Louise Chantál is an emerging soul/pop singer who was originally born in London but knows New York City’s concrete jungle like the back of her hand. Chantál often travels back and forth between powerhouse hooks and smokey vocals throughout her songs with little to no effort. The 19-yr old songstress is also interested in more than just her sonic attributes; Chantál is preparing to release her project “Welcome To Aranbi” which isn’t just another album but also doubles as an entirely new world.
Chantál’s “Welcome To Aranbi” world explores and promotes the concept of intersectional feminism and challenges her listeners to pay equal attention to both her music and thoughts. There’s an undeniable classic feel to Louise Chantál’s sound that feels warm and quite familiar; simultaneously Chantál doesn’t sound like any other pop-infused artist that we’ve heard (once you absorb the undeniable richness and depth of her voice). In addition to a promising debut, Louise Chantál is mad chill.
Featured photograph by Matthew Comer.
When did you begin taking singing/songwriting seriously?
I began taking singing and songwriting seriously at the age of 12. I started out by making singing videos on Facebook and YouTube, then I joined a production company and stayed with them until the age of 16… And now I’m running my own company independently and just growing as a creative and an artist.
What was it like moving from the UK to NYC? How have the UK and NYC influenced your style of R&B?
I was pretty young when I moved to America from London so initially I don’t think I understood how major it was. But as I got older, I definitely realized my family’s dynamic was unconventional, in the sense that we were divided by two continents; visitation and bonding time was nothing like the families you see on TV. At age 5, I was a very frequent flyer. Traveling has impacted my style of R&B a lot because when I spent time in London with my siblings and cousins I listened to what they were listening to and what their friends were listening to, when I went back to Guyana with my mother I was listening to soca and calypso, and then I would come back to America and jam to the Hot 100 hits and a bunch of underground music so I definitely feel blessed to have been impacted by so many different cultures globally.
I’ve isolated myself from the world so much so that I’ve created a parallel place in my head called Aranbi. My stories are depictions of what I see and what emotions I am experiencing.
You’re only 19 years old and have such a mature voice and your lyrics are more complex than traditional R&B. What were some of the things that you did/practiced in order to further your music?
Thank you so much. It’s a bit challenging to answer a question like that because everything that I am doing now is so new to me. I have just found my voice. I am unsure as to how I ended up where I am now lyrically. I’ve isolated myself from the world so much so that I’ve created a parallel place in my head called Aranbi. My stories are depictions of what I see and what emotions I am experiencing. One thing I did know before I wrote any of the songs on my upcoming EP, is that I wanted to show people more than I told people. I wanted my listeners to have a story and a place to escape to.
What can we expect sonic-wise from the Welcome to Aranbi EP?
You can expect production from Syience, Snagz, Ken Will, and J Soundz. The EP transitions from alternative R&B, that is similar to Genuflect, into R&B/Pop, that is similar to Purple Rain. I was originally planning to drop the project before the end of the summer, but I’ve actually been recording, creating visuals, and really taking my time while putting on the finishing touches. I want to make sure that this project is the best that it can be.
What are some of the main concepts on Welcome to Aranbi that you feel the strongest about?
The entire concept of the EP is an introduction to a world that I’ve created called Aranbi. I feel strongly about all of the stories that are being told because they’re all completely different. Each story is focusing on a different woman in Aranbi, all of these women are connected through me. I am the voice of their problems and issues.
Where did the inspiration for “Genuflect” and “Purple Rain” come from?
Genuflect, in the literal context, is about a princess that is seduced by a dishonest man who pretends to be what he is not. In Genuflect I am sharing a story of seduction mixed with heartbreak and enlightenment.
Purple Rain is a letter to the universe. In the letter I am asking the elements to open my heart and my mind to trust after being heartbroken. Lyrically, I am really depicting a spiritual interaction. It’s as if I am voicing my thoughts while meditating. It takes courage to love again and Purple Rain is acknowledging the courage it takes. It’s acknowledging the fact that it is not easy to trust.
I think creating quality art is the most important priority whether it comes from a male or female.
In your twitter bio you describe yourself as an “Intersectional Feminist”. What does this term/lifestyle personally mean to you?
Identifying with intersectional feminism means that I am acknowledging that there are inequalities in the world and making it publicly known that I would like to be apart of the change and the movement of people that are working towards equality for all. Aranbi is a world birthed from my passion for intersectional feminism. I look forward to revealing what kind of impact I’d like to make with that platform.
How do you feel about the current state of female artistry in the R&B/Soul/Pop world? Alternative male-driven R&B has taken center-stage lately.
I feel as though it’s all a cycle. There’s definitely enough room for everyone to share their art. There’s a new female R&B singer making her debut everyday. I am here for everyone’s talent and art being showcased. I think creating quality art is the most important priority whether it comes from a male or female.
What’s something that most of your fans would never be able to guess about you?
I love to roller skate. I enjoy dancing while roller skating. And I am looking forward to learning how to rollerblade in the near future.
Last but not least, if you had to choose four girls for a super-group, who’s on your power squad?
If it was a teen power squad, I would choose Zendaya Coleman, Amandla Stenberg, Gabrielle Douglas, and Malala Yousafzai.