JPR Live Session: Chelsea Williams
The Los Angeles singer/songwriter joined us to talk about the incredible connections she made while busking in Santa Monica, and how her career has blossomed as a result. She also played us a few songs from her new album called Beautiful and Strange.
Williams started busking on the famed Third Street Promenade at age 21, eventually selling over 100,000 CDs to folks passing by. She also collected a lot of business cards - including one that led to a fantastic spot on a national commercial for Chevrolet that aired during the Super Bowl, and another that resulted in her singing in Maroon 5’s “Playing for Change” video version of their hit “Daylight.” That video has been viewed over 18 Million times on YouTube.
Williams released Beautiful and Strange earlier this year on Blue Elán Records (one of two record deals she landed through her voracious busking schedule, and the one that best fit her sound). Shoehorning Williams into a particular genre is a bit difficult. She's solidly in the Americana camp, but there are elements of pop music to be found. The album also explores some of the further corners of the studio through the use of unexpected instrumentation.