Lake Charles native Chesney Claire scores in Vegas

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — Lake Charles native Chesney Claire is making her mark in Las Vegas.

Claire’s inspiration and motivation is her family.

“My very first time on stage was at my grandfather Jerald Helms’ funeral,” she said. “After I sang my grandparents’ wedding song at his funeral, my family approached me and said, ‘You gotta keep making music, that’s where you shine.'”

After her brother, Matthew G. LeBlanc, passed away in 2016, she felt the need for a distraction.

“The loss of both my grandparents and my brother led me to need an outlet for all the emotions I was feeling and music is what lifted me above the high waters,” said she declared.

Following this period of mourning, Claire and her “Momager”, Kim Hebert, decided to move to Branson, Missouri.

“Our time there was short but very beneficial,” she said. “Being in Branson really solidified my career choice to be a singer/songwriter.”

While there, Claire visited her first recording studio.

“I visited Atlantis Recording, owned by Rich Brown, and fell in love with the whole recording process,” she said.

There she recorded six cover singles released under her legal name, Chesney Hebert. These included ‘Watch’, ‘Gravity’, ‘Grand Piano’, ‘Chasing Pavements’, ‘BAD’ and ‘House of the Rising Sun’.

After playing with many notable musicians in Branson, Claire began to make a name for herself in the music industry. She started getting international calls from musicians looking for collaborations.

After getting a call from Las Vegas and spontaneously taking a red-eye flight to spend a weekend recording two original songs, Claire and her mom decided to pack up a U-Haul and move to Sin City.

“Las Vegas has been a great place for me to get my name out there,” she said. “My mom and I moved here when the pandemic started and since then I’ve met so many great people in the industry.”

Claire’s time in Las Vegas has “been nothing but amazing.”

She has spent her time connecting with peers and industry professionals, gracing red carpets and creating in her home studio. “I learn something new about the business and how to improve my craft every day.”

The transition has been interesting, Claire said.

“Las Vegas is definitely different from Southwest Louisiana!” She misses people, traditions and green grass, but overall she feels “very blessed to be able to be in such a beneficial place for my career”.

Despite the distance, she has made it her mission to bring Southwestern Louisiana culture to the desert. Claire infuses Louisiana culture into her music. It was affectionately dubbed “Gumbo’s music” by its peers.

“I thought that was the funniest thing, but it’s really true,” she said. “My culture is definitely noticeable in a lot of my art. Some say they can hear my southern accent coming through even when I sing R&B. I learned to let that be part of what makes me, me,” she said.

Claire describes her music as Pop and R&B and is inspired by artists such as Mac Miller, Billie Eilish and Rihanna.

For Claire, the creative process begins with good instrumentation. “From then on, I hum a melody and that’s how I get the bones of my song,” she explained. “Whatever lyrics are written, they come directly from how I feel about the beat.”

“I love being connected to the instrumental in a way that makes the writing feel thoughtless and lately I’ve been able to do that by creating my own instrumentals as well,” Claire said.

Claire has released seven singles under her stage name, “15 Candles”, “Moving On”, “Hours”, “Come Alive”, “Distracted”, “Not In The Mood” and “The Problem”. Her most recent single, “The Problem”, is the product of Claire’s new skill, production.

“I had a hard time finding someone who would do the perfect beats for me, exactly what I heard in my head, so I learned to do it myself,” she said. “My last single was 100% completely directed by Chesney Claire.”

She also started acting and modeling. She has upcoming roles in films that will be presented at the Cannes Film Festival and is currently working under contract with a modeling agency. “I’m looking for any way to expand my horizons in the entertainment industry.”

Her favorite experience so far has been attending the La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival to present the award for Best Music in a Motion Picture.

“I was able to walk the red carpet and take press photos and network, meet so many amazing people like Pat Cleveland,” she said. “After spending two days at the festival and meeting the owner of Jenneration Magazine, I was invited to do a fashion shoot in La Jolla for their magazine.”

“The Fashion Film Fest has helped me meet so many amazing people and really get my name out there.”

“I have so many unreleased songs that I’m so excited to share with you in the future. I have big dreams and big goals and I work every day to achieve those goals and make those dreams come true,” he said. she declared.

Claire’s music is available on all streaming platforms.

About Bernard Kraft

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