For lovers of pop music with sultry rock and blues influences, it’s been since the early to mid-2000s that we’ve had a qualified musician capture our attention. (Okay, maybe I’m speaking for myself here). But that has changed for me personally since I got the chance to hear Kelsey Montanez’s latest single, “Let Me Love You”.
If you were like me and were a fan of Amy Winehouse or even Christina Aguilera’s “Back to Basics” era/album in the 2000s, then Kelsey Montanez will be a treat for you too! Hailing from Chicago as one of the city’s best-kept secrets; Kelsey has been grinding ever since 2013. Her EP, “A Delightful Sadness,” helped her score a record contract and music video with Chance the Rapper on his lead single “Out of Sight.” However, Kelsey decided to stay true to her artistic vision and move forward to work independently as an artist. But that hasn’t stopped her from being listed in the Chicago REDEYE as one of the “15 Artists to Watch” and she’s also headlined tons of Chicago venues and festivals!
I had a chance to talk with Kelsey about what it’s like to work as an independent artist and what advice she would give to others pursuing a music career. And her words speak volumes about what it means to not compromise in the music world, “Don’t worry about what other people are doing or saying or if you’re good enough.” She continued, “Just keep creating. Keep making art. It’s all a process and it takes a lot of trying and failing to make something you’re truly proud of.”
For Kelsey, music wasn’t exactly “the plan” but it was always an essential part of her life. “Music has always been a huge staple in my life. I grew up watching my dad play in a band and I would go with him to all his band rehearsals and shows,” she said. By middle school, the influence of music was already starting to flourish in her, she started writing songs and by high school, she was headlining venues and bars!
Kelsey’s single, “Let Me Love You” was released on September 2nd, 2022, and the pop-rock track immediately draws you in with bluesy bars and a sultry guitar. Kelsey’s layered harmonies are a delightful touch as she emphasizes her lines, and the song really stands out in its production. For Kelsey, the songwriting experience for “Let Me Love You” was almost too easy, she said, “I almost didn’t trust it because it came so easily. But I find the best songs are usually the ones that just write themselves.”
I couldn’t agree more with Kelsey, her confidence in songwriting for “Let Me Love You” shows off in this track as well as her emotions of pure joy, or should I say the joys of being in love. This can be felt in Kelsey’s vocal treatment and songwriting. She told me, “I wrote ‘Let Me Love You’ at a point in my life where things were going really well and I was falling in love again. I felt like I was bursting with all this passion and excitement and ‘Let Me Love You’ just sort of exploded out of me one day.”
So, what’s next for Kelsey Montanez? She’ll be focusing on finishing her album and “making it as good as humanly possible” and with her drive, determination, and talent – I think she can definitely accomplish that. We can also expect live shows and touring once the album is done.
Kelsey’s lead single, “Let Me Love You” helps us to remember what it’s like to fall in love and as for Kelsey and her image, it reminds us that it’s always best to be yourself. Something – and someone – that I think the music industry (and the world) can use more of. Kelsey said it best when she said to me, “I’m a total weirdo, and if you like me and my music that must mean you’re a total weirdo too and I love you for that.”
Visit Kelsey Montanez online: