Modern Icons: introducing Chesley Krischelle

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Modern Icons: introducing Chesley Krischelle
soundoff x Iridium @ The Virgin Hotel

Chesley is styled wearing our badass medusa soundbox t-shirt in asphalt gray paired with Dark Multi-color Denim Jeans from Iridium.

Modern Icons: introducing Chesley Krischelle
soundoff x Iridium @ The Virgin Hotel

Chesley is styled wearing our medusa icon slouchy women's tri-blend T-shirt in gray paired with her own tulle multi-layered skirt.

Modern Icons: introducing Chesley Krischelle
soundoff x Iridium @ The Virgin Hotel

Chesley is styled wearing our medusa idol tri-blend t-shirt in black paired with Reversible Elements Bomber Jacket from Iridium.

Modern Icons: introducing Chesley Krischelle
soundoff x Iridium @ The Virgin Hotel

Chesley is styled wearing our custom muse/Frida icon t-shirt treated in our artisan-crafted urbanwash paired with netted cargo pants from Iridium and her own graffiti jacket.

Modern Icons: introducing Chesley Krischelle
soundoff x Iridium @ The Virgin Hotel

Chesley is styled wearing our badass medusa soundbox t-shirt in asphalt gray and soul embroidered snapback in navy.

Modern Icons: introducing Chesley Krischelle
soundoff x Iridium @ The Virgin Hotel

Chesley is styled wearing our women's soul idol raw edge, 3/4-sleeve t-shirt in black paired with Laces Jogger Green from Iridium.

Modern Icons: introducing Chesley Krischelle
soundoff x Iridium @ The Virgin Hotel

Chesley is styled wearing our soundoff logo burnout tank in heather gray paired with Feather Neoprene Biker Jacket from Iridium.

Modern Icons showcases people who are authentically shaping and influencing contemporary culture in their own voice.  This month we are excited to present Chicago soul songstress, Chesley Krischelle.

The 411:
Native of:  I was born in Pontiac, Michigan and came to Chicago when I was a few months old and have resided here ever since.
Handle:  @JustChesley

Current Endeavors & Projects:
Gypsy Soul is my next release. We’re wrapping things up on that and I’m also working on my own clothing line and writing a book.

Three 3’s:
3 things you can’t live without:   My son, music & water.
3 things you could live without:   Drama, fake friends & negative energy.
3 wishes granted:   World peace, end hunger & to see my grandmother again.

In Your Own Words:
One thing about you or your background that most wouldn’t expect: 
I’ve worked at an adult (sex) store before; it was pretty cool. I learned a lot while being there (Ha!).

The song, group or singer that sealed the deal for you wanting to be a musician/performer?
I don’t know if I really had one of those moments.  I mean there were artists I always admired and wanted to emulate growing up, but I knew since I was around seven years old that I wanted to be a singer. It was something that was embedded in my DNA.

Who inspires your presence and performance today?
I’m inspired by a lot of indie artists. There’s this one girl I recently met and we became really close ‐ Via Rosa. Aw, man, she’s like super dope and in a way reminds me a lot of myself. We’re alike but still so different.  Kaye Foxe, she just won a Grammy being a writer on J. Coles album.

These are women doing things and making moves. I love it. I’m all for women winning. There are so many people I have in my life who are doing amazing things and I’m just soaking it all in.

My son inspires me the most. He’s my biggest supporter and honestly if it weren’t for him I would’ve given up already.

What’s missing in the music scene today?
I don’t think there is anything missing outside of myself (I kid).  Music is always evolving and people are always changing. I do believe there needs to be more unity and creative opportunities to build among indie artists. Especially here in Chicago, it always seems there’s such a divide, but there are so many amazing collaborative efforts taking place now that I can’t discredit anyone because we are as a whole making strides towards betterment and being unified.

To date, I am most proud of?
I am most proud of being determined and not giving up on myself in spite of all the challenges that I’ve faced. I didn’t fully realize that until my first time in London earlier this year while shooting a video for “Understand” a track off the Gypsy Soul project. I sat on the train on the way to my hotel with tears in my eyes because I never thought I would make it to London, let alone be shooting a music video. I still can’t sum up that experience into words.

Describe your personal style?
I’m a wild child at heart. My style is based off of what I feel. I always want there to be some sort of shock value or “ooh” gasp when I step out. Most of the times when that does happen it’s never on purpose.

I love layers and I love shopping in the men’s section because they have the most comfortable clothes. Lingerie is really sexy as well and I love it. I’ve been buying a lot of nice little pieces lately.

If you had to write a song title to capture what’s happening today.
It would be called “Chaos In My Pockets”. I woke up paying bills and making phone calls coupled with a slew of emails. Monday’s are chaos but I love them.

If you could sit and share a meal with two-three people, who and why?
My grandmother. She died in 2014 she was one of my greatest supporters. I always need to talk to her and get advice. She always had the best advice.

If Bob Marley were still alive I’d have a sit down with him, we share the same birthday. Then again if we’re speaking current, Erykah Badu is on my bucket list. I never get all “fan girly” for anyone, but her I know I’m going to cry like a new born. I have so much respect for her as a woman, artist, mother, creator, life giver. She’s everything and lately I’ve been getting compared to her a lot lately; people have followed me and mistaken me for her.  It’s weird but flattering to say the least.

How vital are musicians and artists in today’s climate?
Musicians and artists alike are extremely vital in today’s musical climate.  We help make and create the content that shapes today’s pop/hip hop culture and it’s very influential.

You know you’ve made it when?
The size of my bank account increases. Seriously, the time I become absolutely and infinitely at peace with self and the world around me that is success. Mastering myself and gaining consciousness to the highest degree is what success looks like to me. You’re almost untouchable at that point.

What would be your soundoff persona and why?
I feel that I’m all of these different personas. I’m so multifaceted and come with so many layers there’s no one word that would really describe “Chesley” as an artist.

Soul because that’s what I’m giving you in my music, that’s where it comes from. Medusa because of the dominant, feared and strong being that she was. I don’t necessarily consider myself to be a prophet but I do for see many events before they happen. I’m a badass because I don’t take shit from ANYONE. I’m a muse because I inspire others to create. Illusionist, iconoclast, femme fatale and provocateur are all character traits that I carry and display in my music and see me display that in my everyday life. You’ll hear that in this next project as well.

 

Creative:  Daryl Sneed & Bret Grafton
Photography:  Bret Grafton
Styling & HMUA:  Wyll & Andrea (Factor Chosen-Chicago)
Styling Collab: Iridium Clothing Co (Chicago)
Shoot Feature Location: The Virgin Hotel (Chicago)

 

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