Five questions: Chelsea Cutler

Singer Chelsea Cutler
Catch Chelsea Cutler at Franklin Music Hall on March 4. Image | Meredith Truax

Instantly-relatable lyrics and handcrafted lo-fi soundscapes have established Chelsea Cutler as a quiet, yet disruptive, force for popular music.

Within two short years, the singer, songwriter and producer went from bedroom-constructed uploads to 750 million-plus cumulative streams and acclaim from Billboard, Complex, PAPER Magazine, Refinery29, Ones To Watch and more. 

Don’t miss your chance to see Cutler in concert March 4 at Franklin Music Hall.

In 2017, her breakthrough single “Your Shirt” paved the way for her debut EP, “Snow In October.” Leaving college shortly after, she hit the road alongside Quinn XCII at the top of 2018 before kicking off a prolific string of releases, including the independently released mixtapes “Sleeping with Roses” and “Sleeping with Roses II,” leading to two sold-out nationwide headline tours in fall 2018 and spring 2019. That summer, she made appearances at Governors Ball, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and more. 

Signing to Republic Records in 2019, Cutler forges a human connection on her latest singles, “How To Be Human,” “You Are Losing Me,” “Lucky (w/ Alexander 23)” and “I Was In Heaven,” a preview of her debut album, “How To Be Human,” that was released on Jan. 17. 

She will also make her Coachella debut this April.

“I am so excited to finally release ‘How To Be Human,’ my debut full-length album. Writing this album taught me so much about life, love, loss and happiness. I couldn’t be more proud or more excited to give it to the world,” Cutler said.

PW recently caught up with Cutler to talk about the new album and her March 4 appearance at Franklin Music Hall.

Talk a little about your early interest in music and how it evolved to where you are now: someone with more than 750 million streams and a performance date at Coachella. Did you ever think this much success would come so quickly?

My parents put me in piano and guitar lessons when I was super young – I’m fortunate to have parents that supported my artistic inclinations. 

I honestly had no idea that I would be in the position that I’m in now. I think doing music as a career is difficult to envision because it’s so unconventional, and it was hard for me to get to a place where I truly believed it was a viable career path.

“My inspiration comes from my personal life and experiences that I’m going through as a 23 year old. My musical influences play a major role on the creative side, but in terms of lyrics, it all comes from my personal experience.” 

– Singer-songwriter Chelsea Cutler

Your debut album, “How to be Human,” was recently released to critical acclaim. What’s been the response from fans? Is the album everything you wanted it to be?

The response from fans so far has felt really good! The tour is doing well and the album is streaming well, so I can’t ask for much more. The album is everything I wanted it to be, and I feel really proud of it. 

Where do you find inspiration for your music?

I think my inspiration comes from my personal life and experiences that I’m going through as a 23 year old. My musical influences play a major role on the creative side, but in terms of lyrics, it all comes from my personal experience. 

What will your fans see when they show up at Franklin Music Hall on March 4? Describe your live show.

The live show is really great, and it’s definitely a big step up production-wise from last tour. We put together something special that I think is a really comprehensive experience. I’m stoked about the show, and I can’t wait for everyone to see it in each city. 

Chelsea Cutler, who has 750 million-plus cumulative streams in just two years, will appear at Franklin Music Hall March 4. | Image: Meredith Truax

What does the future hold for you? Where do you see yourself in a year? Five years?

I think that it’s really difficult for me to envision what my future holds for me. My life has changed so rapidly in this last year alone. It’s tough to realistically envision where I’ll be in a year or in five years from now, but I love the rate that everything is going at. I’m really happy taking it on a day-to-day basis.

Chelsea Cutler | March 4, 8 p.m. $26 in advance; $31 at the door. Franklin Music Hall, 421 N 7th St. Tickets and info:

  • Eugene Zenyatta was raised on old-time Memphis 'rasslin' and strongly prefers the company of dogs to people. His greatest heartbreak came in the 2010 Breeders' Cup Classic.

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