Chelsea Williams: From Street Musician to Studio Recording Artist
Guitar Connoisseur|Guitar Connoisseur John 5 Spring 2018
Digging in her heels and staying true to her artistic vision: Chelsea Williams bounces back with Boomerang.
David Barrett
Digging in her heels and staying true to her artistic vision: Chelsea Williams bounces back with Boomerang.

Chelsea Williams was born in Ohio and relocated to California at a young age. She’s accomplished more in the last few years than most musicians do in a lifetime, by being a permanent fixture on the Santa Monica Third Street Promenade and independently selling and unheard of amount of CDs by today’s standards. Chelsea’s garnered the attention of some huge names in Hollywood with her compelling voice and creative musicality. Chelsea talks about her quest to dig deeper and develop her own unique voice.

Guitar Connoisseur: It’s awesome to grow up with access to your parent’s record collection, can you talk about your earliest influences and why you were drawn to Bob Dylan?

Chelsea Williams: I did listen to a lot of Bob Dylan growing up (and still do). The funny thing is, my mom was a singer/vocal coach and couldn’t stand his voice so she never had any of his records around. Listening to Bob Dylan became a bit of a rebellious act for me. I remember watching Martin Scorsese’s “No Direction Home” and just falling in love with the irreverent humor in Dylan’s songs and in his interviews from that time. I remember thinking, this guy is a true artist. He seemed to live and breath his poetry.

GC: Selling 100 000 units of anything isn’t easy these days with digital music and online streaming, could you give us some insight into this amazing accomplishment?

CW: It’s definitely weird to think about getting that many discs out there into the world. I don’t have any children but it makes me feel a regular Aston “Family Man” Barrett or something. When I first started playing music on the streets and selling CDs out there 10 years ago, it never crossed my mind that it might turn into my full-time job. I was just a kid looking for some attention and maybe a little pocket change. But it became so much more than that for me, from a source of income to a form of therapy... playing the streets has gotten me booked playing in Barcelona, Spain and singing a duet with Adam Levine. I think if you do anything religiously for 20-30 hours a week, you’re bound to see some results.

GC: Tell us about the shows at Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade?

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