chela's 2014 highlights

This singer has had a big year, but personally we couldn't get over the part about Lana Del Ray's pool.

by i-D Team
20 December 2014, 11:45pm

For Chela this year has been almost unbelievably jam-packed with travel, shows, adventures,friends, celebrity run ins, and general world domination. From Texas to Tasmania, she's brought her infectious charm and signature dance moves to the party. Hey, no year that involved watching the sun rise from Lana Del Ray's pool could be anything less than epic.

Chela's highlights:

Playing Faux Mo in Hobart
We enjoyed our day at MONA & MOFO, then it was off to the wild zone of FAUX MO for our show. Far out, Duckpond does a good job. Apart from the set going very well, there was a laundry room karaoke party where you caught a slide to get in, a disco van party room, and other things that cannot be explained all over the place. I shouldn't have been so surprised, I have helped Duckpond organise these parties before, but he's just so good at it, it leaves you stunned. There should be more wacky party makers like him in the world.

My good friends at Two Bright Lakes chuck an annual private music festival at their holiday mansion in Mt. Martha and call it Maramingo. We played on the porch encompassed by fairy lights with Total Giovanni to a sweet and sweaty, dancy romancy crowd full of some of Melbourne's hottest smartest creative babes. It was an extremely special night to remember.

SXSW, Texas
I met some of my best LA comrades at SXSW, it really marked the start of my year in the US. I wasn't expecting the festival to be so damn big, it was overwhelmingly so, but riding through the heaping crowds of music lovers on peddycabs was one of my favourite things to do. The festive spirit was so high, and the food was great. I bought lavender ice cream from a Japanese restaurant and headed to a nearby show where someone tapped me on the shoulder to ask me where I got it from. Turned out to be an old Oz friend of mine who I hadn't seen in years! He was genuinely inquiring about the ice cream assuming I was a complete stranger. We squealed, embraced, and I handed over the rest of my lovely lilac dessert.

Experiencing Coachella for the first time
We arrived at our first day of Coachella late, stressed from a drive from Phoenix where we had played with Classixx. At Artist Relations we then had to wait three hours to get our passes (because Thundercat accidentally put my pass on, thanks mate). It was a sandstorm at the festival when we finally got in there, it looked like the end of the world, like a war zone, you couldn't see past the swirling sandy air. I was so exhausted that I was in a delirious state, but I was keen to party. We hung out in the artist village first, and lots of my favourite musicians were there, including crazy famous people like Jay and Bey, but it was like we were at a camp escaping a war. That was the only sandstorm so the rest of Coachella was nothing like it, but I'm glad my first experience was so warped. I loved it.

Cape Cod
I played a great sold-out tour with Goldroom as a guest keys player/singer and we had some time off with Josh (Goldroom)'s family in Cape Cod. He didn't warn us, but they live in a fucking mind blowing mansion, man, on the water with it's own beach. It has 10 bedrooms and 2 wings, a secret garden, a swing, boats you can take out to a nearby uninhabited island, the list goes on. I felt like Wendy in Peter Pan when she enters his world, fairy tale vision. I never wanted to leave, and my heart yearns to return.

Fuck Yeah Festival
This is one of the best festivals I've been to, great lineup and well planned. It was there I saw Tzef Montana in the crowd and I beelined for him. He has become a good friend and has since featured in my new music video. I was able to enjoy Against Me!, The Strokes and Caribou, all who have been some of my fave bands since I was a teen. I caught up with Chris Ballew of The Presidents of the United States of America who I hadn't seen for years since our duet on RocKwiz, and partied the night away with my pals amongst some of our favourite artists. After dancing with Skrillex for his set at the iHeartComix afterparty I found myself swimming in the pool of Lana Del Ray's new house just before sunrise. Name dropping or healthy detail?

Vegan Girls Nights
I held these almost once a month for my galpals in LA. It was vegan because a couple of the girls are, and eating vegan is made especially delicious, cheap, and easy in LA. I lived in a white palace in West Hollywood, which was far from where my pals lived, so I would hold these nights full of cooking, laughter, shit films, and chats til the wee morning hours. It was necessary for the loneliness that we would feel sometimes, most of us being away from our homeland of Oz. I'm looking forward to the next edition in 2015.

Exploring Valparaiso, Chile

After our show in Santiago, Chile we had a few days off so I decided to take us to Valparaiso following a recommendation from a friend. She was right, it was magic. I made contact with a lovely girl named Pia who commented on one of my Instagram pictures and she showed us around with her friends. It was amazing to learn the local knowledge. I was so inspired by the city and the adventures we had, that I came up with an idea for a children's film.

Shooting in Puerto Rico with Noisey
It was such an adventure! I get a massive thrill from giving people a fright: one day when we were exploring an old abandoned car repair building I waited for Amel the creative director to come down into the dark ground floor where there were lots of old abandoned cars. She was scared, yelling my name wondering where I was, and as she walked past I jumped out of a car to scare her and she screamed, loud. The whole team became a tight unit over the few days, by the end we were embracing at the airport and not wanting to say goodbye.

The Check Yo Ponytail Tour
Was one of the most challenging experiences of my life both mentally and physically, it was a marathon! It was also my first bus tour, which taught me a lot about living life on the road with 11 other people sleeping in bunks RIGHT BESIDE YOU. It was full-on, but we balanced the hard times with heavy partying and there were some great nights to remember, which may be too scandalous to share with you. Trust Franki Chan to create such a roller-coaster ride, traveling circus.