One of the first things that fans noticed about the show was the small blonde girl with a huge personality that was always rapping to celebrities that would walk through the factory doors. Throughout the first season and onto the second fans became familiar with Chanel and now she is one of the stars of the show.
I talked to Chanel this week about a tragedy that was a wake up call in her life, her upcoming mixtape, and even her wanting to be a UFC Octagon Girl. Upon reading this interview prepare to come to the conclusion that this rapping receptionist is more than just a cute face.
It's the girl that you all know and love, I'm talking about Chanel a. How are you Chanel? I'm doing great, how are you? Now I have to say, I'm very picky with my music, and for the longest time I had never really tried listening to anything you put out. Are you kidding me? I've been doing music my whole life. Growing up my mom put me in dance classes and singing lessons. In school I was always in orchestra, choir, dance, and cheer leading.
I've always been into performing arts. As far as rapping coming along, I had always loved to write poetry. I don't really know how it happened, but I turned a poem into a rap and put it with a beat. I rapped for a friend one time and he was like blown away. I thought he was joking, but he told me to stick with it. I started rapping for more and more people and a lot of them were telling me that I was really good.
I've been doing it ever since I started. With you starting out rapping back in the day then you were rapping during the golden days of rap. Who were your influences back then? My biggest influence is TuPac.
I started listening to rap when I was in middle school. I grew up listening to all rock music because my mom is like a hardcore heavy metal chick. My dad was a DJ on the other hand so every time I went to live with him I would get a little more into hip hop. In middle school is when all of my friends got into it and I was around it a lot more.
I started listening to TuPac and really he is what inspired me. I feel like his type of rapping is real poetry. It's not a rap song, it's a poem, you know what I mean? I'm really into the poetical aspect and putting together a story instead of just using a million metaphors that don't make sense.
I really liked how TuPac told stories in rap and I want to start doing the same thing by telling my stories through my raps. I want people to feel like they know me when they listen to my music. I have to ask There has been so many people taking pictures of people that look exactly like him, but that's all it is, someone that looks exactly like him.
I truly believe that he died that night. As much as I joke around and want to believe that he is alive somewhere and will come back to make another album, I have to face reality, I think he really did die that night. Back in there was a tragedy involving your two best friends who you made music with and started in all this with. If you don't mind talking about it, what happened in that situation?
I don't mind talking about it because actually it was a really good part of my life and it's why I am what I am today. Basically they were my two best friends and one of them was my ex-boyfriend. He was the very first producer that I ever worked with. When I met him is when I really started pursuing my music because before him I didn't really know where to start.
When I met him he told me he makes beats so I told him I rap and we started making music together. We became great friends and went on to be in a relationship. He was really young and was not faithful so I broke up with him and I got with a new boyfriend who was a complete psycho, completely crazy, and controlled my life.
He tried to stop me from doing music, stopped me from hanging out with a lot of my friends, and basically I was trapped in a prison of a relationship. I didn't realize it until my ex-boyfriend and his best friend were fatally shot and killed. When that happened it was kind of like my wake up call. I realized how much I loved my ex-boyfriend and I lost so much time being able to be his friend and hang out with him because I was with some psycho that was controlling me.
Most importantly I knew that both of them had spend every day of their lives up until they were killed making music and I was in a relationship with someone who wouldn't let me do it. To know that my friends lost their chance at making music really woke me up and made me realize that I needed to get my music out there and not only make it for myself, but for my friends that don't have that chance anymore.
Literally within a couple of weeks after they passed away and I went to the funeral, which was one of the hardest things of my life, I took all of my songs that I had recorded up until then and I put them on my Myspace. I uploaded a bunch of cute pictures of myself and I just sat on Myspace for hours a day adding people. That is what led me to meeting Rob Dyrdek and Drama. Do we have a date yet on when your mixtape will be dropping?
No, I wish I knew, but it's been so crazy because I'm also pursuing acting and modeling. I have all kinds of other stuff going on so I have been really, really busy. Honestly I don't have a record deal yet, so music is not what pays my bills at the moment.
I have to stick to my work and what does pay me because I'm not rich. I don't come from money. I'm working on it in every bit of spare time that I have. Tonight I'm going to be in the studio. Pretty much every other day and every chance that I get I'm in the studio working on it. It should be done by the end of this month actually. You spoke on yourself pursuing modeling and you were actually just in Maxim Magazine, which is a magazine that some models work for years trying to get into.
What did that opportunity mean to you? Oh my gosh it meant a lot to me. That was probably the coolest photo shoot I've ever done in my life and the most significant. It was really cool because there has been a lot of girl on Maxim Magazine that I look up to. I feel like it's really cool. It was a great opportunity and I'm very, very happy about it. I can't really describe how cool it was, but it was probably one of the coolest moments of my life so far laughs.
You mentioned earlier that you met Rob and Drama through Myspace. What actually happen to lead to you hooking up with them? Basically I had just been adding people non-stop and I eventually met Big Cat which is Drama's brother. He introduced me to Drama and I became friends with them and we all started hanging out a lot. Especially because they're from Ohio and my whole family is from Ohio.
It kind of felt like I was hanging out with family because in LA you don't find a lot of cool, down to earth guys like them. Eventually Drama mentioned me to Rob. When I met Rob he told me that he really liked my music and thinks it's cool that I'm a little white girl that raps. I became friends with him and one day he asked me if I wanted to be on an episode of his show. He said he didn't have a receptionist at the factory and needed one for the show and that he wanted me to do little raps for a viral video.
Since he really did need a receptionist at the factory to greet people he asked me to come back and be there permanently. Are you his receptionist as a job or is it only on camera? It's more of an on camera thing I guess you could say. Not that many people come in and out of the factory on a daily basis except for when we're filming.
When we're filming we always have these celebrities and famous athletes coming in and Rob wants me to be there to greet them with a rap. I'm part of the family now so I'm able to do a lot more than just sit at the desk.
I get to hang out with them and they're my friends. Have you ever had a celebrity come in and when you seen them you froze up and couldn't get out a freestyle? I think I probably do that the most with Ludacris. They gave me a little bit of a warning I was so nervous because Ludacris is a huge rapper and one of the rappers I look up to. I thought maybe I should write something extra good for him. I wrote up a dope 16 bars real quick and tried to memorize it. I literally had 10 minutes to do this laughs.
That was the most nerve racking greeting that I've had to do. What did he think about it? Was he pretty impressed?