We had the good fortune of connecting with Chel Strong and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chel, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Oh how I know about risks. haha. Well I was born into a family of risk takers. My father, Barrett Strong a legendary grammy winning singer/songwriter did not just get that title by following a blueprint necessarily, but with the assistance of hard work and taking many risks that ultimately turned into rewards. This way of life was definitely bestowed on his family which heavily impacted my way of going about things in pursuing my own career as artist/songwriter. I like to think of risks as possible doors of our destiny. You may open it and worst thing that can happen is you realize your destiny is behind another door, but you never will find it if you don’t open those doors and take those risks. Taking risks have played a major role in my career, I remember I quit my job at the Apple Store to pursue my dreams as a rap artist, and although challenging, it ultimately got me to where I am today.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a Rap Artist and Songwriter based in LA. I have had the chance to work with a lot of talents on many different levels from co-writing a record for Fonzworth Bentley and grammy award winning artist Faith Evans, to working with platinum producer, artist and songwriter, Hilton Wright II on my latest single High Altitude. My work also appears on networks such as OWN TV, VH1, Showtime, MTV, BET, WETV. and many more. What has set me apart from others would be my work ethic and passion in what I do. Not to say their isn’t other hardworking musicians out there but I pride myself on how I dedicate to the work I put in when setting out to create music. Music is not an easy dream, but it is a very fulfilling dream when its something you love to do. I have had many challenges and set backs along the way but I kept at it and now the light is beginning to part through the clouds. One thing that Ive learned with what I do is you get out of it what you put in. In example, when working on synch music placements, I know that the more music I have, the more no’s I can afford to take before that one or few yes’s begin to roll in, therefore Im making 5-7 songs some nights in one session as well as recording and mixing my own stuff. My son sometimes cant stand when the famous line “I have studio tonight” comes out, but then he hears his dad on one of the cool tv shows mom watches and he’s pretty excited to know thats his dad. This is what it takes and why I am where Im at today.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well lets just say if this was pre or post covid, I would have a long list of things to see or do while they would be here. Im from the midwest originally so all of my friends from home would most likely wanna check out a beach while here in LA. My favorite beach spot is Paradise Cove along the pch in Malibu. I like it because I can have a drink and enjoy the waves. I also would have to take them to King Taco for tacos or a burrito. My favorite one is the one on pico only cause when I moved here, my now fiance used to take me there after bar nights in Dtla. Oh and Dtla, So many cool places to check out depending on the vibe you’re looking for. Im a low key kind of guy so a fly rooftop bar such as Perch, The Standard or Ace Hotel was my go to spots so if they are visiting me, thats where we will most likely end up. I Would definitely take them down on Slauson to the Marathon store to honor and pay homage to Nipsey. Roscoe’s is also a must for chicken and waffles although I been digging Sweet Chick on fair fax also. I don’t even know if a week is long enough for all the wonderful things LA has to offer but these places I mentioned for sure would be on my itinerary.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to shout out my family, friends and collaborators for always pushing me to keep going and believing in my self. Helping me calm the outside noise.
eyeyazze, marcus payton, Joey Pinoy