Mike Chelsen, the 16-year-old singer, is fast becoming a pop and social media sensation. Recently, Verna Magazine had an opportunity to interview Mike Chelsen. Here is an excerpt:
Q: So, Mike Chelsen is your stage name, not the real one. How did you come up with it?
A: “Mike” was something my friends at school always called me. I had a science teacher, Mr. Chelsen, with whom I was quite close. He was, in many ways, my first mentor. Sadly, he died some time ago in a car accident. When I started my music journey, I decided to adopt this name as a tribute to him.
Q: You must have had some musical idols growing up. Who were they?
A: Michael Jackson’s music always influenced me. David Bowie and Elton John were my other inspirations. They were my idols for not just their music, but also the kind of fashion icons they became. I looked up at Elton John, specifically, and hoped to become an icon like him.
Q: Tell us what encouraged you to become a star and a social media personality?
A: Fame has always been an obsession for me , but the goal was never to be famous , it was to be a star. I don’t want Fame to be rich, have nice cars and big house, actually I don’t care about money, all I want is finally have a Name because I’ve been Nameless my whole life, I never was the popular kid at school, the cool kid. I want to change people’s vision of the world, I want to make a change, I want people to recognize me for my art, all I care about is art.
Q: What were your struggles growing up?
A: I was bullied by a lot of people and out as bisexual in 2014 , it was kinda hard for me because, even though my family was really supportive I never had friends, at school or just in general, I guess I wasn’t Interesting enough at the time. So, I couldn’t really talk about my problems to anyone because I was alone. I don’t really have a close relationship with my parents, unlike my siblings but they’re really supportive for everything I do. I remember one night, in 2015 , my mom flew me to Paris for a fashion show, I was by myself I was probably like 12 at the time , I was in bed and I receive a text from my mom saying “ are you okay ?“ and I was crying my eyes out and I replied “ I wanna be a star mom “ and she said “ you will son, you will be a star.” And I cried for the next 3 hours.
Q: You seem to have quite a presence on social media. Is it part of being a rockstar?
A: *chuckles* No, not really. For me, social media was a platform to showcase the real “Me”. On TikTok, I just made videos I thought fun, and somehow people liked them. In no time, I had more than 100,000 followers. On Instagram, I only posted pictures of me – as everyone else do. And again, my followers grew to 34,000. It was then I realized that I am not just a singer but also an entertainer.
Q: Talking about your Instagram profile, you seem to have quite a fashion statement. How do you describe it?
A: Frankly, I have never sat down to define what my fashion statement is. I have been told that my style is vivacious, bold, and edgy. I could never digest doing justice to those compliments. But apparently, when I posted a recent pic with a BDSM collar, a lot of people found it “edgy” and “bold”. Personally, I just go with whatever comes into my mind. One thing I want to be, and that’s experimental. If I see two things working out well separately, my mind automatically wants to create their fusion. Like muscle bikes and shorts *smiles*.
Q: Your recent single “Star Light” is doing quite well on Spotify. Are you happy? What are the next plans?
A: Yeah, I am quite happy. I was half-expecting it to disappear in the crowd, but it seems people like it. It has given me confidence to make more music. I plan to launch more songs soon.
Q: What is your one life principle?
A: Being confident with what you are. It’s 2020; people should have the freedom to be whatever they want to be. Gay, gender-fluid, asexual – everyone should have the confidence to embrace their true self.