We had the good fortune of connecting with Chelsey Burkholder and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chelsey, what are you inspired by?
I’m inspired by a lot of different things, but I’d say most of my inspiration comes from the human experience in general, and the individual experiences which drive an artist – universal, yet unique details found in nature and art – in life overall. I’m inspired by my friends and artists from other parts of the world – I’m interested in what everyone has to share and I love the details – I love to see and hear diversity, but also to recognize similarities. I’m inspired by all the connections that can be made through art and music, and the all the feelings one can experience through creative intake or output. I’ve always been inspired by the endless possibilities in creating sonic worlds through music (particularly electronic) and being able to get lost in those worlds – it’s like looking at the sky, gazing into infinity.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I produce music and DJ as “Skysonix” (which is an update from early last year when I was DJing as “SUPERMASSIVE” – that was more or less a placeholder name while I was waiting for something more unique and fitting to hit me). A lot of my inspiration comes from the sky/space and the science of sound, hence the name. Currently, my music project is mostly DJ focused – in that it’s all about discovering new music and putting together mixes. I just love music, and that love drives me – it’s as simple as that. There’s so much good stuff out there and I get really excited when I discover new sounds and when friends send me music that they’re excited about – I want to share that. I get excited about discovering new artists and being able to support them. I get excited about being able to spread music and helping friends discover new favorites. I get excited about the connections, and getting lost in the sound – that’s what drives me the most. To me, DJing is a fluid art. You can view it as something that’s more improvised – more club/venue/event or livestream oriented, or as the production of a media that you can pick up and put down whenever. It’s a live set vs. a recorded set – but either way, it’s an art that’s driven by the human experience – for me, at least. Right now I’m really just focusing on recorded sets. Going through the pandemic this past year has definitely changed the outlook a bit – I think there’s definitely been a different sort of adaption period for all of us. I definitely miss going to shows and DJing in a club environment, but for right now I just want to create soundtracks for any setting. With all the great music I find, I want to make mixes that people can take with them wherever they go and that they can come back to again and again. Like my “(Sun)set” and “Petrichor” mixes (on Soundcloud). I get inspired by certain settings and vibes. Through music (mostly that of others), I try to create soundscapes and stories that I enjoy being in, and coming back to myself. Set lists that are good for rainy days, sunsets, long drives, or dancing in a dark room – whatever the vibe is, I want to share the music that moves me, and that I like to move with. I browse for new music all the time. I’ll hear a song and think “hey, this would sound good along with this other track”, “and this track would sound good with this track, this track, and this track”…I go on and on, discovering music and building mixes in my head over time. I try not to force anything. Making a mix can be like putting together a puzzle and it can be a short process, or a long process. Sometimes I’m waiting a while, just to find one last, “perfect” track for a mix, like a missing piece. I figure if I’m really enjoying this music that I’m finding, someone else will too – it’s worth it to spread the love and make new connections. That’s what this music project is all about.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Where do I take somebody to show them the best time ever around Denver? …First stop – Red Rocks! No matter the time of year, or the occasion – concert or not – Red Rocks is a great spot to spend some time. I personally love to just go there, take in the views, hit the trails around the park, and get some exercise. If there’s a show or event happening, even better. Red Rocks is a magical place year round and there’s so much to say about it. For a night out with some quality music there’s no shortage of great venues in Denver – my personal favorite spot for electronic music is The Black Box. The Black Box is a welcoming home for bass music, boasting a “basscouch” sound system which is designed to amplify every dimension of audio. The space is intimate and the music there is thick, clear, and crisp – very dance-able, but not deafening. I have a hard time imagining a better club. What’s even better? – Is that The Black Box plays it safe, and works smart – even throughout the pandemic they’ve been able to remain open as a great spot to experience live music in Denver – and now they’re serving up food with the music! …Speaking of food? The amount of amazing places to eat around here is overwhelming. Whenever I’m at lost for what to eat, I can trust that I can stroll through downtown and find something that will hit the spot. Hapa Sushi is a favorite and would probably be the first place I’d take somebody – their food is always fresh and delicious and there’s something for everyone.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
It’s so hard to pick just one person or group to shoutout. I think it makes the most sense for me to give a shoutout to my friends in general – particularly my online friends. I’ve met some of my best friends (from all over the world) through gaming and music over the years. While we may not get to hang out in real life, our connections will always mean a lot – I’m still in contact with friends that I made online a decade ago and I’m thankful for that – they all inspire me more than they know.