Talented SBCC music major singing her way to the top

Justin Covington

Talented SBCC music major singing her way to the top

Rachel Stone, Staff Writer

City College music major Chelsea Chaput set no boundaries for herself as she sang her way to victory at this year’s Rising Star competition at The Chumash Casino.

Chaput’s determination was rewarded with a prize of $5,000, a recording in a world famous studio and an opportunity to open for an upcoming act at The Chumash Casino this December. This is hardly the beginning for the aspiring 20-year-old singer.

“You know when you have a feeling in your gut about something?” said Chaput, “I feel that way about singing.”

Chaput grew up in the Santa Ynez Valley. She began singing in fifth grade when her friends dared her to enter the school talent show. Thinking it would be amusing, she agreed to it. She sang her rendition of the Nora Jones song “Don’t Know Why”. The response was unreal; her teacher told her she actually sounded like Nora Jones.

Chaput began working with a private voice and technique coach, Joyce Michaels, during high school.  Michaels helped prepare Chaput throughout various singing competitions.

“Chelsea has such an individual style,” Michaels said. “She is just herself and that’s what I love about her.”

Rising Star was brought to Chaput’s attention through a previous singing competition called Teen Star. Joe Lambert and Lambert Productions run both of the competitions.

Rising Star is a rivalry in pursuit of the best singer in the popular performance genres. Twelve finalists battle it out for the title of “Rising Star.”

When Chaput heard about the contest she made it her objective to win.

“I felt like this was my opportunity.” Chaput said. “There were no excuses for not doing my best.”

Chaput trained with Michaels daily, as well as promoting herself around town and through social media to gain support from her fans.

Chaput and the other finalists had to prepare two songs and preform them to a panel of celebrity judges and the audience.

Chaput rocked the stage with two stellar performances. Opening with The Band Perry’s “Better Dig Two,” and concluding with Lady Gaga’s “You and I,” Chaput received the title of the “Rising Star.”

“She had the audience eating out of the palm of her hand.” Lambert said. “I couldn’t have hoped for a better outcome with Chelsea.”

Lambert had the chance to see Chaput progress from singing on Teen Star to winning Rising Star.

“She really is the epitome of hard work paying off,” Lambert said.

Chaput’s family is enormously supportive of her singing career. She considers her them a huge motivational source, especially her dad, Mike Chaput.

“We always encourage Chelsea to dream big,” Mike said, “I am her biggest fan and her toughest critic.”

Chaput will have a recording session with City College’s music recording teacher Dominic Camarello sometime this fall.  She plans on using her prize money to purchase a new guitar and to create a YouTube channel.

Her favorite genres of music are country, rock, and indie. Some sources of inspiration in her life include artists like Norah Jones, Patsy Cline and The Civil Wars

“My dream job would be to get signed to a label.” Chaput said. “I would love to travel and sing at music festivals.”

Chaput hopes to ultimately relocate to Los Angeles where her career can truly take off.