Ear Hustle 411 had the distinct satisfaction of interviewing R&B Soul songstress Chrisette Michele who captivated us with her infectious personality.
Chrisette was very forthcoming about her new engagement to her long time manager and best friend Doug “Biggs” Ellison as well as her incredible weight loss journey and her beautiful cover on Ebony magazine.
Her new album “Milestone” has 12 songs which includes remixes, freestyle and a bit of “Trap Soul” as she calls it which is a must have for real music lovers.
This multi-talented musical sensation left Motown and signed herself under her own label Rich -Hipster which is where she will be releasing her long-awaited and highly anticipated new album.
Check out what Chrisette had to say during her awesome interview
EH411: How are you doing today?
CM: Great!! Thank you!!
EH411: Well let’s get right into it, we want to start off by saying congratulations first to you on your engagement.
CM: THANK YOU!! I appreciate that.
EH411: Wow!! That’s fantastic, why don’t you start by telling us a little bit about the special man in your life.
CM: He is a special man in my life. I’ve known him for about 13 years. We’ve had a lot of ups and downs in the music industry together and through it all it’s part of our relationship but now we are engaged to be married.
EH411: Fantastic…this is great!! Now that you’re coming out with your new album “Milestone”. Let’s talk about your single “Unbreakable”. Now that song is crazy, as soon as we heard it we just started bobbing my head and just listening to you flow…it’s just beautiful. How did you get into the music they now call the “trap soul”? How did you transition from the ballads that you do so well into this?
CM: You know it’s funny because I’ve been doing this sound for a really long time all the way since “Epiphany” but I think when you’re singing ballads, people just sort of love to hear your voice. So they associate you with that sound because it’s just so powerful. But I wanted to highlight and put out as a single an up-tempo for this new album. Although we have many ballads on this album also this time I chose that the single should start off as an up-tempo. This is why we came up with Unbreakable as the first single but we’ve been doing up-tempos for years, it’s just never been what we highlight as first single.
EH411: Well your voice is fantastic and your tone is really nice… We love it!! You have such a beautiful voice?
CM: Thank you so much!! It’s a really, really fun time. We started a record label and the label got signed to Caroline/Capital Records and I decided that I would finally be able to be in control of what we put out to the masses. You know sometimes fans don’t pick up the album but sometimes everybody doesn’t have a chance to pick up the whole album. So it’s really fun to share singles that show people who I am…multifaceted.
EH411: Right now with all that you do, you’ve become the boss by starting your own label, how awesome is that?
CM Thank You!! It’s been a really exciting journey, just learning what it means to be a boss and really making sure you have a great team. What I have learned is how to put together a great group of people who make me look good and we make each other look good.
EH411: Terriffic!! How did you come up with the name Rich Hipster?
CM: I was living in Williamsburg Brooklyn and you know I had the tattooed arms and I had these Chuck Taylor’s on every day and my black leather jacket and I was looking around and realizing that there’s a group of people who are culture seekers but they’re like-minded and that there’s a feel of a non-judgmental vibe, there’s a free vibe, an acceptance vibe. I wanted to bring that into the music industry in my own kind of way and so I coined the term “Rich Hipster” but it’s indicative or a description of those types of people who love culture, who love to find new beautiful things in the world and have enough appreciation for it to support it.
EH411: WOW…that’s fantastic!! It really does embody all of that and that’s just like a perfect name?
CM: Thank you
EH411: This year you graced the cover of Ebony. How does that feel?
CM: Oh Gosh…That was so fun!! It was really funny because all the girls involved in the shoot came with completely different backgrounds, different ideas and different reasons for what they were doing. Some of us were nervous and me I was excited to show my tattoos but it was a really fun way for us all to kinda get together and celebrate whatever we wanted too it was Lotsa fun!
EH411: Well it’s funny because we thought “are they real” and then when we saw you in person we knew…YES!! They’re real. It’s just beautiful. You’re going to be embarking on a world tour this summer…how is that going to feel to just get out there and just be about with your fans?
CM: That’s my favorite thing to do!! It’s where I feel the most at home, comfortable and stable. When I know there’s gonna be a stage every weekend, when I’m gonna have this tour bus that I basically live in…it’s my moving mansion, when I know I get to entertain people and maybe make them feel better than before when they came in that’s life blood for me. So being able to do that again all over the world it’s gonna feel great, it’s a feeling that I crave all the time.
EH411: What surprises can your fans expect from you on your upcoming tour?
CM: It’s going to be a few, they can expect some surprises on the tour and in the music videos. We’re bringing out dancers so I can’t wait to have this multifaceted thing, my band the RatPack 3013 is still gonna be there and I’m still gonna have my background vocalist but we are bringing dancers to the stage and putting some movement into it and having a lot of fun with it.
EH411: Oh that’s going to be great!! We also understand that you are in a play?
