Chelsea Hughes

  • Genre
  • Singer-Songwriter
  • Awards and Nominations
    • SAMMIES 2019 Nominee★ Singer-Songwriter ★
  • Musicians
    • Chelsea Hughes — guitar, vocals
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Q & A

All-time favorite song?


"The Boy Who Blocked His Own Shot" by Brand New.

How do you describe your music to people?


I always say passionate and lyrically driven. I never felt like I could put my music into a genre because the subject matter changes the sound of the song. Sometimes I sound folky, sometimes I sound more R&B. But I always write with a purpose.

Tell us about how you first started gigging.


I didn't always know how to play guitar, so I was always tagging along with my friends who did, to play music with them and perform (mostly in high school). One time, I was at a house party, and a friend showed me how to play the "G" chord. I wrote my first song on guitar four hours later, as if something just like sparked inside of me. Once I started writing my own songs instrumentally, it was less than a month before I was performing them at open-mics, and eventually, I started booking paid shows!

Tell us about your best gig in Sac.


I recently played a "secret show" with So Far Sounds in Sacramento at a place called "Cowo Campus." The energy in the room that night was incredible. It wasn't so much that I felt I performed my best or my best songs, but that the crowd was just so sincerely invested in every performance. There was hardly a phone in sight, just a lot of listening ears and inspiring discussions. We all felt vulnerable together, and I thought that was cool.

Tell us about your worst gig.


I won't name the venue, but it was falling apart at the time. It felt like playing in an abandoned warehouse (but not a cool one, a scary one) and no one was even remotely invested in what was occurring on stage. Between bad sound, a clueless crowd, and the actual space... it was not the best time.

What artist or band are you a little embarrassed to love, and why?


Ashlee Simpson. Does that even need an explanation? The album is so bad but also SO GOOD. But you didn't hear it from me.

What was the first song you learned to play?


"Play Crack the Sky" by Brand New.

What's next for you?


I have dabbled in the idea of building a band. But I don't want to force it. I want to watch it evolve naturally. So we shall see!

What's your favorite local artist/group?


Amber DeLaRosa. The Fontaine Classic. Sea of Bees.

Who are your biggest influences?


Conor Oberst, Regina Spektor, Damien Rice, Brand New, Dallas Green, Kristian Matsson, Bob Dylan, Stevie Nicks, the list could go on forever!

Who first inspired you to play music?


I can't remember never wanting to, if that makes sense? From the time I could talk I was singing, and the minute I learned to write, I wanted to write song after song after song. I think it is something I learned I had to do, because I was always going to do it anyway.

Words to live by?


Don't compare yourself to others.

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