The road to achieving stardom is one of commitment, dedication, and talent. It demands an inner passion keeping an artist moving forward regardless of the circumstances, obstacles, or the inevitable “No.” Chetti, an aspiring Brooklyn-based artist, is doing just that. At the young age of three, Chetti knew her path was to write songs, perform and to make her mark in pop music. Without knowing anything about the industry, Chetti made the leap and trusted that her desire to share her story and her gift as a songwriter and performer, would open just the right doors. We were inspired and honored to meet such a wonderfully talented young artist. Check out interview our below.
What does being an “aspiring artist” look like for you?
Being an aspiring artist means a lot of hard work and doing a lot things on your own. It means plugging away at what I am doing at that moment, continuing to hone my craft as a songwriter and artist, and trying to open any door I possibly can. You go through a lot of “no’s” to get to that one “yes.” This industry seems to come easy for some and they have connections in the business, but for me, I have had to work really hard to build these relationships. There are times when I feel a little discouraged or down because I don’t see the results right away. I know that I am equipping myself to keep moving, keep hustling and to be resilient. It has been a journey, and I am lucky, at this stage in my career, to have a great team behind me.
Early in an artist’s career, it is easy to jump at every opportunity. What have you learned over the last few years when it comes to really evaluating where you put your time and your resources as an artist?
In the beginning, I was eager to just jump into anything I could, because I had no idea how else to do it. Music was everything I wanted. I believe at the beginning stages of anyone’s career, you need to do everything, even if it is something that is, quote unquote, not worthwhile. You never know. These are opportunities to network with people in the industry, to work on your craft, and to just get out there and expose yourself. Thankfully, I understand this a lot more now.
As an artist, it’s important to build your tribe. How have you determined who would be a part of your tribe?
I think you need to pay close attention to who is around you. Your tribe has to be created by people who believe in you as an artist and whatever project you are working on at any given time. All artists need a little grooming when they are starting out, but it’s important to surround yourself with people who are willing to dedicate themselves to the cause. These are hopefully the people you can trust, who will always have your back and will push you to be the best artist you can be, as well as recognize the artist you already are.
Was there a moment that helped jump start your career?
Early on I was really fortunate to be working with a company who was doing some licensing for TV and film. I was able to write a song for a Hulu mini-series for Chipotle. This helped me gain a little notoriety and was really helpful. As an artist just starting out, you want to do whatever possible to get yourself in a position to kick in the door so that people can see you as a real artist and not just as an amateur coming up in the business.
Is this when you started to think about actually building out your team?
I learned a lot in the beginning, especially as an artist who wasn’t generating revenue. For me, things were moving along more slowly than I wanted. I would play shows and had a few things happening for me, but it wasn’t enough. I signed on a manager, who also acted as my booking agent, and while it didn’t end up working out, he was able to book a couple of really important shows for me. I got to do perform at Irving Plaza with Leighton Meester and had an opening slot for Jack & Jack at Webster Hall. These were really important for me because I was able to create relationships with these venues. As artists, we are hungry. We are looking for the next thing or the next relationship that will help launch us whether it’s a block or a mile. You know what I mean? There is that anxiety factor wondering what can we be doing next or who we can bring onto the team to help move things forward. It’s easy to get distracted by people you think can help you but it’s those who truly believe in you who will make the biggest difference.
You have shared that your vision for your music is to show how it “encompasses the soul to the pop world.” Can you describe what you hope that actually looks like?
For me, when it comes to music, I feel like I see something that is so powerful. I think you need to be relatable to your audience and soulfulness to me is just over-pouring your soul. I believe as artists, we have to set the example for others of what it means to be the best person you can be. I want to be an artist who shares my story through music, and to me that is soulfulness.
Growing up, I listened to the music of Aretha Franklin, Celine Dion and so many others and I felt they were saying something to me. There is an honesty and truth to their music. As artists, I think we need to dig deeper and put out consistent and positive vibes.
Over the last few years, you have been releasing a handful of singles as opposed to another EP or full-length album. What motivated you to take this approach to releasing your music?
When I started, I had recorded a full-length album, but a number of people I knew in the industry advised me not to release a full album. They said people didn’t know who I was. In my opinion, whether or not people know who you are, releasing a full-length project offers a real glimpse into who people are, what they have gone through in life, and what has inspired them to get to where they are today. So, I am excited to share that I am currently working on a full-length album! I just released my first single from the album on February 23rd, 2017.
Tell us about the single.
I originally wrote the song on the piano as a ballad. It was sort of a sad song. I teamed up with a friend of mine, a producer here in New York, and he helped bring this uplifting hopefulness and happiness to my sad experience. I am super excited about it.
What do you feel has been the biggest lesson you have learned so far in your career?
I am still very young, and I am still learning and growing. Over the course of this year, I have realized even more that it is okay to be yourself, no matter who you are speaking with in the industry or the people you meet along this journey. I think if you continue to stay in your lane, be true to who you are, and bring people onto your team who believe in you, I think you are bound to succeed. I think this is the most important thing. I am okay with mistakes and with the hurt that comes with these mistakes. They have brought me to a better understanding and have helped get me to a place where I am comfortable knowing that if something doesn’t happen, I am stronger for it.
Are there any artists today who you are inspired by and hope to emulate one day?
Oh my gosh, there are so many! I have loved watching Beyonce’s evolution because she started so young and has done everything I could ever want. I also really love Lady Gaga. But honestly, Jennifer Lopez is my idol. She’s just awesome. I would love to emulate her career. She has a family, a clothing line, collaborates on a shoe collection, is an actress, and is absolutely killing it! I have watched all of her documentaries and I really love her and look up to her so much.
What can people expect from you this year?
I will be collaborating with a bunch of different artists and plan to do more shows. Knock on wood, I will hopefully be touring. I want to do a big, big tour around the states and just be traveling and collaborating. I plan to be doing anything that will keep pushing me forward and making me be a better artist. People can expect a lot more music from me this year and just a lot more me!
What else inspires you outside of music?
My family is a major inspiration for me. They are my lifeline. I have a massive Sicilian family and we are all really close. They have given me so much love and have made me who I am as a person. They translate into everything I do. No matter where I go or who I meet, they are always with me and always a part of me. I also really love people watching. I have my “happy place” in Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, and I just walk around for hours watching people. It’s there that I feel like life just imitates art. Being around people like my family, my friends, and others keep me growing and living. These are things that inspire me.
To learn more about the Chetti, you can find out more on her website, SoundCloud, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. Her new album should be released later this year and if her recent single is any indication of what’s to come, we should all be excited!