What is your names?
What is your genre of music?
Electronic Dance Music with a hint of Folk and Soul
Who are your influences?
I’ve been soaking in John Mayer since I was in junior high. He’s taught me a lot about the art of writing lyrics that have many layers and reveal new meaning over time. The voice of Florence Welsh has also blended with mine. I love singing loudly to hear songs “Hunger”, “Delilah” and “Sky Full of Songs” when I’m driving in my car. She taught me how to express a wider range of emotions from melancholy to heightened passion. Lately, I’ve been practicing with Lana Del Rey who is teaching me how to write more casually about life, to sing about simple everyday details that connect on a more personal or visceral level. Florence takes me into more abstract emotions and Lana brings me into more materialism or tangible concepts; they’re both expressing very raw human experiences. Oh Wonder inspires me to write more simply and to be bold in singing poetry that doesn’t always make sense out of context, but when it’s combined with music it suddenly means something to us. It’s as though the notes and the words harmonize to create a new feeling. They’re a vibe and I can get lost in the vibrations of their music playing through the room — it feels like soaking in a pool of warm water, and the waves are lapping up on my skin. Odesza is perhaps my greatest influence. I’m bathing in their music almost everyday. It’s epic. It wakes up my spirit, gets me dreaming and believing. Their shows consume me and I feel like I’m truly one part of a human tribe that comes together to dance and celebrate life. I dream of creating music with this kind of power and I break down their songs to better understand the logic behind the magic.
Your new Album ‘Warm Enough To Be Barefoot’ is out, tell us more about the album.
I wanted to be at music festivals, but they’d all been cancelled because of COVID. I wanted to be alone in a music studio where I felt safe to sing my heart out. Instead, I was in my parent’s guest bedroom afraid of being overheard. My body was tight and my throat chakra had totally closed up. 2020 was going to be the year I took my previous album on tour and the year I opened my own studio. Obviously, I got hit with the COVID plot twist. My husband and I moved in with my parents for 6 months to save money to buy a house. During this time, I felt like an immature child. I hear from almost everyone I know that this is common. Living with parents can trigger these old behaviours, traumas, and childlike parts of us to jump out and take over. As a child, I hid my singing voice. I never let anyone hear me sing until I was in my mid-twenties. Looking back it’s hard to say exactly why I was so afraid to sing, but I usually attribute it to fear of rejection, fear of being told I wasn’t good enough at singing, and that would crush any dreams I had of being a professional singer. I overcame all of that in my twenties and it was pretty crushing to suddenly feel like I was thrown back into that creative cage. The creative process is so intimate. It’s extremely vulnerable for us to open up and express from deep places inside of us that we don’t even understand, that we can’t predict. So many artists tell me they feel the same way. We are nervous to create in front of other people because we don’t know what is about to come out of us. What if we say that something that is hurtful or ugly? If we try and control all of this expression then we feel terrible because literally what makes us love creative is the freedom to express anything. This album feels like my journal, my music diary, from 2020. When I listen to each song I remember the stages of the year. At the beginning of the year I wrote the songs “Cruel World”, “Hello My Love” and “Warm” which were all created with fire in my belly. I was excited for the year ahead, ready to inspire people and dance! The songs “Look at You” and “Dragon on a Pirate Ship” were sound experiments. I really enjoyed telling a story and going on a musical journey. The songs don’t have a traditional structure (verse, chorus, verse, chorus etc…). They’re more linear (beginning, middle and end). As my voice was closing up and I felt blocked from singing, I continued to create music but I focused on instrumentals. I told myself it was okay to not sing for a while and to just learn how to make instrumental tracks. You can see more of this instrumental work on my three song sing “Breathe Goddess Zoom Zoom” which came out in 2020. The songs “Lose Myself in the Song” and “Put Me on a Stage” were written right in the middle of my most intense months of quarantine. I escaped into these songs. I would put on my headphones, close my eyes, and imagine I was off on roadtrips, at music festivals, flying in the sky with dragons, whatever felt free and fun. I worked on this album alone and it captured the full spectrum of emotions I was feeling this year. Creating these songs gave me something to focus on and a way to pass the emotions through my body, even when that process felt painfully difficult and scary. I say thank you to this album because it was my friend through one of the roughest years of my life. It was a project that blew gentle air on my inner fire to keep the light alive.
What else can we expect in 2021?
This year is all about building community and showing up to play music for other humans as we come back together. Everyone I know is exhausted from isolation, and they’re hungry for very deep healing and reconnection. My purpose right now is cultivating my DJ skills, getting better everyday through a couple hours of practice, and hosting weekly events in my studio so I can give this music to my community. I have a gift for creating beautiful sacred spaces where people feel safe to open up and build friendships. Many artists have left Seattle because our nightlife closed down during COVID. We love to dance, and we have a huge rave community here. Our culture is so vibrant and there are so many beautiful people in this city who want to be together and feel free to move their bodies and make noise…people want to feel human again. I’ve spent the past 8 months creating a place for us to do this. I rented a studio in Seattle and I’ve intentionally filled it with the most beautiful vibes of creativity, healing and spirituality. It’s like the love child of a music venue, art studio and yoga temple. It’s called The Treasure Box. I’m hosting live music, dance parties and yoga classes there each week. If you come to an event you’ll find it’s intimate; you can kick back on a bean bag chair, eat some homemade cookies and chat, listen to the acoustic artists performing, hit the dance floor when I start DJing, or lean out the window and breath in the fresh air of the Puget Sound and gaze at the sparkling skyscrapers. It’s an incredible view. I’m also inviting other artists in to join my lineup each week — I’m particularly interested in bringing in as many female DJs as possible. By the end of this year I will be very pleased if I look around and see a flourishing community of musicians and music lovers in this space. I’m also in the process of bringing these events online so you can join the livestream or listen to the recordings on my podcast “The Cha Wilde Show”. Other than this, I’ll be doing lots of yoga, camping, going to music festivals whenever they’re actually letting us attend, and hopefully spending many days on a boat in a cute colorful bikini.
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
- I make sure to spend the day going through my routine so I feel healthy and energized.
- Arriving early so I have time to settle my energy, connect with my purpose and focus my attention on what I’m about to do.
- Breathe and feel my feet on the floor. I need to be in my body, embodied to be fully present and capable of performing my best work.
- Pay attention to the other humans in the room and be very perceptive of their energy, their facial expressions and the body language they’re expressing. I’m very passionate about actually being there with people and serving them through music and words. I’m not there to just be watched. My goal is to be WITH them and give them what they need as best as possible.
- Making music is my gift. It’s a gift I’ve received and it’s the gift I have to give. I remember this and it takes away all nerves or worries. I don’t have to be perfect or do anything in particular. The most important thing is to show up and enjoy.