Chela Simone
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Chela Simone


Band Alternative Hip Hop


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"Chela Simone" - looky looky Berlin

"Whats New"

Chela Simone. Chela is a rapper, a singer, a songwriter and a mother. When Chela is rapping you double take what you are hearing - her sweetness in tone gets her under your radar and then she stomps about on your notions of rappers. She drops a verse on 'When I was Young'. Watch out for her new album on Crowded Castle productions. - Flying Mountain

"Its Just a Ride"

‘It’s Just a Ride’: an interview wit’ Chela Simone
by: Minister of Information JR
Wednesday, 16 April 2008

“We act surprised and shit/ when our kids are f--king at 10/ when they grew up on 50 Cent and those Pussycat chicks/ the Flavor Flav I grew up wit’/ wouldn’t do no shit like this.” – Chela Simone on “Samantha Jones”

Chela Simone and Rage at MOI JR’s 30th Birthday Bash at the Cellspace April 5. Rage, recently arrived from New York City, is deputy minister of culture for the Prisoners of Conscience Committee and the Bay View’s new webmaster.
A criminal defense lawyer mother and a Black Panther father created the political street savvy emcee Chela Simone in the urban concrete jungle of East Oakland, California. Oakland, which has a population of less than half a million people, has been the home, or at least the base, for a number of legendary architects of what we call art and culture in Amerikkka – people like Richard Pryor, Tony Toni Tone, Ledisi, Too Short, Souls of Mischief, Digital Underground, 2Pac and Minister of Defense Huey P. Newton of the Black Panther Party, to name a few.

Give her a few years and Chela Simone is going to be in that list of people from what we call “the Town” who have made an internationally recognized impact on what people think about what is happening in Amerikkka – socially, culturally, politically and/or economically. I was just talking to a friend who loses her mind every time Lil Wayne’s “Lick the Rapper” song comes on the radio, and in this interview Chela articulates the sentiments of an older segment of the Hip Hop generation critiquing the music that the corporations are pushing down our throats today compared wit’ when we or our parents were growing up.

Beyond our conversation, which is printed here, I ask everybody to tune into Myspace and sample a little bit of Chela’s music. I’m bumpin’ “Samantha Jones” as I write this. Check out Miss Chela Simone in her own words ...

MOI JR: How long have you been singing?

Chela: I started singing when I was a kid, maybe 5 or 6. Younger than that really; all my life I remember singing or banging on something to make music. My professional career began when I was 13. I studied opera and classical music composition and arrangement at the Young Musicians Program at UC Berkeley. I went there with artists like Ledisi and Kevin Choice.

I started rapping in ’92. At that time you had to either rap or sing. There was no Lauryn Hill. So I chose hip-hop as that method of expression. It was born from a beat and some poetry I wrote. When I got a little older, I figured out how to combine the two, and now I have a formula that works.

I bounced around the U.S. and the Caribbean making music, then came back to the Bay and joined a 15-piece world music band and toured as lead female vocalist with them for four years. We went all over. It was a blessing; taught me how to hold the attention of 20,000 people for an hour and 45 minutes, which is not easy, especially when you are dancing and singing the whole time.

MOI JR: And when did you discover that you wanted to be a musician?

Chela: I remember getting a whooping for sitting with my ear pressed to the speaker. I may have been 4 years old at the time. But I didn’t know how all those sounds came from one place and why they were layered like that. That sparked my audio engineering/ beatmaking bug. I have been Protools Certified since 2000.

But I always knew. I have always done this. It’s always been a part of me, and I walk to the store singing. I freestyle in the shower. I was always around music. If I could recall the one defining moment, it would be last year when I was ready to quit for the millionth time. I said, “This is my last show. I am tired of doing this. And I am ready to retire?”

I got on stage for a crowd of 50 people and rocked the spot like it was my last kiss. I could feel something I never felt before. Freedom! It wasn’t something I had to do; I was doing what I loved. I was open, I did songs I forgot and just stayed on stage for an hour, instead of my 30-minute set. I had all 50 of the folks dancing, and I know somebody was getting pregnant that night. I woke up the next morning and had bookings for five more – well paid – gigs. So I guess the Creator isn’t done with my voice yet.

MOI JR: Looking at vocalists today, what is missing?

Chela: Originality, thought, substance and a backbone. And I hate to say it, but in most cases they are missing talent. They look good – and sound terrible. Nowadays all you need is a mic, a beat and a YouTube video to be a vocalist. And for the most part, even if they are decent, then they have no content. No one feels anything any more, like a bunch of robots. The live shows lack focus; it’s just costume and ass shaking and a hell of a lot of vocal filters.

