Ask Chel’s parents when she first displayed her musical talent, and they’ll tell you that she came out of the womb singing.
Born in Springfield, Illinois, Chel began taking music lessons at five years old. Her father, a dedicated music lover, constantly played music in the house; and her uncle, a musician, regularly let her come over and sing with his band. Of course, Springfield isn’t known for its music scene, so Chel and her dad would often drive to St. Louis to see concerts. St. Louis also provided Chel her first big opportunity in music.
“I lived in St. Louis for eight and a half years,” says Chel. “In 2013, I was taking lessons at Nelly’s school and they asked me to represent the whole school on a summer concert tour with Murphy Lee. That’s where I met a producer who asked me if I wanted to make music professionally. I never looked back.”
Though Chel was dedicated to pursuing a life in music, her journey proved full of unexpected obstacles.
For most of her life, Chel was told that she did not have the looks or the body type to succeed in the music industry. When that first opportunity came along in St. Louis, people laughed. Chel was bullied online. Mocked. Taken advantage of. Stolen from. Chel had every reason to give up. Instead, she prevailed, and has since become a role model and body positive ambassador for droves of young women. “I'm most proud of the fact that I didn't give up,” says Chel.
“When I finally got the opportunity to make music while living in St. Louis, it felt like fate. People on the internet were pretty mean when I first started posting videos, but I kept going. I performed shows to empty audiences, and I kept going. I had people laugh in my face and talk behind my back, making jokes about what I was trying to do, and I kept going. I had countless people hurt me along the way and I kept going. I moved across the country to a place where I knew no one and had nothing waiting for me and I kept going. Through all the ups and downs, I kept going. Music is my passion and always has been. I have a deep feeling in my soul that this is what I am supposed to be doing. I absolutely love it. And, I keep going.”
Today, Chel has over ONE MILLION loyal followers on Facebook and a tribe of over 100,000 on Instagram. Her music videos have nearly 30 MILLION views.
In 2017, Chel was hired to host her own primetime show on DASH Radio. In 2019, Chel’s summer tour schedule took her to Austin for South by Southwest, Summerfest in Milwaukee, and Riverfest on the East Coast. She has headlined Pridefest in St. Louis and performed and CurvyCon in New York City, allowing the two lanes of her career – singing and modeling – to intersect.
To date, Chel has been featured in Billboard, Sports Illustrated IG, Celebmix, Groknation, Galore, Eighteen21, and Riptide. Her brand endorsements include FabFitFun, FashioNova, GitiOnline, and Good American. She has also appeared as a runway model during New York Fashion Week and Anthropology in L.A. Inspired and influenced by artists like Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Freddie Mercury (Queen), Hall & Oates, Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys, Adele, Rihanna and Lizzo, Chel continues to defy the odds while spreading love and positivity.
“I’m going to keep writing about things I care about, like self-care, gender equality, racial equality, and mental health awareness,” says Chel. “I’m just going to keep pushing. I’m continually amazed by the amount of progress my team and I have been able to make. I don’t like to plan too far ahead because I try to live in the present. I am so excited to see where this wonderful life takes me over the next few years.”
Her music, her drive, and her creativity have made Chel a force to be reckoned with and she is just getting started.
Copyright © 2019 Chel