Chelsea Cutler On Her New Mixtape & Staying Grounded: 'Who You Are Isn't What You're Posting' Online

Chelsea Cutler On Her New Mixtape & Staying Grounded: 'Who You Are Isn't What You're Posting' Online


‘Sleeping With Roses II’ is out now

This yr Chelsea Cutler launched two mixtapes, accomplished her first headlining tour and even had her face on the Spotify billboard in Times Square. But for the 21-year-old songwriter-producer, essentially the most stunning second in her profession got here when she didn’t return to school within the fall.

"It didn't actually hit me actually till this September, when all of my buddies went again," she explains, "and I left for Nashville for tour. I used to be like, 'I'm actually not going again to high school. This is loopy.'"

Hailing from Westport, Conn., Cutler has been creating and sharing music ever since her junior yr of highschool. After importing her songs on SoundCloud, her mix of indie-pop and digital music garnered a loyal following. Tracks like “Your Shirt” led to collaborations with artists like Louis The Child on “Slow Down Love” and ayokay on “The Shine” — all whereas Cutler was enjoying soccer as a student-athlete at Amherst College. When Quinn XCII provided her a assist slot on his spring tour, she made the "actually scary" choice to drop out and pursue music full-time.


Her worries look like unfounded: She launched her mixtape Sleeping With Roses in June and bought out her first headlining tour earlier this fall. Now along with her just-released Sleeping With Roses II challenge below her belt, she's gearing up for the second (and largest) headlining tour of her profession. Below, Cutler tells Streets Talkin about her breakout yr, her fears about dropping out and her imaginative and prescient for her dwell exhibits.

You've mentioned that you simply had extra to say after Sleeping With Roses and couldn't transfer on with that a part of your life till you bought it out. What did you’re feeling such as you nonetheless wanted to precise, and the way do you assume Sleeping With Roses II accomplishes it?  

Chelsea Cutler: When I sat right down to hold writing, as a result of I knew I needed to place out one other challenge shortly after, the whole lot that I used to be writing about was the identical — I simply wasn't in a brand new place but. I felt like I used to be nonetheless very a lot in a interval of progress and transition. I simply couldn't depart the period, musically, behind me till I grew out of it. What's essential for me is that it exhibits numerous progress, and it exhibits listeners that it takes time to return out of darkish intervals typically. Writing Sleeping With Roses II is my manner of understanding of that darkish place that I used to be in and making an attempt to emerge on the opposite facet with some mild.

Are there any particular tracks which are most significant to you?

Cutler: I feel "AF1" is a extremely particular report for me. It's so nostalgic and emblematic of youth — and of shedding that youth and reflecting again on it. I feel leaving school, particularly leaving school early, is tough and forces you to develop up.

Since Sleeping With Roses II does mark an enormous transformative second in your life, what did it really feel prefer to lastly end it and launch it?

Cutler: I've been sitting on it for a few months now, and it appears like an enormous weight off of my chest to lastly put it out. Hopefully it helps individuals and does the entire issues that I like about music. I really feel like I can simply begin writing and shifting ahead and dealing on a debut album.

You write all of her personal music, however you additionally produce too. Why is it essential to see your music by from begin to end?

Cutler: I’ve a extremely particular imaginative and prescient for what I wish to say and what I need my music to sound like. I really ended up working with my good friend Andy Seltzer on the challenge, and he helped co-produce the whole lot. We actually clicked the primary time we acquired in a session collectively. Lots of feminine artists get in rooms with male writers and male producers who’ve an thought of what they need her to sound like, and it isn't at all times essentially what that feminine artist desires for herself. If I'm in a room, hopefully I may also help produce and write for different ladies and be a supportive individual for them. I feel it's additionally actually essential as a result of it creates visibility and exhibits different feminine artists that it is a chance for them, that they will do it in the event that they wish to.

At what level did you begin to assume you may flip your music right into a profession?

Cutler: If I'm being completely trustworthy, it's not even till I went on tour supporting Quinn XCII. I heard individuals singing my phrases again to me. Even as a supporting act, individuals nonetheless got here to see the exhibits and nonetheless knew the phrases. I used to be like, "Oh wow. This is actual and tangible.” I really feel prefer it's so surreal. Incrementally, I simply hold believing increasingly that that is actual life.

Your songs provide numerous perception and perspective on the internal workings of relationships. What drives your songwriting?

Cutler: It's actually simply pushed by my relationship with myself and the way I view myself. Even if it's framed romantically, it's nonetheless extra introspective than anything. I like referencing actual issues and actual moments which have occurred to me.

What was it like making the choice to drop out and pursue music? 

Cutler: It was actually scary. I'm actually lucky that I’ve actually supportive dad and mom who advised me they believed in me and that they'd assist me in no matter selection I made. I feel what actually pushed me over the sting was once I acquired the provide to assist Quinn XCII on his spring tour. It didn't actually hit me actually till this September, when all of my buddies went again for preseason for our workforce, and I left for Nashville for tour. I used to be like, "I'm actually not going again to high school. This is loopy."

