“You can’t get anywhere in life without working hard!”
One word to sum up Chanel West Coast would have to be- GRINDER!
Prior to her roles on MTV’s Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory and Ridiculousness, Chanel’s number one passion has always been music. In the mist of becoming one of the newest signees to Young Money Entertainment, she also released her mixtape Now You Know.
This firebomb is certainly unstoppable. Catch The Source’s exclusive interview with Chanel below, in which she discusses her journey and plan of action to make her mark as an artist.
Were you rapping prior to your initial involvement with MTV’s Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory and Ridiculousness?
I’ve been rapping ever since I was 14 years old. I’ve been pursuing music for a long time and that’s really my main focus in life. I was on these shows for the meantime, because I didn’t come from money. I was really broke around the time that the opportunity was offered to me and the show was a great opportunity to not only be in the spotlight but to make money- which I really needed. So, yeah, I’ve been rapping way before I was on TV.
Although you’ve been rapping since the age of 14, at what point did you decide that you wanted to make a career out of it?
I always knew that this is what I wanted to do. I always knew I wanted to do music, and be in the entertainment industry. As a child, I was always involved in the performing arts such as hip-hop dances, choirs, and drama. So pretty much I always knew that I wanted to make a career out of music or something along those lines.
Who would you consider as your career mentor?
The producer who just did my mixtape, Rich Skillz, it was meeting him, which helped me get to the next level of my career- musically. Because I’ve worked with a lot of producers and everybody would tell me “You have a dope voice and your talented” , but it was Rich who kept it real with me, and told me to step my game up a little more lyrically. So I took his advice, and I got in the zone and began writing every single day until I got better lyrically. Through his positive influence I am where I am today- signed to Young Money Entertainment.
How did you feel when you officially signed to Young Money… Did it feel real?
It’s so crazy because my dog’s name is “Weezy” and people often ask: Did you name your dog ‘Weezy’ because you knew that you were going to be signed to Young Money? I didn’t know, I just named my dog that because I’m a huge fan of Wayne‘s. Being a fan of his, when I caught the official news that I was going to be on the label- it was the most exciting thing in my life. I felt it was real because I’d been working so hard, and I was like this is finally happening! I wasn’t to surprised, just really excited!
What inspired the title of your mixtape “Now You Know”?
The title is dedicated not only the haters, but to the people that doubted me because a lot of people assume because I’m a happy and funny girl on TV, that there is no way that I could be a rapper or there’s no way I’m “about that life”. I call it “Now You Know” because once you hear it- it’s like you know! You can tell through my music that I can rap, and just lyrically what I’m saying, you could tell the type of life I lived and who I really am… and now THEY KNOW!
Who are some of the major features on your mixtape?
…French Montana, Robin Thicke, Snoop Dog, Honey Cocaine, Evan Ross, and TY Dolla $ign… its kind of crazy because I’m friends with all of them so it came naturally.
So working with them came easy because you guys were friends?
Kinda of but kind of not. Snoop was one of the harder features to get because he’s so busy but I knew I had to make that happen because my name is Chanel “West Coast” and I feel as though I couldn’t be Chanel “West Coast” without having a song with Snoop Dogg. He’s like the OG of the West Coast.
What can fans expect from ‘Chanel West Coast’ 5 years down the line… where do you see yourself as an artist?
As an artist, in the next five years, I definitely wanna have several albums out. I want to be able to put a ton of music out for my fans and not keep them waiting. I definitely think in the next 5 years I’ll have my own fashion line because I’m very into fashion. Also, I would like to get into the acting world a little bit more too. I wanna do it all!
Is there anything else that you would like the world to know about you that they don’t already know?
I would like them to know that it wasn’t easy for me. I think that a lot of people have this misconception that being on MTV made it easy for me to break into the music industry, when in reality it made it 10x harder. Because when you come from being on a reality TV show, people automatically label you as not having any talent. This is something I’ve been doing my whole life and I worked really hard at it and it wasn’t easy. I don’t come from money or anything, it wasn’t like I had my dad making phone calls hooking me up with studios or anything. I basically had to work my butt off since I was 14 years old. The biggest misconception that people make about me is that I’ve had everything handed to me when it was completely the opposite of that.
What advice would you give to those who are on the come up ‘starting from the bottom’ as you did?
My advice would be to stay persistent and be prepared to work hard! You can’t get anywhere in life without working hard! You have to be that type of person to get up in the morning, even if you were in the studio all night long- working until 8 am, you gotta be ready to only sleep for an hour and get back up and grind again!
Well, there you have it, Chanel West Coast! Watch out folks it seems as if Chanel is definitely about to turn things up in the game… STAY TUNED!
…In the meanwhile, if you haven’t already, click over and check out Chanel‘s “I Love Money” video and download the latest mixtape from Chanel West Coast at the link below.
Written By: Bre