The Red Bulletin June 2019


Chelcee Grimes

There’s no

yellow brick road

to making a hit.

You’ve just got to

feel it as you go”

of slog,” she says. “And it hasn’t been given to me. If it had, I’d

be like, ‘Whoa, what’s happening?’ But I’ve literally fought my

way to be where I am, so I feel like I deserve it.”

Another pursuit Chelcee missed was playing football. When

watching the 2015 Women’s World Cup, she realised a number

of girls she used to play with were now wearing an England

shirt. “I thought, ‘I need to get back into it.’ So I googled a few

teams and got trials with Wimbledon, Spurs and West Ham.

They all offered me a contract – it was crazy.” Chelcee is now

settled at Fulham – she also lives nearby – though the relegation

of the men’s team from the Premier League and its knock-on

effect on revenue has created uncertainty for the women.

Chelcee’s top festival

picks for 2019

Billie Eilish

“She’s 17 and smashing it right

now. [The California-born singersongwriter]

makes all her music with

her brother, so it’s not manufactured.

Billie’s breaking boundaries, and the

whole industry is talking about her.

She’s different and I appreciate that.”

King Princess

“She’s a new singer signed to Mark

Ronson’s label. King Princess [aka

Mikaela Straus] is big in the LGBTQ

community and she’s not selling any

part of herself, just being authentic.

She’s also super talented and plays

all the instruments on her songs.”

Michael Kiwanuka

“I already knew Michael through

the industry, but then his song Cold

Little Heart was used as the title

track of [US drama] Big Little Lies

and I became a fan. It’s an amazing

record. The show is really good, too.”

Tom Grennan

“Tom was my first-ever guest on

Chelcee Away. I became a fan after

hearing his song Found What I’ve

Been Looking For on the FIFA 18

soundtrack. We became friends

and wrote two songs together.

They might be on his next record.”


“I don’t know anything about the

[LA indie-rock duo], but I saw the

name Girlpool on a festival line-up

and wanted to know more. So you

should definitely go to see them.”

King Princess

Much has changed in women’s football over the past

five years, and Chelcee believes the sport is healthier

and wealthier than ever. In March this year, Barclays

announced a £10 million three-year sponsorship of

the FA’s Women’s Super League – the biggest investment by a

brand in UK women’s sports. In Spain that same month, more

than 60,000 fans watched a match between Atlético Madrid and

Barcelona in the Primera División Femenina – a world record

attendance for a club game in women’s football – and in Italy

around 39,000 people saw Juventus Women beat Fiorentina.

“My little sister is nine now and she plays football,” says

Chelcee. “When I was playing, I was the only girl, but she’s one

of six in the team. That growth from a grassroots level is all you

need. And to turn on the TV now and see [former England and

Arsenal Women right-back] Alex Scott as a BBC pundit… that

would never have happened when I was a kid. It’s awesome.”

In terms of investment and profile, the women’s game in the

UK still lags behind that of the European continent and the US,

but 2019 promises to be its biggest year yet. Chelcee believes

that change is gradually coming, but a lot of the problem is

down to the perception and presentation of the sport.

“It’s like having the best song in the world but the video is shot

on an old Nokia phone: it won’t look good,” she says. “No part of

the women’s game is as well-publicised or up-to-date as the men’s.

You’ve got to give it equal leeway. Hopefully, with this injection

of money, everything will become a lot more professional.” She

hopes her reporting of the Women’s World Cup in France for the

BBC and COPA90 will inspire yet more girls to get involved. “I’ll

show it’s not women’s football, it’s just football,” she says.

The multitalented Liverpudlian is, in her own way, redefining

what it means to be a woman in 2019. “I’m showing you don’t

have to be just one thing now. I go in the studio and write songs

with some of the biggest acts in the world. I’m playing for Fulham,

making my own album. I’m standing up for that, 100 per cent.”

Chelcee Grimes, in her life as in her career, is far more than

the sum of the parts.

Chelcee’s latest single, Girls, is out now on TaP Records;





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