Interview with Artist Chellcy Reitsma

By Mick Michaels

Cosmick View: Hello, Chellcy! Welcome to The Cosmick View. Thanks for taking some time out of your day to speak with us. It's greatly appreciated.

CV: Describe your definition of your sound and style and how does
that definition uniquely describe the music?

Chellcy Reitsma: From sad lullabies to feminist anthems with smooth stanzas, galloping mid-tempo sonic escapades and an evolving energy that creeps up from behind. Our style is a bit eclectic because we write the music to fit the song without concern for genres. Our fusion style is a bit poetic with a warm vintage sound, smooth and mellow, but still fresh, a sound reminiscent of the late ‘70s…from alternative rock to blues rock, from Americana to adult contemporary. The vocals are delivered with an elegist-like cadence, amalgamated harmonies, and empowering lyricism. 

I feel that the definition of our style reflects our complexity which draws inspiration from my life, all my favorite musical styles and my familial musical roots to create one unique fusion style, which is my own, inherently me and augmented by the contributions of the band as a whole. 

CV: Today, everyone talks about artist and audience connection. Is such a
level of connection actually achievable for an artist and if so, how have you made the connection to your fans?

CR: I definitely connect with my audience.  My mission as an artist is to create relatable music, poetry and art that is authentic, honest, deeply personal, inspirational, and empowering; that speaks to people and touches an emotional chord…music that has a lot of symbolism with multiple layers of meaning and depth. I believe it is my job as an artist is to express that which is unspoken, to express the intangible. I also strive to be inventive, to think out of the box and remain genre-less; to create free from the constraints of artistic ‘rules’ and to challenge societal ‘norms’. I feel that the audience can relate to my music and my life and connect with my music and me on a deep level. I think that I sing about many things that people think to themselves but don’t verbalize. I give those thoughts life and sing them loudly and boldly and that’s why people connect to the music and feel empowered. 

CV: Is fan interaction an important part of your inner culture as an artist? CR: Definitely. Fans give us life and a reason to keep going. During a performance we feed off of their energy and vice versa. Their interaction helps us gauge how well (or not) we are performing and what songs they connect to the most.

CV: Can an artist truly interact with their fans and still maintain a level of personal privacy without crossing the line and giving up their “personal space” in your opinion?
CR: Yes, it’s a fine line to walk and you must know your own boundaries and enforce them. I believe artists share a lot and let their fans in pretty far, but still maintain some personal privacy. Artists choose what to share of themselves and how much. Every artist has so many aspects to their personalities and lives we will always have some deeply personal aspects kept just for ourselves.

CV: Is music, and its value, viewed differently around the world in your opinion?  If so, what do you see as the biggest difference in such multiple views among various cultures?

CR: Yes, music and art are definitely viewed and valued differently around the world in various cultures and even subcultures. One can see this difference just by examining music education offered in public schools around the world. Many countries and cultures that value music and the arts offer considerable funding to school education programs. Countries like Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Austria and more. Some countries offer mid-level funding to music programs such as USA, Canada and England. Some studies have shown that countries with greater music education programs excel more in academics and in life. The music advocacy group The Music Trust claimed in a recent survey that the “
countries that consistently perform well in international rankings such as PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) provide much more music education.”

Then there are many cultures where music is highly valued by the culture (whether funded by their countries government or not) and played a huge role in developing part of their cultural heritage like Native Americans, Irish, Americans, English, Indians, Egyptians, Japanese, Spanish, Mexicans and many, many more. Often times in these cultures music played a part in developing their cultural or a sub-cultural identity and performed many roles. For example, music was a form of story-telling, ritual, documenting history or an event, entertainment, celebration, mourning, prayer, healing, preparing for war, protest and so much more. 

So, in my humble opinion and limited knowledge, I suppose the biggest difference between cultural views and values of music can be seen in their level of importance placed on music in education, how many roles music fills in their culture and identity, and how many genres, sub-genres and great musicians have emerged from their culture. I believe that the cultures that are more highly developed and advanced (not in the Westernized sense of ‘advanced’ necessarily) have the richest musical heritage and the richest most vibrant and varied culture. 

