Behind the Noise: Cha Wilde, Love & Freedom
Hi Cha Wilde! First of all, I wanted to say thank you so much for doing this interview! I am LOVING your new album Love & Freedom!
1. I would love to start off with an icebreaker. What is your favorite restaurant?
Kashiba in Seattle. It’s some of THE BEST sushi in the world. My husband and I visit this restaurant and sit right in front of the sushi chef at the bar whenever I drop an album. This is the most mindblowing, orgasm in your mouth, greatest reward for completing project sushi. No sushi compares. And it has a view over Pike Place Market.
2. For any of our readers who are discovering you for the first time, would you introduce yourself? Hello new person! You’re probably going to love my music if you’re a free spirit, a child at heart, a dreamer, a philosopher, a yogi or a polyamorous sexy festival freak. You can listen to my music when you’re in a chill beautiful mood, perhaps sitting in a cafe watching rain fall on the street, or dancing in your living room, or joyriding along the beach. My music holds a lot of spirit and has the power to make you feel deeply and love being human again. Enjoy!
3. To start off, What inspired you to write this album, and how do you feel that it differs from your other albums/EP's?
Oh, so much more sophisticated now. My mixing skills have improved which means all the different sounds blend together more smoothly, they’re combining to create one unified vibe. The vocals are cleaner and richer now; I’ve been practicing singing techniques so I’m collaborating more intentionally with my voice, more control in the sounds I’m creating and more power and variety in my emotional expression. I’ve also upgraded the recording equipment. I’m enjoying singing into a beautiful Neuman microphone (TLM103) and my husband constructed a vocal booth inside our house that I walk into and the soundproof space lets me focus in the dark privacy and get clean takes.
This album is a collection of songs that I wrote over a two-year period. Most of them are stories pulled from deep in my healing soul, lyrics written after therapy sessions, melodies hummed while painting in my studio, drum tracks quickly thrown together on my laptop in the middle of cold winter nights when I was racing the clock to finish songs by midnight so I could wake up the next morning and start on the next song from scratch. Everyone is always asking me about this mysterious “healing” I refer to. I believe we are all constantly getting banged up by life and therefore we are also constantly in a healing process, each day recovering from whatever happened the day before. I love working out, fitness is core to my bright energy, and each day in the gym I tear my muscles apart so they can heal, recover, and grow back stronger. I view my emotional and energetic body in the same way. I feel deeply and I live fully. My capacity for love and joy is huge and equally matches my ability to feel deep pain and fear. The full spectrum of human emotion fascinates me. I have many lovers in this life and so naturally, I am often hurt. I keep opening my heart to love again and again. I keep getting hurt. The hurt doesn’t stop me from opening up. I take intentional time to heal and learn from the wounds so I can love more strongly the next day. Freedom might be my deepest value in this life. I believe that freedom requires my heart to be wide open. If I’m closed, even just a little bit, holding back an inch, I’m not allowing all of life’s wonders, including love to flood in. I want love. I need love. To fully receive this love, I need to be fully open. To fully open I need to be continuously healing whatever made me want to close yesterday. In healing, I soothe my body and it trusts me to take care of it. I can’t promise my body that we won’t get hurt again. I can promise my body that I am here to heal it and love it every day. I am loyal to my body and in this way I experience freedom. I am free to love again. This album is a chapter of this “Love and Freedom” journey.
4. Your album is called “Love and Freedom.” What do love and freedom mean to you?
5. How would you describe the genre of music on your new album?
What a tricky question, eh? Let’s go with chill electronic inspired by popping dance parties and mystical fantasies.
6. Which song on the album did you enjoy writing the most?
Dreams. The first track is my joy baby. I can play it on repeat and it always makes me smile, dance, and my heart flutters alive. It took the most time to create it and it feels like a slice of magic in my body.
7. Do you have any sort of specific creative process when it comes to song- writing? The creative process is always evolving, new approaches with each song. That said, I write a lot, at least an hour each day, usually more. I’m writing a stream of consciousness by hand in a journal. Then I edit thoughts into poetic paragraphs on my blog. chawilde.com/blog I write notes in the phone memos throughout the days as I’m traveling around. I see beautiful interesting parts of the world, charming moments, intimate glimpses into other human beings, and more poetry magically appears in my head. I sit in the shower with my guitar at the end of the day and sing sounds by candlelight. I let any sounds that feel good flow out of my body and lyrics show up easily. I’m in such a habit of transforming emotions into words that when it sit to songwrite it’s effortless. Once I have the melody and lyrics then I open up Ableton Live and start recording and playing with sounds, drum beats, and figuring out which other instruments I want to incorporate. From there, I’m just riding a wave of inspiration to the finish line. The lyrics and vocals are really the backbone of my creative process and everything else revolves around and blossoms from them. Sometimes, I start with an instrument, a groove, a beat, and the lyrics will come. That can happen more when I’m collaborating with another artist and they bring the instrumental component to me first. Guitar always inspires lyrics. I love strings instruments to accompany singing.
