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Artist Originals: Chelsea McGough

Jul 1, 2019

‍Mulberry Mill is a sprawling warehouse devoid of color. Birds often fly in through the busted windows and nest in the rafters. The large space feels empty, the kind of empty you can hear.

That instantly changes when Chelsea McGough walks in, a mixture of giddiness and anxiousness on her beaming face. She carries a few clothing options with her, and once she decides on her outfit she gets mic’d up.

Her anxiousness grows. She is seated, the camera turns on, and the interview begins. After she responds to the first few questions she asks, “Am I doing okay?”

She is not fishing for compliments, though. She genuinely cares about this project, and talking about herself isn’t easy. Chelsea’s insecurity does not come from an unhealthy place; humility is woven into the fabric of her DNA.

“At first I felt like a junior playing on the varsity team!” she confesses with a laugh. She is referring, of course, to composing music alongside other talented Soundstripe Originals.

“If we want to tell a good story, then there is going to be an element of risk, and that involves not having all the answers before you make a decision.”

Before she was creating music full time, Chelsea was stuffing envelopes in a sterile office. She hadn’t touched her cello in years and wondered if she’d ever play again.

But music is a part of her story, a part of her identity. Inspiration inevitably struck her like a defibrillator — breathing new life into her reality — and she entered into a creative renaissance. She was playing again. Writing music. She even quit her desk job for a 6-week tour across the country.

“It was like riding a wave,” Chelsea recalls, excitement glistening in her eyes. That’s in part because, at seemingly every turn, she was forced to make a critical decision: “Do I take a risk and say yes, even if I don’t know how I’m going to do it?”

If you’ve heard and licensed Chelsea’s music for your projects, you’re undoubtedly thankful she kept taking risks and saying yes: Her music is bold, sweeping, cinematic, and full of movement. It’s at once understated and inspiring; emotional and driving.

It’s full of risk.

“If we want to tell a good story,” Chelsea says, almost imploring those who will eventually watch her interview. “Then there is going to be an element of risk, and that involves not having all the answers before you make a decision.”

Watch as Chelsea vulnerably shares her story, which parallels her music in a beautiful, almost poetic way.

Note: This piece originally debuted in the Soundstripe Digital Magazine. Please subscribe here for spotlights, interviews, tutorials, and much more.

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