Has your historical past as an athlete influenced who you might be as a performer?

Cutler: With school athletics, it’s important to be actually selfless as a result of everybody is de facto gifted, and also you're not assured any enjoying time. You get the enjoying time that you simply work for and deserve. We discovered to place the workforce first. There have been exhibits the place I used to be simply actually down and didn’t wish to carry out in any respect. You simply should do it as a result of it's a selfless factor, and it's for the ticket holders who went out and purchased tickets for you. It's actually essential to acknowledge that as an artist, you're offering a service. Being an athlete taught me numerous self-discipline and about placing others first.

What has the response been like out of your followers?

Cutler: It's lot of strain, I'm not going to lie, to more and more have extra eyes on you, however it's helped me develop up actually quick. I discover nice duty in it.

What are a few of your favourite moments out of your first headlining tour?

Cutler: In L.A., we performed the Roxy, and that was 5 exhibits in. My drummer Gavin actually give up his job 4 days earlier than we left for tour. It takes some time for chemistry to occur, and L.A. was the primary night time we simply clicked. The vitality onstage was simply completely different than something I had ever skilled –the vitality within the room as nicely. I bear in mind posting on my Instagram saying I might spend the remainder of my life chasing that feeling, and I swear I’ll. It essentially the most exceptional night time.

Do you’ve gotten a special mentality going into your second tour?

Cutler: I'm simply hungry. I like being on the highway. You get to reinterpret the music and create dwell preparations. Words simply don't clarify what it feels prefer to trade that vitality with followers each night time. 

Have there tough elements of your profession that you simply didn't count on?

Cutler: There's numerous strain to create a picture. It's a part of artwork, and I take pleasure in it. I simply acknowledge that with that comes numerous confusion over what's my "picture" versus who am I as an individual? That was numerous what I feel I used to be writing about on Sleeping With Roses II. It's actually essential to acknowledge that who you might be isn't what you're posting. I simply attempt to keep grounded and keep me.

How do you assume you’ve grown as a performer previously yr?

Cutler: If you watch footage of me opening for Quinn the primary few exhibits, I might take these little child steps onstage. I used to be simply manner too scared. Jesse, my supervisor, mentioned, "You gotta stroll onstage and be an individual." I like participating with individuals now. I've discovered the best way to seize the eye of individuals within the room.

What was your favourite second of 2018?

Cutler: My dad and mom and I went to go see the billboard in Times Square, when Spotify put me up there. Moments like that remind me of how lucky I’m to have a household that’s so supportive of this. I wouldn't have my face on a billboard in Times Square if it weren't for my dad and mom sitting me down and saying, “We imagine in you.” I may say the identical for the L.A. present. My dad hadn't actually seen me carry out that many instances, and after the present he didn't even discuss. He simply hugged me and began crying his eyes out. It was the primary time I'd seen him so pleased with what I used to be doing.

As you proceed rising your music profession, what’s one thing you hope you bear in mind?

Cutler: I hope to at all times hold my circle shut and hold the individuals round me the identical that they’re now. You're a product of your surroundings, and so long as I hold these individuals round me, I’ll keep the person who I'm proud to be proper now. 

Tour Dates

Jan. 26 – Stockholm, Sweden – Nalen
Jan. 27 – Copenhagen, Denmark – Pumpehuset 
Jan. 29 – Berlin, Germany – Maschinenhaus
Jan. 30 – Cologne, Germany – YUCA
Feb. 1 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Melkweg
Feb. three – Brussels, Belgium – Witloof Bar
Feb. four – Paris, France – Le Pop-Up Du Label 
Feb. 6 – London, UK – The Camden Assembly 
Feb. 14 – Nashville, TN – Exit In
Feb. 16 – Chicago, IL – Metro
Feb. 19 – Minneapolis, MN – Fine Line Music Cafe
Feb. 20 – Madison, WI – Majestic Theater
Feb. 22 – Toronto, ON – Velvet Underground
Feb. 23 – Detroit, MI – The Shelter
Feb. 24 – Columbus, OH – TRISM
Feb. 27 – Philadelphia, PA – TLA
Feb. 28 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza
Mar. 2 – Boston, MA – Paradise
Mar. 5 – Boston, MA – Paradise
Mar. 6 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
Mar. eight – Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle
Mar. 10 – Orlando, FL – The Social
Mar. 12 – Atlanta, GA – The Loft
Mar. 14 – Omaha, NE – The Waiting Room
Mar. 15 – Denver, CO – Bluebird Theater
Mar. 16 – Boulder, CO – Fox Theater
Mar. 18 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Complex
Mar. 20 – Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom
Mar. 22 – San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore
Mar. 26 – Los Angeles, CA – The Fonda Theater
Mar. 27 – San Diego, CA – The House of Blues
Mar. 28 – Phoenix, AZ – The Crescent Ballroom
Mar. 30 – Austin, TX – Emo’s 
Apr. 2 – Dallas, TX – Trees