Black, black water
flooding my mind
you don’t know what you got boy
until I say goodbye
Black, black water
flooding my mind
we were born to suffer
life has not been kind
A haunting stream of voices leads us to the traditional sound of the harmonica, keening a sad lullaby, as Chellcy Reitsma‘s clean vocals tell us a story about resolution, empowerment, and the will to make one’s own choices, even though these may result in someone else’s sadness and pain. This is “Black Water”, Chellcy Reitsma’s third single, released in mid-June.
California-born Chellcy relocated to Malta as of 2012 and is currently a full-time Cultural Manager, producing and managing artistic, cultural and educational events and projects. Her passion however, is music, through which she expresses herself and conveys all of her emotional turmoil. At 42, vibrant and sporting a fun-loving smile, the singer has been through a lot during the past few years, and this evolution can be clearly felt when one listens to her music.
Chellcy’s first Single, “Blue”, produced by Beehive Studios and released in 2016, is a sad love ballad. Its significance and poignancy is further cemented by the story behind it. The singer in fact, wrote this song in collaboration with her mother, who has a singing background. “Blue” slowly developed from a jazzy musical song into a fusion of soft rock, jazz and blues, and the singer confesses how her aim was that of conveying that feeling of being in love with someone one day, and facing the sudden end of the relationship on the next. A feeling of puzzled confusion and sadness. While the lyrics, melody and concept of the song were written by Chellcy and her mum, merit also goes to Kenny D’Ugo and Boris Cezek, who worked with the artist to compose the music, and take care of the mixing and mastering.
“Blue” was followed by another Single produced by Beehive Studios. “The Three of Us”, released in 2017 (music compositions were prepared by Aldo Spiteri). This song is a conduit to the telling of a very personal story, one which, perhaps, most of us can actually relate to. It describes falling in love with someone new, and being aware of how that feeling reminds one of a past love. Of someone who perhaps, a part of you never really stopped loving and missing. Falling in love anew in a way, re-opens the old wound. “The Three of Us” describes this bittersweet moment.
There is a marked shift in style between Chellcy’s first two singles and “Black Water”, released by Railway Studios. The first two are slow love ballads, while the third single is heavier and brushes tones of rock and blues. The singer relates how, while working on her first two singles, she found inspiration from Ben E. King and Amy Winehouse. The emotions she wanted to convey were those of sadness, as at the time she had just relocated to Malta and was feeling nostalgic and melancholy. She was also suffering from health problems, as well as the loss of a number of family members, so it was a tough couple of years.
On the other hand, “Black Water” has a heavier and more powerful presence, expressing the emotional empowerment and strength of the artist. The inspirations for Chellcy’s third Single, she tells me, were the Rolling Stones, Jim Morrison and Nick Cave. The harmonica features strongly in “Black Water”, and this too is meaningful, since Chellcy’s late cousin, Greg Plemons, had been a professional composer, guitarist and harmonica player, and her grandfather had also played this instrument, making it a meaningful one for her. “Black Water” therefore, was a way for Chellcy to get in touch with her roots, and utilise her family’s musical background, which is why, perhaps, this single seems to be closer to her heart than the first two.
“Black Water”, released on the 14th of June 2018 is a song about personal empowerment. The strength to leave behind anything, anyone, and any place that is holding you back in life. It is a song about moving on and letting go of the past, taking charge of your life, facing your fears, and starting a new chapter.
For more information about Chellcy Reitsma, feel free to take a look at her Youtube Channel here – https://www.youtube.com/user/chellcy
Her Curriculum Vitae can be found here – http://chellcyreitsma.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Chellcy-CV-for-Website.pdf
All photos were taken by Federico Peltretti, and the album cover artwork is Chellcy’s work as well.