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Last week, Chanel and I had a chance to catch up to talk about her time at Coachella, watching Drake make his surprise appearance with Jhene Aiko, meeting Lil Wayne in Colorado and more!
Saturday Matinee Interview Chanel West Coast Talks Coachella, Drake, Meeting Lil Wayne In Colorado, Recording Now You Know And More

Chanel West Coast Interview

By Jason Pollak

Last week, Chanel and I had a chance to catch up to talk about her time at Coachella, watching Drake make his surprise appearance with Jhene Aiko, recording with Waka Flocka Flame, her dog Lil Weezy, recording in Cali with her producer Rich Skillz, working with French Montana on her new video “Been On”, how she balances her hectic schedule with recording, “Ridiculousness” and “Fantasy Factor”, collaborating with Evan Ross, Diana Ross’s son, how she snuck backstage to meet Lil Wayne in Colorado and plenty more! Part two coming soon!

Jason

Hey Chanel, what’s up!

Chanel

Hey, what’s good! I’m just getting ready to go the studio actually!

Jason

Really!? You just dropped a brand new track! Recording more already?

Chanel

Yea, I literally have to stay in the studio every day that I possibly can because I film tv shows and do a lot of gigs. I’m always so busy, that any free day I have, I try to be focused on my music.

Chanel West Coast Interview

Jason

That’s definitely very Wayne like.

Chanel

Haha, yea.

Jason

So, what studio do you normally record at?

Chanel

Well my producer Rich Skillz, who I normally record with, has a dope house up in the hills where we usually work out of. It’s like the dopest vibe ever, which is why I think I make so much great music there. It’s a very zen, hippie vibe. But we also work at some major studios like Record Plant and Paramount whenever we have a session with French or Waka or something like that.

Jason

Yea, you gotta make room for Lil Weezy too! I saw him and Waka were good friends!

Chanel

Haha yea, I’m not even joking, my dog loved him. They got along really well!

Jason

You just got back from Coachella! It seemed like it was pretty crazy this year! How was that?

Chanel

Yea, Coachella was amazing. I was really happy that I got to see so many acts this year. They just released a Coachella app that tells you where and when everyone is playing, so it was a little confusing in the past because you never knew what was happening, but the app kept giving me notifications, so I knew when everyone was going on. I also had artist passes this year, so I got to watch most shows from the side of the stage. It was very inspiring. I was watching Jhene Aiko performing and I was like “Wow, this crowd is insane! I can’t wait to be on a stage like this!”

Chanel West Coast Coachella Interview

Jason

That’s awesome. Did you catch Drake’s surprise performance?

Chanel

Yea! I was right there. I was actually chillin’ with Chance (The Rapper) and right when Drake got off the stage, he pulled Chance aside, because he just shouted him out in “Draft Day”, and I think everyone has been a little confused if that was a shout out or diss, so it was funny because I just witnessed this kind of low-key moment in hip-hop history, hahaha, it was dope.

Drake Jhene Aiko Coachella YoungMoney.com

Jason

Haha, yea, that’s crazy. It definitely didn’t come off like a diss when I heard it. It sounded more like a pun. But everything’s cool though?

Chanel

Yea, yea, definitely. They talked, Chance was hyped that Drake pulled him aside to talk. It was dope.

Jason

Cool, cool. So getting back to your music, you just dropped a remix to Lana Del Rey’s “West Coast”, on West Coast Wednesdays, which is very convenient and great. You must have recorded that like yesterday!?

Chanel

Haha yea. I literally heard the song 2-3 days ago and as soon as I heard it, I was like “Oh my God” and loved it. I love Lana Del Rey. I really admire her as an artist, I think she’s so unique and different. As soon as I heard she had a song called “West Coast”, I had to hear it right away and I think it’s one of her best songs. Being Chanel West Coast, I had to do a remix to it, so I went in the studio yesterday, did my verses and put it out. So far it seems like everyone loves it, so I’m happy the way it turned out.

