Chellcy Reitsma is a California-born Indie artist who grew up listening to American folk, rock, and full gospel. After studying art and dance, she founded an ethnic dance company called Fringe Benefits in Chicago and ended up touring the world and performing with a multitude of bands and artists. Chellcy now lives in Malta where she began her musical career in 2015 due to major dance injuries. Through her struggles, Chellcy budded into a lively indie/alternative musician who is now able to capture her audience through the stories she tells in her songs. Although she never said goodbye to her life as a visual artist, in collaboration with artist Casper Mason, Chellcy Reitsma creates a new type of art in her new release “Cross the Line.” This upbeat indie duet begins with sparse acoustic plucks in the background of Chellcy and Casper’s vocals. This allows both artists to express their natural vocal talent, and for the focus to be drawn to the lyrics at the start of the song in order to draw in their audience with a romantic story. At this point, “Cross the Line” sounds like it should be a duet soundtrack to a Disney movie.
During the first chorus, a gentle cymbal percussion joins the guitar and introduces an increase in instrumental energy for the rest of the song. The lyrical tone of the song also shifts from a fairytale type love story to an inspiring message about pushing boundaries and building resilience. In her songwriting of “Cross the Line,” Chellcy included powerful metaphors like “people living in glass houses shouldn’t be throwing stones anyway.” With “Cross the Line,” Chellcy will have her audience writing down her insightful lyrics so they never forget.
Welcome to BuzzMusic Chellcy Reitsma! We were uplifted by the message in your new release “Cross the Line.” What inspired you to make such a motivational song?
Thank so much BuzzMusic! My inspiration for making the song is all the brave partnerships I know who have faced so much opposition to their union and deal with discrimination on a regular basis. I wrote this song to honor all the people out there in relationships that are unconventional and/or unfavorable to their families/society/religions for whatever reason and to encourage people to also be inspired by them; to love whomever they want regardless of opposition no matter what that opposition may be or who it is coming from. Be true to yourself and love who you want.
You sing about being able to “cross the line” when you are together, can you elaborate what you mean when you say “cross the line?”
The imaginary divisions between people. People draw so many invisible lines, metaphorical lines, theoretical lines, ethical lines, cultural lines, religious lines, economical lines, country lines, lines between what they view as right and wrong, lines between what is appropriate or acceptable and what is not, the list keeps going on endlessly and is different for everyone from every culture. So for me in the song, "cross the line" refers to whatever line/divide the individuals need to cross to love each other.
You and Casper collaborated very will in the creation of “Cross the Line.” What inspired you to make this song a duet? How does collaborating with other artists influence your music?
I was mid-production on the song when I met Casper. I wrote the lyrics of the song and was working on the melody lines and delivery of the song before recording the vocals and adding final touches when I met Casper at a songwriting competition in Valletta, Malta. I heard his voice, his timbre, and his original song (which was very inspiring) and knew immediately that I had to meet this guy and see if he would like to collaborate on Cross the Line. We hit it off immediately, he loved the song and concept, and we both felt that our voices would sound great together. We met up and tried singing together and the song just felt like it was written as a duet. He happened to be in Malta on tour at the same time that I had booked to record the vocals at Railway Studios, so the timing couldn't have been better. Collaborating together helped to further develop the melody lines and vocal depth of the song.
You lived for a while in Florence, Italy and Stockholm, Sweden. How did these experiences shape the type of artist you are today?
Living in different countries and becoming an immigrant to Malta have proposed some of the biggest challenges and greatest rewards in my life. It is not easy to live, work and study in a new country and try to fit in with or learn about a new culture and to find your place and build a new network of friends and colleagues, but it is extremely rewarding and eye-opening. I feel that these experiences have made me realize that our sameness as humans far outweighs the differences. This has made me want to make more socially aware art and music that highlights our sameness. It has also made me more aware of the possibility and importance of individuals in making an impact on others and promoting change and the importance of community and reaching out to existing communities and building new ones. This has affected me as an artist and how I work because I am now very keen on collaborations both locally and internationally, whereas before these experiences I was more the isolated solo artist in the studio.
What can we expect to see from you throughout 2020?
In 2020 I am very focused on more international collaborations and producing some new songs with the Animal Farm Music in the UK, Railway Studios in Malta, and Sound Village Music in Germany. I will be releasing a new song in the fall called "The Rain", my second release with Chuck Moyen of Frankfurt, Germany. I have also recently launched my newly formed band in my name, which I will be working on some new songs with to release in late 2020 and in 2021 and performing at our first foreign festival in the UK in July and doing as many gigs as possible in Malta to further launch the band.