CV: Do you feel that a band that has an international appeal, will tend to connect more so to American audiences? Would they be more enticed or intrigued to see the band over indigenous acts because of the foreign flavor?

CR: No, not necessarily. Home grown country, grunge, blues and even bluegrass music styles for example are hugely popular with American audiences as well as their bands. Take for example Nirvana; they were home grown in Aberdeen, WA and very much a Pacific North Coast style grunge band.
 Jonathan Poneman, of Sub Pop, coined the term “grunge” for the Seattle alternative rock style that emerged in the late 80’s and it spread across America and the world. Nirvana was a home grown, local band performing a home grown style from tiny little Aberdeen, WA (originally, later Seattle) and came to have huge popularity with American audiences before becoming international with “Smells Like Teen Spirit” from their 1991 album ‘Nevermind’. Turns out, that indigenous bands can have American and international audience appeal just as much as international bands can appeal to American audiences. 

CV: Has modern-day digital technology made everyone an artist on some level in your opinion? Have the actual lines of what really is an artist been blurred?

CR: Yes, to a point, but even with all of the digital technology one must still be creative and have a vision in order to create anything. But in my opinion just being creative and making something doesn’t qualify one as an artist. Then there is this new terminology “content creator” which I feel was originally intended to describe people who make creative content for social media but is now being applied to artists, unfortunately. For me, an artist is someone with a passion and a vision to create art of any genre or form because they have an internal and almost spiritual need to create. With digital technology our understanding and meaning of art and artist are certainly being challenged and lines blurred.

CV: How would you describe the difference between an artist who follows trends and one who sets them?
CR: Artists that set trends are authentic, true to themselves and to their own voices; they don’t care if they fit into society, genres or trends. True artists are visionaries, take risks and think outside of the box. 

CV: Has music overall been splintered into too many sub-genres in an effort to appease fan tastes in your opinion? And has such fan appeasements, in actuality, weakened music’s impact as a whole by dividing audiences?

CR: Yes. Divide and conquer. I don’t agree with labeling music with styles and genres in an effort to squeeze every artist and their music into tightly wrapped, little boxes just because some corporate marketing team thinks it makes the music more presentable and marketable. Art is messy, subjective, and powerful. It’s not always easily defined and confined to a genre. Art is self expression and there are an infinite amount of possibilities especially considering that there are millions, if not billions, of unique individual artists in the world creating and collaborating. How many genres and sub-genres are we going to create in an effort to define endless amounts of self expression? Genres and labels limit possibilities, limit minds, can alter an audience’s perception of an artist and their work, thereby limiting audiences and their experience of the music. Art is created from chaos. Genres and sub-genres are a way of controlling art and limiting artistic vision to make it more palatable and understandable for the masses.

CV: What can fans expect to see coming next from you?
CR: Coming up next on March 4th we’ll be releasing a new alternative rock single called ‘Fleshbot Prison’…an angry rock song with an artistic theory about human existence. We are also working on a number of new songs in preparation for hopefully producing our first full LP.  It will also include some poetry as my ‘Black Water’ EP did. We also have some TV and radio appearances scheduled for March 2022 for both Malta and USA stations. 

CV: Thanks again Chellcy for taking some time and talking. It is greatly appreciated.
CR: Thank you so much Mick for the opportunity to share my music and thoughts in The Cosmic View. I love your interesting questions and that you’re digging deep! 

Check out Chellcy Reitsma at:


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The Cosmick Voice
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My name is Mick Michaels...I'm an artist, music fan, songwriter, producer, show host, dreamer and guitarist for the traditional Heavy Metal band Corners of Sanctuary. Writing has always been a creative outlet for me; what I couldn't say in speech, I was able to do with the written word.  Writing has given me a voice and a way for me to create on a multitude of platforms including music and song, articles, independent screenplays, books and now, artist interviews. The Cosmick View is an opportunity to raise the bar and showcase artists in a positive and inspirational light. For me, it's another out-of-this-world adventure.

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