INTERVIEW: Nardean & Chelsea Warner Are Their Own Bosses On The Silky 'Execute'

  • INTERVIEW: Nardean & Chelsea Warner Are Their Own Bosses On The Silky 'Execute'

    Nardean and Chelsea Warner
    Nardean and Chelsea Warner. Photo supplied.

    Sydney artists Nardean and Chelsea Warner have teamed up for Execute, a seriously smooth track that celebrates going after what you want. It's a track that'll get you ready to take on the world, and if you're a fan of R&B/neo-soul, then you'll find yourself singing along to this one in no time.

    The track features stunning vocals from both Nardean and Chelsea, with Chelsea also producing the track. Lyrics like "CEO, prefer my own company" and "CFO but I only invest in me" are mantras that you can carry into every aspect of your life. If you've got a dream, then it's time to chase after it. There's no use waiting until tomorrow. 

    Inspired in part by a business podcast that Nardean was listening to on the way to a session with Chelsea, the track's swagger rivals anything else you're likely to hear this year. Chelsea's production is upbeat and confident, and the song's message is clear. Backing yourself in 100% is the only way to get what you want - so why not start believing in yourself today.

    To celebrate the release of the track, we caught up with Nardean and Chelsea Warner to talk about the meaning behind the song, what it means to back yourself 100%, and the changes they'd like to see in the Australian music industry. Check out the track below, and read on to learn more about how Execute came together!

    Cool Accidents: Nardean, firstly, congratulations on Execute! I’d love to know more about the inspiration behind the song – especially given it has the energy of a self-belief anthem?

    Nardean: I wrote this song at a time when I needed to leave behind a toxic relationship. I did care for the person, but they were dragging me down. My music is everything to me, and as soon as I realised that they were standing in the way of me executing my vision, I had to move on. I wanted to write a feel-good song that could empower other people who were in the same position. In the context of my EP, it also marks a moment where I move from feeling sorry to myself into taking action!

    Chelsea, firstly, congratulations on Execute! When you were putting together the production for Execute, as well as writing your verse for the track, what experiences/emotions were you using for inspiration?

    Chelsea Warner: I wanted it to feel refined and fun at the same time. The chords and keys layers are quite intricate, but the beat is bouncy and playful - I feel like this reflects the idea of simultaneously being a boss woman who gets things done, while also taking care of yourself and letting things be joyful. 

    I’d love to know about the moment you both met – when did you know you wanted to make a song together? 

    Nardean: Chelsea and I met at an all-female/non-binary writing camp called Ricochet, organised by KLP. The camps were life-changing. It really opened my eyes to the vast amount of female talent we have in Australia. Chelsea and I organised our own session a few weeks after the camp and wrote Execute in that session! This was over two years ago now, but in the last few months we've been writing a lot more together and have become very close friends! It's super cute 🥲.

    CW: We met at KLP’s Ricochet Songs, and we actually didn’t work together there. She came over to my home studio and we wrote Execute in our very first session together! I do remember though, she was the first person I introduced myself to at Ricochet, because I knew her from online. I always wanted to make a song with her!

    The track draws from this idea of being a boss – what does it mean to you when you think about being a boss in your own life?

    N: Fundamentally, I believe calling yourself "a boss" means you have to have the humility to admit you don't know everything. If you want to excel at what you do, you have to be willing to look stupid and ask for help. Being a boss isn't about having a huge ego and backing yourself when you have nothing to back. It's about showing up first, leaving last, day after day and letting the excellence of the "product" speak for itself. 

    CW: To me, it’s about quiet confidence - just keeping your head down and doing what you need to do. 

    Nardean, I wanted to ask about the lyric “I make plans, then I execute”. Are you someone that likes to map everything out, or is it a balance of planning and spontaneity?

    N: It's a bit of both, to be honest! I have a grand vision and big goals. I don't have every single step mapped out specifically, but I can very confidently say that every single day I take steps towards making these dreams a reality. The main meaning behind that lyric to me is the concept that no matter what, I will make this happen. I don't just dream, I do.

    Chelsea, you mention investing in yourself on the track – I’d love to know more about what it means to you to invest in yourself, both in a literal sense and more broadly?

    CW: For me, it means choosing the things that are harder in the short term but better over time - working hard, resting intentionally, and not sacrificing your vision for your future for anything. Putting your future self at the forefront of all your decision-making. 

    It's 2022 - how do you think the Australian music industry is tracking in terms of representation of women, gender-diverse and racially-diverse people at festivals, in playlists and support from other music industry bodies?

    N: ... Making progress but still a way to go. There are a lot more women around, but in all honesty, I still see so many white women on the "lists," and not many POC. It's disheartening, but at the same time, it is fuel for me to keep going. 

    CW: The progress is encouraging for sure, but there’s more room for representation. In particular, I want to see more female producers and engineers championed in a big way in the industry. Young women need to see people in behind-the-scenes roles in music that look like them - it took meeting other female producers to make me feel like it was possible for me. So, we need to change the feeling that audio roles are for men only, by having female producers and engineers lead by example, and be given a platform to do so. 

    On that topic – what would you like to see those that are in positions of power do more of to support emerging artists from backgrounds that aren’t always prominently represented in Australian music?

    N: I think that the main shift that needs to happen is we need to get women POC into positions of power. Naturally, people will listen to music that resonates with them. If the people in the "back end" of the industry (streaming playlist curators, radio hosts, booking agents, festival organisers etc) are all of the same ilk, they will naturally be drawn towards playlisting/booking artists that look like them and appeal to their tastes. But if we diversify the back end of the industry, then it's almost certain that the "front end" will then be more diverse. So, what I want those in positions of power to do is... hire some people who don't look exactly like you. This will create a huge shift!

    CW: To level the playing field a bit it is necessary to bolster up artists with diverse backgrounds, and to really let them shine. I’d hope that if we do this, it’ll begin to represent a new normal, where the people making waves in music are from all backgrounds.

    READ MORE: Read Sydney Neo-Soul Newcomer Chelsea Warner's Track-By-Track On Her Debut EP 'Drama'

    Finally, drawing from the message of knowing what you want – where do you see yourself in 5 years?

    N: World tour please, selling out, leading a generation of young Arab women who know they can live their lives the way they want. Happy, healthy, smarter, still having fun. Giving back to the community but looking after myself. Whole :).

    CW: Making the best art I’ve ever created. Surrounded by people I connect with who inspire me, and vice versa. Reaching more people than ever with my own music, doing it at scale, so that I can really impact people's lives. Producing and writing for my favourite artists and helping them share their vision. Showing young female producers and writers what’s possible.  



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Nardean and Chelsea Warner
Nardean and Chelsea Warner. Photo supplied.
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