“Take Risks But Don’t Put All Your Eggs In One Basket” 5 Insider Tips with Che’Nelle
“Its OK to trust.. but its important to stay connected communicate and be aware.. people are going to be people, with different personalities and intentions and one cannot have any control over that.I have left plenty of ‘myself’ in the hands of others who was once one person that no longer was the same after a while. My growth was stunted and I did not even realize it until I finally saw the setbacks.. Its all a learning process but it would’ve been helpful to get advice on that.”
Born in Malaysia, raised in Australia and living in Los Angeles, Che’Nelle truly stands out at the intersection of culture and musical genres. Infusing traditional pop with elements of rock, soul and R&B to incorporate the melting pot of different cultures that shaped her as an artist and individual. First discovered on Myspace, Che’Nelle was quickly signed to Virgin Music which then catapulted her to stardom in Japan, translating into early success as a household name. Her hit songs, “Baby I Love You”, “Believe”, and “Happiness” earned Che’Nelle the distinction of becoming a multi-platinum recording artist and known as the “Princess of Love” throughout Japan. Her music has been featured as the title tracks to such films as “Brave Hearts: Umizaru” and acclaimed TV drama “Dear Sister”. In addition to her multi-platinum selling success and TV features, Che’Nelle is the recipient of 7 Gold Disk Awards, and has served as the face for national campaigns for; Coca-Cola, Nivea and Proactiv. Her latest single “Destiny” was released in April of 2017 and is featured as the title track to the TBS TV drama, “Reverse” which shot to #1 on iTunes, #1 on Recochoku Singles, #1 on Recochoku ringtones and #1 on Line Music.
What is your “backstory”?
I was born in Malaysia where i first began singing in my dads karaoke at the age of 5. Moved to Australia when i was 10 and my mum put me in a bunch of singing competitions, was in a top 40 band by 14 ( sung in a lot of bars and places where i was definitely not of legal age), i was in that for about 5 years. I graduated from WAAPA (edith cowan university) with a diploma in contemporary music and decided to not get my masters and went on my journey as a songwriter/artist. After my first publishing deal, my first domestic placement with Ricky Lee, not long after Myspace was the thing. I was discovered on myspace and was offered my first major label deal in New York city.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your music career?
omg .. the fact that i don’t speak Japanese and grew an amazing career these past 10 years. I still don’t speak it well however a lot of my fans think i do because of how well Ipronounce the words in my japanese songs.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I recently worked with Rodney Jerkins on a song for the tv show empire. It will be out this season. That was random and interesting.
Who are some of the most famous people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
mmmm. Pitbull, babyface, Will.i.am, bruno mars..
Bruno used to live in the same building as me in North hollywood.. we were both grinding and striving as artist.. he just finished ‘grenade’ at the time and I bumped into him at the pool of our building .. he asked me to listen and asked what i thought of the song.. it was hillarious though, just as i was about to tell him that song is outta here he said.. nevermind i don’t need to know.. the song is dope and i love it.. haha in that split second that entire interaction taught me “it doesnt matter what people think as along as you love and believe in it, others will too”.
Which people in history inspire you the most? Why?
All the people that stood up for themselves, took risks and made a difference in the world inspired me.. ghandi, martin luther king, rosa parks, nelson mandela.. I can’t really think of one person .. but theres a thread of similarities with them when it comes to making a change in the world.. theres no change without struggle.. and it takes a real leader to step into that space of fear everyday because they see the bigger picture..
Can you share 6 “non-intuitive tips” to succeed in the music industry? Can you explain?
Make sure your vision is clear and know why its your purpose, create your product, form a trusted team to help build your brand, grow relationships, study marketing/grow some knowledge of the business (because its not just all about talent anymore), get familiar and stay with the wahts happening on socieal media.. theres no one formula in becoming successful anymore .. its what u learn, use , apply and see what sticks.. but you can’t give up.. work smarter not harder (easier said then done… )
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
For the longest i thought i was just a singer who sung well.. however .. a lot of my fans throughout the years have shown me the power that i have within to help people feel connected, inspired, loved, understood. etc. Which inspired me to actually dig deeper and create music that is way more authentic.. so its circled back around and i’ve used my success and the love from my fans to create music and that will bring goodness to the world at a different level i’ve never experienced before ..
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
1. I wished someone said TO TAKE RISKS BUT DON’T PUT ALL YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET Its OK to trust.. but its important to stay connected communicate and be aware.. people are going to be people, with different personalities and intentions and one cannot have any control over that.. I have left plenty of ‘myself’ in the hands of others who was once one person that no longer was the same after a while.. my growth was stunted and I did not even realize it until I finally saw the setbacks.. Its all a learning process but it would’ve been helpful to get advice on that..
2. TO STAY CONSISTENT. This is probably the most important info I would have so cherished if i understood the importance of this.. Its not always fun doing the things that lead you into success. and most times it may seem like you’re gettig no where but you gotta trust and stick to it.. Its never too late but it does set you back time wise.. for example.. It wou’dve been great if i stuck to practicing the piano, Igave up because i didn’t think it would do anything for me.. cos i just wanted to sing.. uh hello.. really che’nelle.. lol you get what I mean right.. no regrets because it is what it is.. just remember its what are you going to do about it now..
3. DON’T TAKE THINGS PERSONAL.. this is a hard hard one for me.. because I am so passionate about my music and people and life in general.. I love to love.. When it comes to business you are not always going to get the feedback thats easy to digest.. It took me years to accept someone not calling you back, (especially after they made it seem they were interested in working with you lol ), its hard to accept when you ALMOST get a song placed, or ALMOST got the opportunity of a life time.. some people are jaded and hold grudges and allow themselves to stay in a negative space.. but.. its only eating them away because the only person at the end of the day that can get in your way is yourself.. so bask in the shitty feeling but don’t stay in it too long and practice moving forward.. whats next, who else, what else..
4. HEALTH AND FITNESS is important…. oh man.. i was NEVER into sports.. or working out or anything that suggests i need to exert myself.. My first tour in japan kicked my ass because my stamina was so wack.. I never stayed really ‘consistent’ in working out so that showed me two things.. the importance of being fit to keep my energy up on stage and the only way to do that is stay consistent! lol I love moving a lot on stage and interacting with my band, jumping and singing etc.. oh yea.. I do look better fit.. thats the bonus of it all haha! Food wise.. i’m living the keto life.. I’m all about whats going to help keep me lean and my energies up and because i travel so much I can’t keep up with all the measuring of foods and how much to eat each day.. Keto is the easiest and has been the most convenient .. and eating right also plays into everything from my physical form to my mental space..
5. THAT LIFE IS ALL ABOUT BALANCE.. I was raised watching my dad work work work.. and that there was NO OTHER WAY… I don’t believe that anymore because the term we can live the life we truly want is what i strive to achieve each day of my life and i’m living more and more that way as time goes by.. Yes my music life is important to me but so is my marriage and my health and fitness my friends and family.. These happen to be what i value most in life.. and since they are I make an effort to make time for all these areas without jeopardizing my music career or vice versa on any of these other things.. Also work and taking time off to breath and learn different things or even just to relax and get a massage does way more for our success then we think.. But everyone is different and staying balance in all areas of life is not easy.. but learning how to.. being aware of it etc is a start.
I have been blessed with the opportunity to interview and be in touch with some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she just might see this.
Of course OPRAH. hello! lol She is someone that withstands the tests of life and continues to inspire the world and change many perspectives of people and a great example and leader for women especially in discovering their worth . She continues to learn that encourages all of us to do the same.. uh. love her.. an amazing human..