The videos are all the same: club shot, car shot, ass shot, jewelry shot, rap rap rap and repeat. Rappers don’t talk about anything excep - SF Bay View


Featured on:
F.U.W. (original demo version) produced by Dawu Fe, featured as Tiye Selah
Label: BombHiphop
Artist: Azeem



Ineffable - The Leak (may 2007)
Label: Crowded Castle
Artist : Chela Simone

Its Just a Ride ( May 2009)
Label:Crowded Castle
Artist: Chela Simone

Blah Blah Blah - The EP (September 2008)
Label: Never Settle Movement
Aritst: Chela Simone



Imagine if we had 2000 Picassos, and 3000 Monet's. No Frida Kahlo, No Basquiat, or Justin Bua. Just more of the same. The artist who carves their own
path, risks all, by laughing in the face of conformity. Their success is measured on a different scale. According to Chela Simone, “Its not a struggle, it’s a

Songstress, Emcee, and stellar performer Chela Simone was born in Oakland California. A city that the Black Panther Party, Sly & the Family Stone, Tower of Power, Tony! Toni! Tone!, Green Day, En Vogue, Hieroglyphics and Too Short, all called home. A well-versed woman, who began her music career at 13 when she attended University of California Berkeley - Young Musicians Program to study Classical Music (Opera), Voice Composition, & Piano Arrangement.

Sighting the need for women to be more independent in the recording industry Chela became Pro Tools certified in 1999.

As an Emcee, she blends sweet melodies with biting poignant lyrics that snap you right back into reality. . Her voice provokes the notion that music can be
original and creative, again. Her signature rhythm is nothing contrived, just pure, free, and striking. A hint of Cali-electro-rock, a splash of soul, mixed with
southern love & served over hip hop.

Chela Simone was featured on the song F.U.W the BHH Records release of Azeem's “Show Business” as aka Tiye Selah , on DJ Child of Project Groundation Massive “RISE UP” The Mix Tape, Flipping her version of “ the Corner” featured over super producer Kanye West beats. She will also be featured the first single “Good Voodoo” on up and coming release with -BPitch
Control- recording artist KiKi. A leak of her demo “Ineffable” was released May 2007, causing a buzz that earned her a spot touring with OM recording artist Colossus as lead-vocalist, headlining events such as the M3 Summit - (MIA), GAME festival at the Moscone Center (SF), and the reopening of the De
Young Museum (SF).

Since then Chela Simone has been busy.

From the We B Girlz 2008 European Tour- with Roxanne Shanté,Bahamadia, Invincible, Eternia, Shania D, Stacy Epps, Yarah Bravo, and
DJ Shortee, To Europe’s Hip Hop Kemp Festival with artists The Roots, Atmosphere, Brother Ali , Mr. Lif & Akrobatik, Zion - I, and many more... Chela has
gained an ever growing fan base from Oakland to Switzerland and has the passport stamps and love from her fans to prove it.

The Highly Anticipated Release of her Album " Its Just a ride" is set for release in 2009. The first single Samantha Jones produced by John Jordan is
already heating up radio stations such as KPFA and KPOO in the Bay Area. Other production is provided by Proh Mic (Funkadelic /X-Clan/Canibus) And
Dawu Fe (Daz Dillinger, B-Legit, LeGerald Normmand, Tim'm West) and Chela Simone, of course.

After blazing stages across the country with the likes of, Sa Ra, Giles Peterson, Goapele, Jennifer Johns, KRS1, Pharaohe Monch, Talib Kweli, Common, Del,
J*Davey, Azeem and DJ Zeph, Hieroglyphics, Acyealone, ABRude, Medusa, Common, Lyrics Born, Saafir & The Whoriddas (Hobo Junction), Mystic
Journeymen, Jungle Bros, De La Soul, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Strange Fruit Project, and Living Legends, Chela Simone is ready. Are you?

Booking/ Press Contact:
Bella Bakrania

Chela Simone

“What People have to Say!”

I am a Fan!
Wise Intelligent (Poor Righteous Teachers)

Chela Simone - The real deal, the independent, the
full package, her street, her urban, her green, her real and otherwise
worldly , multi- cultural and faceted talent. A Lil' something for everyone, without compromising what makes her unique
Beautiful Inside to Out & Outside to – In.
Ya dig!
Duncan Cooper (principal dancer - Alvin Ailey, Dance Theater of Harlem)

Chela Simone has always set the standard for what a female mc from the bay area should aspire to. Period.
True Justice (All Purpose DJs/Hidden City Records)

Chela Simone is one of few new voices coming out of the Bay, who definitely is bringing something unique and creative to
the west coast cultural soundscape.

The Minister of Information JR (POCC Block Report Radio)

Chela Simone is a character. Her music is like herself – dynamic and multi-faceted. Just when you think you have her
sound ‘pinned’ – uh oh, you’re wrong. I was honored to get to know what makes Chela the Woman tick, and tour with

Chela the artist alongside the Bahamadia, Invincible, Roxanne Shante, DJ Shortee, and myself.
Eternia (Canada’s Finest FemCee)

Chela Simone has the talent, sometimes raw, sometimes refined, that is missing from most of todays music. her sound
reminds me of why i got into music in the first place, she has an edge, lyrically and musically, other artists take note.
DJ Zeph (OM)

Chela Simone is: a woman of complex talent; beauty and brains make for molotav cocktail in today's entertainment
industry, her mus