8. What has been the hardest/ most challenging part of creating this album?
This album, especially the first track (Dreams) helped me practice transitions and diversity within songs. I aimed to create a full journey of emotions. It’s easy to get stuck on a loop of the same sound or feeling over and over. My husband kept challenging me to spice it up, change something, surprise him half way through the song. At one point during the production process he told me the songs were “uneventful.” He wanted to feel like “something happened” during the song. He wanted me to take him somewhere new with the music. Receiving this kind of feedback from my husband is probably the most challenging part of the process every time. I’m so emotionally attached to what I’m creating that it’s easy to become defensive. Working with my life partner in music challenges me the most of all. I’m learning to establish boundaries between the personal, creative and work elements of life and knowing how to receive his feedback graciously is a lesson I keep learning. I faced this interpersonal challenge a lot while creating this album because I produced all the songs in the same room as my husband while we were cohabitating and coworking in a studio condo during COVID lockdown and the gradual reemergence into the post-COVID world. All the hours of the day and night living on top of each other, our two different careers colliding on the daily, and my relentless pursuit of my creative passions, fiercely protecting my freedom to do the work I love in the way I love doing it…this was the challenge. I made it through. Now the album is released and so am I! I’m traveling the world and breathing in my own space again.
9. From looking at your social media, I can see that you are very interested in yoga and mindfulness! Do these techniques help you in your songwriting or creation process in any way?
Whatever you do in life, yoga helps you do it better.
10. I heard that now that the album is released, you are taking some time to travel in Asia, living out the dreams you had when writing the album. Is there any specific reason you chose to travel to Asia? What has been your favorite part about the trip so far?
Southeast Asia is in my blood and childhood. My parents fell in love in this part of the world, exploring and living here in their twenties. Traveling solo here as brought me so much closer to them inside my body and memories. I understand them better now. I realize as I travel that this is a deeper calling that brought me to these countries. When I purchased my plane ticket, I was under the impression I was traveling to Bali for only one month because it would be the perfect place for a yogi artist like me to vibe out for a vacation; painting and doing yoga on the beach, riding a scooter in the jungle. I totally did that and loved it and then adventure called me onwards. I’ve been exploring Malaysia and Thailand, following whatever feels good in my body. I’m staying in Asia for a while now to absorb the slow simple pace of life in tourist towns along the beach, to dive into the ocean and study the colors of coral reef, to listen to songbirds in the jungle trees and stay happy in the sunshine as the winter coats my family and friends in America. I’m keeping my body in a place where I feel at peace, where I feel spacious to explore and expand spiritually and create with ease and joy. Asia is radiating ancient beauty and the people around me here are not rushed or distracted. They’re smiling and bowing kindly. There is peace in the air with life unfolding over time, no need to prove anything or race to an imagined finish line. I’m in Asia, close to the cultures that I’ve studied and learned from for all my adult life. I’m here to heal and play and enjoy living and showing up to do my deep purposeful work. In summary, I feel good here. It’s my pace of life, it’s the style of life I enjoy and the architecture, clothes and food are exactly what I was to be surrounded by. I feel at home. Art and health are my top priorities and both of those feel very supported by the living conditions here. I can thrive in my body each day and naturally, artwork just springs forth and I’m happy to share it.
11. Is there a place you would like to travel to at some point in the near future that you haven't visited before?
My sights are set on the coral reefs of Raja Ampat and the plant medicine circles of Peru.
12. What can we expect from you in the near future?
Medicine music, rainbow sunsets and music videos of me dancing on the beach.
13. What is something you would want someone who is a new listener to know about you/your music?
It’s made with love. I’m radically honest when I write and perform so it’s raw and I’m sharing it with you because I love you, fellow human. We are very much in this together. I hope you feel connected to yourself when you listen to the music that arrived through me. It’s some fresh free spirit shit ;) Love, Cha
Thanks so much for doing this interview! We look forward to hearing about your future projects.
Find more about Cha Wilde here