Chantelle C.W shares her journey with ‘Note to Self’

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The R&B singer talks healing, changing and overcoming in her overwhelmingly well-received debut EP

By Rhea Singh

Growing up on the East end of Toronto, Chantelle C.W has been singing for as long as she can remember. 

“It started out with karaoke, which is mainly because I’m half-Filipino,” said C.W.

The third-year journalism student had initially started off writing poetry, but soon realized the songs she was writing could all be comprised into one project titled Note to Self.

“[Note to Self] is a very long story, but at the same time, a healing experience,” said C.W. 

The singer links her inspiration for the creation of the EP to people changing, having things with someone close to her not working out, and pushing herself out of the resulting rut.

“Sometimes you need an outlet to get over people or overcome things.” said C.W.

Note to Self consists of six tracks, including “Oceans” and “Take Care.” “Take Care,” which was produced by Toronto producer IGNORVNCE, was written by C.W when she was only 18 years old.

“Sometimes you need an outlet to get over people or overcome things”

Since the release of her EP on March 29, 2019, C.W has received over 6.2k streams on Spotify alone, from 41 different countries around the world. 

As C.W talked about her experience in the music industry in Toronto, she said she didn’t expect the reaction she got for her first EP.

C.W said there had been a overwhelmingly positive response from the scene, and that she was consistently booked for shows. 

“The first place I performed was the Enzo showcase, [which was] for Asian representation for artists,” said C.W. “People were soon asking [me] to perform at places and then it got hectic balancing everything.”

The singer songwriter has recently released a music video for “Oceans,” filmed by media production student Ruhama Dechassa. “Oceans” features Ryerson Athletic Centre yoga instructor Katie Allen dancing through scenes of the video, and also includes her friend Lexson Millington as her co-star.

However, C.W did face complications along the way while filming.

“It was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.” said C.W. “We filmed for a month in between classes… it [was] very hard balancing [the video and] school.” 

But soon enough, the “Oceans” music video was released on YouTube, on June 9. 

“I have to believe that I can do it”

C.W found herself flourishing in a scene that was welcoming and inclusive, but was aware of the struggles other artists faced.

“I’ve been lucky compared to people [in the media] who have been bullied when it comes to the [music] industry.” said C.W. “In the actual music industry the representation of dark skin women isn’t as showcased as someone who is lighter or white.”

According to C.W,  she also found immense support through her friends, who have gone to great lengths in helping further her career. 

“If I ever wasn’t able to pay someone to collect tickets at an event, a friend would automatically do it,” said C.W. “They’re always there.”

At the moment, C.W said she aims to focus more on her school life and hopes that, in the future, she can pick up where she left off.

“I have to believe that I can do it,” said C.W.

Check out Chantelle C.W’s EP ‘Note to Self’ on Spotify, Apple Music and Soundcloud.

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