance to everything that life has to offer, with no guarantees.
‘Letters I’ll Never Write’ is a living memoir of an important time in my life. It’s also a promise that I made to myself from learning the hard way that sometimes, often than not, words aren’t ever enough.
Are there any songs on there that you’re more attached to than others?
‘I Tried’ is one of my personal favorites. Every time I hear it, I’m always left smiling haha but also because it accurately narrates a lot of my personal memories.
I also have to mention ‘Neverland’ which is the next track I’m dropping this Friday! Musically, that track is definitely my pride and joy.
The EP was produced by Kaiyo. How did this collaboration come to be? Did you ever butt heads over anything?
Kaiyo and I met on Instagram. At the time I was in a very dark place both mentally and emotionally. I also wasn’t sure where my career was going.
One night I randomly was scrolling and stumbled on this dude casually playing incredible piano.
He was genuinely lost in the music and all that was coming out was magic. I had to shoot him a message to see if he’d want to work together.
We planned to work on one song initially, but one became two and two quickly turned into a library of ideas and records – enough to compile and release an EP 🙂
Working together was beyond effortless.
Writing together slowly began to pull me out from whatever I was in and it gave me something to look forward to. We really understood each other.
We have this natural synergy, when writing, to work off what the other brings to the table. Apart from becoming one of my dearest friends, he is one of the most talented musicians that I’ve had the privilege and honor to work with.
What has been inspiring you lately outside of music?
My mom fits in a daily chat (most of the year we live in different countries). She brings me this little dose of “your best is enough” type talks which definitely has been the little reminder I need sometimes to keep pushing – Taurus moms are elite.
But recently I’ve been indulging into late night conversations with old and new friends, long walks, currently digesting “Woman Who Run With The Wolves” (to the girls out there – it’s a must read) and maybe even fantasizing a little on romance haha I forgot how much fun it is to have a crush
You’ve lived and traveled all over the world but ultimately landed in LA. Do you have any plans to relocate in the near future, potentially to draw inspiration from a new environment?
Long Term – I would like to make my way back to the East Coast in the next year or two, but having said that I don’t feel like I’m completely done with LA just yet.
I was just on the east coast for work and am currently making plans to spend the summer in NYC/Boston to finish new material.
What’s next for you?
I am currently working on finishing new material for a second EP! It’s gonna be a little more upbeat and pay tribute to my love for 90’s-early 2000’s R&B.
I also have some exciting electronic collaborations on the way which I can’t wait to talk about haha 2022 is gonna be a great year.