“Chelsea Wilson is an accomplished singer who knows her groove. Really knows it. Her album launch at The Toff was like a tour of the best of the 60s and 70s. She’s written faultless songs, chosen impeccable band members and even had energy to spare for more than a few extra surprises. But first, her voice. And what a voice. Wilson’s vocals are practiced and deliberate, delivering just the right amount of heartfelt lament and bitter vengeance. And appropriately so – many of her songs explore themes of betrayal, jealousy, heartbreak and complications of love.
Wilson also managed to assemble a cracking band behind her. A sharp horn section and colourful keyboards lent their colours to the usual drums, bass and guitar. And just like Wilson, they were all exceptionally well-rehearsed and on point. Special mention should go to guitarist Neil Boland, who showed us some exceptionally well-judged blues solos and later funked up the set with some wah, phaser and other effects.
Not satisfied with merely sharing here excellent vocals and top band, Wilson also brought in backing dancer/singers – complete with impressive choreographed dance moves (and also both excellent singers too!). And there were guest singers. And costume changes. And a killer encore. This is a woman who has thought it all through. And she understands the importance of going beyond a musical performance. She understands what it takes to put on a show. We’d be very unhappy without her.” – Kim Lajoie Skylashes
Chelsea Wilson is a Melbourne based vocalist, songwriter, broadcaster and DJ.
Chelsea grew up listening to rhythm and blues courtesy of her Dad’s record collection. But it was falling in love with jazz at age fifteen and in particular with the great voices of Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughn that inspired Chelsea to become a vocalist and led her to studying at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music. After completing her music degree, Chelsea earned her performance stripes overseas, completing seven 6-month international residency contracts across Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, The UAE, The USA and The Caribbean performing over 280 shows per year. After relocating to Melbourne Chelsea collated her experiences into her debut EP Bitterness and took up the post as Music and Interviews Manager at iconic Melbourne station PBS FM.
Recently Chelsea performed her debut solo show I Hope You’ll Be Very Unhappy Without Me – The Cabaret at the opening night of the Melbourne Cabaret Festival and in the sell out season of Heart of A Woman- A Tribute to Etta James at the Adelaide fringe festival. She curates the sell out Women of Soul performance series featuring artists such as Kylie Auldist, Michelle Martinez, Christina Arnold and Clairy Browne. A budding vinyl collector and dance floor connoisseur she has DJ’d at events such as PBS FM’s Soul A Go Go, The National Gallery of Victoria’s friday night Masterpiece series and the Melbourne Recital Centre Garden Party. She also appears as an MC at events such as the Melbourne International Jazz Festival, Stonnington Jazz Festival and Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues. She has spoken on music industry panels at conferences including Face the Music, I Manage My Music, Australasian World Music Expo, Bigsound, APRA|AMCOS member events and at the Multicultural Arts Victoria Emerge Festival. Chelsea also produces and presents weekly jazz radio program Jazz Got Soul on PBS 106.7FM, writes the odd music review on her blog and drinks copious amounts of Twinnings English Breakfast Tea. In her free time (if any) you might find her in a boxing, ballet or barre class with her gal pals.