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“Self-Made” Hip-Hop Princess Chanelle Tru Prepares to Light Up Camp Smokey Bear Stage

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Call Chanelle Tru a rapper and she will calmly correct you.

While the Chicago-bred hip hop princess can go bar for bar with your fave, her talents are simply far more expansive than that.

A Rapper, singer, songwriter, model and dancer; the list goes on. Place her on a stage with 10 similar acts and Chanelle immediately stands out. Though still in the infancy of her career, she brings the energy of an artist far more seasoned and established in their craft and she leaves it all on the stage: Every. Single. Time.  

At just 22 years old, Chanelle is already out pacing her peers. She’s taken stages at major music festivals such as: SXSW and A3C. She’s opened for artists such as Jacquees and Willie Taylor from Day26. Her fan-favorite singles like ‘SelfMade” and “Complicated” have collectively pulled in over in over 70 thousand streams on Sound Cloud. Her fan base, #TruCru has quadrupled in just under one year. Its only up from here for the mega talented star. 

We caught up with Chanelle this week as she’s preparing for her 2nd annual Camp Smokey Bear performance and got to ask her a few pre-festival questions.

NoseyGirl: You’re performing at Camp Smokey Bear for the 2nd year in a row. How are you feeling about that?

Chanelle Tru :  I just feel like I wanna just level up on everything. Every time I do something I want to do it bigger and better than the last time. This time I’m challenging  myself. I’ve always practiced with show tracks but this time I really want to give it my all. Give a REAL, real performance and put on a show;give people what they’re coming  to see.Everybody’s not and entertainer. Everybody can’t perform. I want to give them the best version of me. 

NG: Talk to us about your journey as an artist.

CT: It all started with Disney Channel. I watched it a lot as a child and it inspired me to want to do music. I recorded my first song at 15. Ever since then I’ve been taking it seriously. I won my first talent show at 10 years old. I wrote a song and played the guitar and I won first place. 

I really knew at a young age that I wanted to do music. Ever since then I’ve been working with Black Wealth Entertainment. Probably around 2016/2017 is when I first started working with them.and we’ve just been going strong ever since. 

NG: How did you have the connections at 15 to record your first song?

CT: At the time, my brother was doing music. He was an artist as well. Then we were introduced to our first manager. Her name was Ruby Wilson and she had a group she called Final Invasion Entertainment. It was her three cousins, my brother and me in the group and I was the only girl.  They decided that I had talent and they wanted to work with me. So that’s when I started really taking music serious with them. I believe I recorded my very first song at my old high school, Little Black Pearl, when it was for After School Matters. So, I really started working hard with Final Invasion Entertainment

NG: It seems it was as easy as making a decision to do music . Was it as easy for you as it sounds? 

CT: I don’t think its been easy. I just think its been a growing experience. I’m still young. So I’m still learning the business and everything that comes with being an artist.  It may look easy on the outside but I feel like I’ve put in a lot of years into this. I mean, I started when I was 15. So I’ve been working towards my craft for a very long time and I still don’t feel like I’ve mastered it completely. It’s  still a lot of work. It’s still a journey.

NG: Do you think your upbringing has influenced your sound? If so, how? 

CT: Definitely. My grandmother used to play reggae music. I love reggae music. I write reggae music . She used to play Marvin Gaye and Micheal Jackson. My mom played all types of music as well. So I feel like that influenced my sound a lot because I fell in love with all different sounds and I apply that to my music.

NG: You also apply dancing and full on performing to your music and shows; which is different from a lot of upcoming female artists in the city in general, but particularly female rappers. Where did that come from?

CT: Dancing came along with me singing. I just also wanted dancers on day. I wanted the whole spiel. I watched Micheal Jackson do it. I watched Beyonce do it. It just kinda came along with it. But I wouldn’t call myself a rapper. I would say I’m an artist in general because I started singing first, then rapping came later.

NG: We just closed on a Hot Girl Summer. What’s your take on all of these new female rappers popping up?

CT: Its fucking dope. I love it. I feel like females have always held out our but now its like nobody can stop us. We takin’ over to be honest. We’re taking  over the industry. I feel like a lot of the female rappers are more talented than the guys.That’s no shade but we’re killing the game right now. We be going crazy and I love it. I feel like its time we get our recognition. 

NG: Who are the top 5 artists you want to collaborate with? 

CT:  Top 5 artists in general? Chris Brown. Beyonce. Tory Lanez. Khelani and Drake.

NG: Now, if you had to put together a major tour with 3 Chicago artists, who would they be?

CT: 3 people? That’s hard!! Damn I’m thinking about all females. For sure Dreezy. Cal Boy. He going crazy right now. Then Jeremih.

NG: After Smokey Bear what’s next for you?

CT: A3C . We’re going out there, getting on a couple stages, networking.

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