CHELSEY BOY // Interview

Chelsey Boy is a singer, songwriter, and multidisciplinary artist hailing from Los Angeles. By day she works in music management for artists like Rod Stewart, Paris Jackson, and Paula Abdul, by night she creates and produces within the underground.

While many know her as one half of former electronic duo Intimatchine, Chelsey Boy’s signature dreamy doomscapes are prevalent in her debut solo project.

What does “psycho ex-girlfriend vibes” mean, in reference to your sound?

It’s not my favorite reference as I believe girls should have the right to be psycho all of the time––not just because they’re someone’s ex, but it’s suitable because that’s the role I was living when I was recording new music.

I was navigating the real and imaginary dramas of being the antagonist after a break up. As the female in a heteronormative relationship, once it’s over, it’s easy being pinned the unhinged, irrational, or possessive one. That’s OK though, the female antagonist is my favorite character.

And in a world where I grew up hearing boys say the phrase “never let the crazy outweigh the hot” in reference to dating women, I definitely want the crazy to outweigh it all, especially in my music. 

Why did you decide to film your brother in the video of your first single “All mine”?

I will always try to highlight, celebrate, and tell trans stories wherever I can in my art because watching my younger brother transition has been an extraordinary, humbling, and privileged life experience.

The path for a non-conforming gender person is hard and punk af and visibility is important in order to continue transforming how people think about gender around the world. 

My brother is a muse—–his courage, his confidence, and his unyielding kindness despite other people’s ignorance is what true divinity looks like to me. I wanted that kind of power to carry the music video—–plus he looks better with his shirt off than I do and it’s a party song, after all.

What’s the best part of being a “multimedia artist”?

For me it’s the ability to meld theatrics with the audio and visual to make a more visceral experience.

Right now I especially love working with my projector and camcorder to create live video feedbacking––the result is a psychedelic “OZ” effect––multiple Chelsey’s being projected and scaling the wall. Which means all the more faces to glare at you with. 

Downside is that now most of my setup time is dedicated to untangling wires.

Do you have a personal concept of feminine?

Yes, I always have. I actually kept a journal most of my life titled: my new feminine. Reading through it now, I witness myself even as an adolescent putting the pieces together that it’s mostly a spectrum and there are infinite ways to be “feminine” or to express “femininity”.

I hated the traditional western notion of the term of being dainty, weak, or virginal––that all stems from the male gaze and sexual objectification. 

Femininity is personal and political. It can be nurtured or used as a weapon. It’s receptivity, sensitivity, and vulnerability. Femininity to me is an energy and all males, females, and gender non-conforming people can access it.

What about Intimatchine, the duo project in which you were / are involved?

Intimatchine was a long distance relationship turned mixed-media collaboration inspired by our digital intimate exchanges. That collaboration was with my former partner and has come to an end.

We’ve since evolved our art practices under separate entities––although I do sometimes steal his samples cause he is a talented electronic producer. Stubborn, but talented.

Is there a line that separates hypnotic euphoria from demonic hysterics?

All my life I’ve navigated high-highs and low-lows. Therapy has helped. Drinking less has helped. But I’ve learned that it’s a thin line because I find a different kind of release in both emotional states. One element is the achiever and an unstoppable force, the other transcends.

My music strives towards that contest of strength–if only I could manage it better in my daily life. Balance is key.

Is Los Angeles a place full of Angels?

This city is full of angels and demons. There’re many cavernous spots here to get lost in like The Lash, Lethal Amounts, and Bar Sinister––which has been around since the 80’s.

Although these days, since the pandemic, I’d much rather stomp around at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery and picnic on Johnny Ramone or Florence Lawrence’s grave.

IG: @chelseyboy
Photos by Jacquie Li

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