ONE of the very first reviews I did was for Chess Galea…
a few years ago. It does not seem that long ago but I can see how far she has come. The Surrey-based musician has just released her debut album, 1869. Inside, there are strident Pop anthems; soulful revelations and Dance-cum-Jazz stunners- showcasing her breadth, vocal dexterity and songwriting skill. A stunning album everyone should investigate- it has been a very busy year for Chess. Following on from E.P.s Tuxedo and Babygirl: 1869 is a bold step forward and is captivated crowds and resonated with her fans. 2016 has seen Chess tour extensively and take her music around the world- including gigs in Malta. Excited to see what she has planned for the future; how her years has unfolded- I was lucky enough to pose a few questions to the Chess.
Hi Chess. How has your week been? What are you up to at the moment?
I’ve loved the weather this week. It makes me happy! I’m getting ready for my video shoot on Friday – the first video for 1869!
There might be some unfamiliar with your work and where you came from. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m a Jazz-Pop-Soul-loving singer rocking my way to the top. Coming from Malta; travelling the world singing is what I’m about right now!
Your debut album 1869 was released this year. It gained a lot of great press. Were you surprised by the reaction it got?
Yes, I’m glad and grateful that people reacted well to it. I’m not done yet, though! Hopefully, it will go further.
How would you say 1869 differs to previous releases like Babygirl? What sort of themes and subjects compelled the album’s creation?
I guess every release will be different as I grow every time through my music, and always strive to produce something better.
I think 1869 features more complex harmonies and melodies, more challenging vocals, more of everything! In the end, I think the whole inspiration simply comes from me loving and wanting to do music.
I know how passionate you are with regards music and the legends that inspired you. Were there any particular singers/bands that sparked that flair- made you want to become a singer?
I was born in the ‘90s and I fell in love with all the music from that decade. Whether it was Britney or Sum41; Blink-182 or Westlife. I owned it all and that’s all I cared about– spinning my C.Ds!
This year has been busy: you have been all over the globe and performed to a lot of different crowds. Which memories/performances stand out in your mind?
Silvana – New York. People were so supportive and welcoming. Also, the jam night I took part in (also in New York) had exceptional musicians, great vibe; great support. I want to go back.
A good deal of young singers finds themselves relocating to big cities (Brighton, London; L.A. and New York). Do you see yourself moving to somewhere like London in the future?
I’m already pretty close! I get to meetings before people who live in London even if we leave at the same time! Never say never, though; if I find somewhere I like – why not.
If you had to select your five favourite singers, those that have been most important, who would you choose?
Prince, Freddie; Sia, Gaga, Whitney (Houston).
Which artists, either mainstream or unsigned, are you digging at the moment?
Sinead Harnett, Tori Kelly and Gregory Porter
Can we expect any new material from you this year, perhaps?
Ooh… maybe. The album is my focus of course but if anything else happens I won’t say no
For anyone inspired to follow you into the music world. Is there any advice you would give to any aspiring musicians?
Don’t expect it to be easy. It’s ten times harder than you think – so prepare yourself, but don’t give up. Be a good person, welcome people but learn to stand up for yourself too.
Finally, and for being a good sport, you can select any song and I’ll include it here- why is it special to you?
I’ll just leave that there – because it’s awesome! Melanie Martinez is definitely an inspiration right now. Go girl!
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