Chanel West Coast Lana Del Rey West Coast Remix Interview

Jason

Yea, that’s crazy. It definitely had that vibey, zen feel to it already and the rap vocals just add that extra element and texture to song. It’s a great song overall as it is and you just make it even better.

Chanel

Thank you, I appreciate that.

Jason

No doubt. So the big news is that you’re getting ready to drop the “Been On” video off your mixtape “Now You Know” with French Montana. What was filming that like?

Chanel

Filming that video was so much fun. Honestly, French is the homie and I was so happy we were able to make it happen. We filmed it in LA and luckily we are able to find time in both of our schedules to do it. We filmed at this dope mansion, the homie Mally Mall came through too, Tez was there. It was really chill. The vibe of the song had this after party type of feel to it and I remember this Fiona Apple video from a long time ago where everyone is just fucked up and having fun. That’s kind of the vibe I wanted to go for, but a little more glamorous and not as grungy. It was really like one big party filming it.

Chanel West Coast Mally Mall Interview

Jason

I saw Khloe stopped by! That must have been cool!

Chanel

Yea, she is so nice and sweet! She came through while we were filming. She didn’t make a cameo though, she was just chillin’ and supporting everyone.

Chanel West Coast French Montana Khloe Kardashian Interview

Jason

True. How did the collaboration with French come about to begin with?

Chanel

I’ve known French for about 2 years now. I met him at the VMA’s and was like “I’m a huge fan, can I get a picture with you!?” I then started talking to him about my music, because not that many people knew I rapped back then. So we just chatted for a bit and I was like I would love to do a song with you and he was down to do it and was super nice. We exchanged numbers and we kept bumping into each other. We wound up seeing each other while filming Snoops show, and I hit him up after that like “Lets make it happen!” and he wound up coming through to the studio after he was done filming. From there we just vibed out and he got a feeling for what my music sounds like. We didn’t wind up recording that night, but I sent him a track about a month later and when he came through to LA, we laid it down. I had already done the hook and verse and he loved it and just jumped right on it.

Chanel West Coast Now You Know Interview

Jason

That’s dope! What was the recording process like for the mixtape “Now You Know” as a whole. You basically hold down the entire album by yourself, but also have some great features on there from Robin Thicke, Honey Cocaine, French of course, Snoop and Diana Ross’s son Evan Ross.

Chanel

I mean last year, I literally did not do anything besides make music. I still do, but I have some other projects on the side. I basically just stayed in the studio the entire summer and initially recorded the entire album myself, so I had a ton of material. It was really like an album and that’s how I’ve been treating it. For example, if Rihanna puts out an album it has the legs and singles to last the entire year, so that’s pretty much the approach I’ve been taking. I really treated this more like a free album than I did a mixtape because I wanted to get music out to my fans. So I just stayed working and ended up hooking up with Honey Cocaine through some producers I work with called Midi Mafia who put me in touch with her management and we set up a session and we did our song “Party” together.

Jason

Yea, that was a great track, you both snapped on there! I was like “Yea, get em’, get em’!!”

Chanel

Hahaha, thank you. And Snoop, I had wanted to do a song with him forever. Since I’m Chanel West Coast, I feel like you can’t do a west coast song and be a west coast artist without him. He’s kind of the stamp of approval. So I had that song “Put In Work” which reminded me of an old school pimp vibe, especially because it had a Diana Ross sample in it. I had a feeling he would love it because of that. After that, my boy Evan Ross, Diana Ross’s son, heard the track and he flipped out and he was like “Oh my god, my mom is going to love this too!” So he hopped on there and did his thing. All of the collaborations happened a bit differently, but I’m so happy and blessed that they did.

Jason

That’s awesome. Do you know if Diana Ross heard the song?

Chanel

Actually, I believe Evan said he did play it for her and that she loved it. Evan’s actually been my friend since we were like 15. I was kind of his first friend when he came out to LA from NY, so it was just the right time to finally record something together.

