chelsea collins on her new single, les mis, and filming in a barbie dreamhouse
Music editor Mina Johnson talks with pop musician Chelsea Collins about her newest single “Water Run Dry."
HS: Your newest release “Water Run Dry” comes out today— what was your inspiration behind this record?
CC: I was in a long-distance relationship when I was 19 and it was like he became a stranger to me. We would be laying in bed next to each other, but it was like I didn’t even know him. I’ve had the hook for a while— and it was like before we even drifted apart I knew it was going to happen.
HS: Did you see any major differences in writing your newest music compared to “Tobacco and Tears?”
CC: I feel as you get older, you feel so much more [sic] and the scenarios you see in movies you start to understand
when you’re an adult. It’s like I want to go back to when I was a kid, which is why the video is filled with Barbies. I feel, like, now, everything feels more real. Now I’m an adult and understanding what those emotions are.
HS: So would you say that the idea for the music video for “Water Run Dry," which features a lot of Barbie dolls and in which you are essentially a Barbie, came from wishing that you were back in those younger years of your life?
CC: Yeah, even now, when I’m going through hard times, I look back on those times and my heart feels pure, it’s really calming and nice and it just reminds me of being a kid.
HS: Were there any songs or artists you were inspired by to create this song and music video, or any of your music in general?
CC: I have a background in classical piano and theatre, so the chord progression came from watching Les Mis, I thought that it’d be cool to create a song that was kind of trap-y but had some theatrical chords. It’s really fun to incorporate my theatre and classical music background into pop music. Artist-wise, I would say I’m really inspired by The Weeknd, he does a really good job of combining really catchy songs with kind of this dark side. And I think that that’s what’s so great about music is that you can kind of express the darker side.
HS: How was working and filming with 24kGOLDN? Did you film during quarantine? What was that like?
CC: It was super fun! I was really nervous about filming with [COVID-19] going on, because I’m kind of paranoid about getting it. But luckily everyone on set was super careful. Working with (24kGOLDN) was just like filming with a friend and having fun. It was also super cool because every set in the house was like being in a magical world that I had in my head -- kind of like Disneyland.
HS: That’s really great that they were able to take your vision and create something so amazing out of it.
CC: Yeah, it was so fun. I basically just told them I wanted it to be like Stepford Wives meets Barbie, and gave them a few keywords of what I wanted it to look like and the creative team was able to make it happen!
HS: Aside from “Water Run Dry," what else have you been working on since you’ve been in quarantine?
CC: I’ve been working a lot on producing because I produce all my music— I’ve just been studying D.A.Ws and my production idols. I’m learning a lot more about the technical side, so that’s really fun. I’ve also been learning how to do more makeup and hair, because I’ve always been bad at it, but I’ve learned that makeup is just like drawing.
HS: And finally, is there anything else you’d like to add or say to fans who are reading this?
CC: Just bring positivity into the world because the world is hurting right now. The more good you put out, the more good will come back. Also, even if things seem hard, you have to find the positives; you’ll work through it and look back and be happy it happened because you’ll learn so much about yourself. ✰
Mina Johnson is an 18-year-old singer/songwriter and music journalist originally from Los Angeles, CA and now based in Philadelphia, PA. Her writing is inspired by her favorite artists (Mac Miller, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lorde - to name a few), new music, and giving new artists a platform to share their music with the world. When she's not writing, you can find her going to concerts with friends, rewatching Lady Bird, or finding new restaurants to try. Her other interests include ramen, oddly specific Spotify playlists, and a good thrift shop find.