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Meet Chryssie K of Chryssie with a Y in Downtown LA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chryssie K.

Chryssie, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
In my early years, I was bounced through the Foster Care System, narrowly escaping one bad situation after another until I was luckily adopted and my life began anew. By that time, I was already four and had picked up many solitary hobbies and eclectic interests to keep myself busy since even as a child, I preferred my own company.

After I was adopted though there was a palpable shift in me and you could regularly find me singing, dancing, or performing for my parent’s guests as many children do, but over time this developed into a serious passion. I would go on to become a musical theatre lover, I’d accompany my grandmother to the opera in LA whenever given the chance, and I’d devour up any art she would lay before my eyes.

As I grew up, I began to dissect the different things I loved about performance and I stopped acting as much, and instead focused on the dancing and musical aspect. I shortly after delved into singing, piano, guitar, and eventually songwriting, pushing dance to the back burner until I was much older. Not only was music a great escape and hobby for me, but eventually music would come to save my life.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I consider myself very lucky to have lived to 21 considering how much darkness I’ve fought through growing up being a mixed queer individual, not only from bigots but from myself.

I was raised up in a family that loved me, but I was not lucky in the sense that I didn’t get to grow up in an environment that understood me. Being one of the few openly queer teens in a very conservative town, filled with rampant racism and homophobia softly bubbling below the surface of white suburbia, I experienced my fair share of hazing, bullying, anonymous threats, and people telling me for the longest time that I’d be better off dead. Being a depressed, emotionally unstable teenager dealing with serious body image issues, I believed them, and I allowed that temporary environment to affect how I thought about myself for years to come.

When all I had left was my guitar in an empty room, I turned to music as my salvation and it became the medicine that allowed me to see myself differently in the mirror. It gave me the courage to become the person that could be strong enough to respond with kindness to a world full of so much hate.

Chryssie with a Y – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I choose to live a life today that responds with love and kindness, instead of perpetuating a very commonplace motif of revenge and hatred. Having music as a constant companion to turn to during times when I had nobody helped me connect with this truth, and I pour this sentiment back into all that I create in the hopes that it will touch someone and heal something in them that they can then pay forward. I dream that we make healing the new popular trend. Not only of healing oneself but of loving your neighbor so they can heal from the things they may not speak of. Whether it’s touching someone’s soul with soft words that caress and comfort them through my music, bringing joy to someone’s heart with dance or drag, modeling for someone to help them bring a concept to life, or sitting down and having a heart-to-heart with a struggling individual, I feel called to bring light and love to the lives of those that I meet through art.

I feel that I’ve been very blessed in this life that although I’ve experienced a lot of darkness, through that darkness I’ve met some of the most amazing and inspiring people that have helped me understand what it means to live a life of light and loving others purely.

I think what sets me apart from other creators is that my art is not easily confined to one medium, in fact I’d say it’s impossible to contain it to one. Although music is my cornerstone, I’ve been told that I’m able to weave a vivid picture around my message and truly deliver an experience when I perform by bringing in elements of mixed media and producing a sensation that lingers, not just a moment of entertainment.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
My proudest moment is when I joined a good friend of mine in the studio to listen to some new music of hers, and she turned to me after and said, “Don’t you write too? Show us your stuff.”

My heart was beating in my chest because I’d just heard some incredibly produced stuff and I felt in my heart of hearts that my stuff absolutely did not compare, but I showed them anyways and everybody loved it, and her producer asked for my info to work with me. It gave me a new respect for myself and what I create because I know there are people who are touched and affected by what I create, and there will continue to be.

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Image Credit:

Marie Tobias Photo, Victoria LoMonaco, Marie Tobias Photo, Courtney Lucas Photography, Marie Tobias Photo, Annabelle Busch, Marie Tobias Photo, Annabelle Busch

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