Jason

So you definitely have one of the busiest schedules I’ve ever seen. You’re on “Fantasy Factor”, “Ridiculousness”, record all the time. Even in your lyrics you say “I ball all day and they ask me how…” so I gotta ask how you do it. What’s it like balancing all three things at the same time.

Chanel

Lets be honest, I don’t know how I haven’t gone completely crazy yet, haha. It’s hard. It’s definitely different than the life I used to have. I guess you can say I don’t have the same time to just chill like I used to, but sleep is the key. I just make sure I’m well rested and focused. Like tonight, I’m going to the studio, so I have to make sure I make it out at a decent time, so I can sleep and be fresh to film tomorrow. But recording music is great, because you can chill and hang out with friends while you do it, so that’s something I really enjoy.

Chanel West Coast Pauly D Ridiculousness Interview

Jason

I’ve seen some behind the scenes footage of “Ridiculousness” from your v-log and it seems like a really chill environment. Rob seems like an awesome dude as well. Has he helped support your rap career?

Chanel

Yea, that’s how I got on “Fantasy Factory” in the first place. I had been doing music my whole life, but started taking it seriously when I was 15 and I met Rob when I was about 19, so he met me as a rapper. I remember him and my skater homies were always so fascinated by this little white girl rapping and I was like the only one. It was something unique to Rob and he really liked it, plus we both shared the same sense of humour and he needed a girl on his show, so that’s how it happened. He’s always been supportive of my music and gave me the shot on his show. He told me that was my launching pad and I had to take it from there, he’s never just handed me anything. Rob himself has been grinding since he was 16, so he really respects people who hustle on their own. I think he’s super proud now. Sometimes I walk on the set and he’s rapping one of my songs.

Chanel West Coast Rob Dyrdek Interview

Jason

Haha that’s cool. I saw you posted a picture of you and Drama at Coachella, Big Black seems like a great guy. It seems like one big family over there.

Chanel

Yea, I always say they’re like the brothers I never had. I just hope there’s time to still do “Fantasy Factory” with my music career taking off like it is, since I heard the show just got picked up again for another season even though we filmed the series finale.

Chanel West Drama Interview

Jason

There were some videos of Wayne stopping by at the Fantasy Factory. Did you meet him there?

Chanel

No, actually, and I was so mad that no one told me he was coming through! But Rob told me Wayne brought up something funny that happened on “Ridiculousness” and was like “Where’s Chanel at?” I just remember thinking “Wow, Wayne knows I exist?!? He knows I’m a living being?” Hahah, I got so excited. I wound up meeting Wayne on my own, like 6-8 months after that. It was kind of crazy. I met him in Colorado at this event called Zumiez 100K and Trukfit was out there. So, I’m outside chilling with my homies and there’s a screen and I see that Wayne is on stage and I’m like “Oh my god!!”, drop my joint and run to the back part of the stage. One of the security guards recognized me from the show and let me through. Wayne was in his dressing room and I was just waiting outside, shivering and I remember one of the security guards went in finally and told him I was waiting to say hello. And Wayne was really cool about it, he told the security guard to let me in. I already knew Mack Maine and then I introduced myself to Wayne and mentioned that I rapped. When I told him that, he had this very intrigued look and seemed interested in my music career. I wound up taking a picture with him and then a few months after that, I met Cortez through my producer and he flew me out to Miami to play Wayne my music. When I got there, I played Wayne all of my music in the studio. After he heard the song “I Luv Money”, he was just like “That shit is stupid” and once he said that, I knew he liked my music. That’s how it happened.

Jason

Wow, that’s crazy. It’s so many people’s dream to meet Wayne, let alone play him their music at all, especially in the studio. You must’ve been in heaven!

Chanel

Yea, I really was, it was one of the best moments of my life. I’m definitely looking forward to recording our first song together, we literally JUST keep missing each other. It will happen eventually though cuz its’ family.

Jason

Can’t wait to hear that!

Chanel

Me too! It’s gonna be dope!

Continued in PART 2!!! Coming soon!!! Stay tuned!!!