CM: YES!! It’s called “Married But Single” and I’m currently in Chicago for this run of shows. We’re doing 13 cities from Los Angeles to New York City and all the way down to Atlanta. So it’s been a really fun run so far and we can’t wait to come to everybody’s city.
EH411: So what’s the gist of the play? Is it about being married and being single or going from single to married and the journey of that?
CM: You know it’s so funny for everybody in the audience who’s going through the feeling of married but single have a different description. But I’m playing the girl in the play that is married but “single”
She loves her husband but she’s over it, she feels like she isn’t being treated right and she falls back in love with an old fling from back in the day who comes around town and temps her into making her think it’s time to leave her marriage. So you’re gonna see me contemplate all of that in the play as Lisa” in Married But Single.
EH411: How interesting that is that you’re getting married to someone that you’ve known for a very long time. So how does that help you get ready for the part?
CM: Well it helps me understand the feelings that a woman has when they see a love they used to have, they lost it and they kinda want it back. I was lucky enough that when I had lost it and wanted it back he was there and we both missed each other but in the play I am not so lucky, so I have to play it as if what would I have done if she said no and that’s the frustration you see me have in the show.
EH411: WOW!! That’s going to be off the chain, we hope we get an opportunity to see it.
CM: It’s going to be a lot of singing and dancing in the pay also.
EH411: Great! Will you be singing as well?
CM: Yes, of course!
EH411: That’s going to be great; now what’s next for you?
CM: That’s about it, we got the album coming out on May 6, 2016 and it can be pre-ordered on April 8, 2016, we’re doing a promo tour along with the Married But Single play and then we will be world touring starting in June. I’m getting married in November and then we head overseas in the winter time. So it’s a pretty full and fun year ahead.
EH411: Wow! You definitely have a lot going on. Is there anybody out there that you haven’t worked with that you are looking forward to maybe possibly working with in the future?
CM: Yea, especially in the hip hop world. People like Kendrick Lamar, Chance the Rapper just a few hip hop heads that have that indie spirit but have major platforms and I’d like to hang out with them and jam.
EH411: So if anyone wants to get the single or the album how can they do that?
CM: They can get it everywhere music is sold from iTunes to Amazon and then when the album comes out there will be 3 versions, a deluxe version at Best Buy, a deluxe version on iTunes, and then special version in other stores too. It’s gonna be real easy to get and you want to make sure you do your research that you’re getting the version with 18 songs on it.
EH411: Do you see children in your future?
CM: I don’t know, it’s one of those things that I’ve never been a “marry marry” type of girl and I’ve never been a “children children” type of girl. I’ve always been an I’m gonna travel all over the world girl and that’s what I’m doing. So that’s one of those things that God will have to be like “ok here’s a baby. I’ve put it in your belly, go ahead and have it.” I always say if I had a kid, it would be just this interesting human kinda telling me what to do. So I would need a lot of help from my mom.
EH411: That so fantastic! We have just one question for you…If you had a bit of advice for young ladies out there who want to do what you do, what would your advice be to them?
CM: Do what they do!! At the end of the day we all have people we love and look up to. For me is was Erykah Badu, Lauren Hill those people were “live” and I was able to feed off their energy and like Janet Jackson so people we can look at and sort of take guidance from without actually knowing them. So I always tell young girls to find their faith in history. So if there’s someone at library that you’d want to read about or look up and follow their footsteps and as you do this with a few “mentors” in the library, it will sort of become you and you would have found your “version” of those people. That’s how I found myself by falling in love with people and being mentored by people I admire through biographies, autobiographies and watching interviews especially on YouTube.
EH411: Wow! We love that, it seems like things are going wonderful for you and you’ve made a lot of life changes and we understand you went from being a vegetarian to a vegan?
CM: Yes and from there trying to figure it all out so I’m in the middle of that now and it’s kind of life journey and everybody changes what they eat in different stages and certain things agree with you and certain things don’t. I find that foods that have life from the sun in them treats my body well as opposed to foods that dead before they go inside my body. I try to fill myself with as many life-giving foods as I can especially while I am on the road because I have to give so much to everybody I try to stay as right as I can.
EH411: We understand you have written a book titled Fat Vegan?
CM: Yes. It’s been something I’ve been working on for a while. Because I go through so many changes and the more we try to figure it out, the book is taking forever for me to finish. Fat Vegan it’s something I am working on…Fat Vegan is something I am having a lot of fun with, I can’t wait to share it with everybody.
EH411: NICE!! We love the title, and we can’t wait to get a hold of it so we can enjoy some of that and just changing better for your health. We are glad for you and you are looking great. Thank you so much for just allowing EarHustle411 the opportunity to speak with you. We know you are very busy and again congratulations on your engagement. We know you guys will be very happy.
CM: Thank you so much and you all have a blessed day!
EH411: You have a blessed day too and thank you.