Chela Olivia Simone came out of the womb singing, and cussing. She began her performing career on the counter of the local diner at the ripe age of 3, singing along, and tap dancing with the songs that played on the Jukebox. Her elders knew then, either they had a big problem on their hands or a star in the making.
Chela Simone attended UC Berkeley’s Young Musicians Program at 13 to study Classical Music (Opera), Voice Composition, & Piano Arrangement, she hated the crowd, but couldn’t live with out the music.
She was quoted saying,” I found it early, I knew what I wanted to be, I didn’t know how to get there, but I am finding my way. I have been thru so many changes as an artist, as a human being. I never really had a formula for writing songs, I just write what I know. Music is my journal, the chronicles of my experience. Things I’ve seen, felt, heard about. I get the greatest enjoyment from being on stage and seeing people rock to my shit… its big, it bigger than me and MY music, its an energy that only word sound power brings! ”
In 1990′, Chela Simone formed a Rap Group called “Children of Mary Jane” with collaborate, Toy Himes (N. J. native). At that time she went by the name Tiye Selah. They left an indelible mark on hip hop in the Bay Area. In ‘94′ The duo chose to embark on solos careers.
Chela Simone says, “I chose to drop the Tiye Selah shit… recently, after discussing it with my moms… She actually put a lot of thought into my name it means: “disciple of the ascendant master, or student of the guru”. And I feel like that… And I dont want to cover up who I am. So I went back to ME. No aliases… Just good old Chela.
My dad added the Simone – yes I was Named after Nina Simone. And my grandmother was Olivia Simone…. so there is honor in my name. But you will still see stuff around with that “Tiye” character on it…*Laughing*”
At the age of 18, after developing a following as a solo artist she traveled to Miami to showcase in local venues. Ocho Rios, Jamaica where she spent over a year recording and developing musical versatility. Then on to the “Big Apple” (NY). Chela Simone gained a great deal of respect in the community of musicians. Rapping, singing, dancing, reading spoken word, She decided that her love for music far outweighed her love for anything else so in the hopes of mastering her craft, she decided to further educate herself in the art of sound creation. She attended San Francisco State University where she studied Audio Engineering.
Chela Simone as Tiye Selah has graced the stage with artist such as Jungle Bros, Organized Konfusion, Beatnuts , Strange Fruit Project, Sa Ra ,Giles Peterson ,Azeem and Dj Zeph , KRS1, Mystic, Del, J*Davey ,Hieroglyphics, Freestyle Fellowship, Acyealone, AbRude, Medusa, Common, Das EFX, Lyrics Born, Saafir & The Whoriddas (Hobo Junction), Mystic Journeymen , Living Legends, artist Zion-I and more. Most recently Chela Simone was featured on the song F.U.W the Bomb Hip Hop Records release of Azeem’s – Show Business as Tiye Selah . And on DJ Child of Project Groundation Massive Mix Tape RISE UP, Flipping her version of the Corner featured over super producer Kanye West beats.
She released a leak of her demo May 2007 Ineffable, Toured with OM recording artist Colossus as lead-vocalist, sang backup on DJ Zeph and Azeem 07 release RISE UP with OM records, and is currently Mixing down her first Full length Release called “ITS JUST A RIDE”.