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I’ve been covering musicians in Chicago for a few years now, and it’s always nice to see an artist grow in their field just as I grow in mine. Chicago-born artist Chanelle Tru first caught my attention at the inaugural Camp Smokey Bear back in 2018. Her performance was filled with energy. She possessed a charisma, even then, that was undeniable.

Chanelle is from the Bronzeville neighborhood out South. Her style is versatile. Being able to sing, rap, write, and choreograph makes her a Swiss army knife of a talent.

On Feb. 11, she released her new single, “Reservations,” an upbeat love song just in time for Valentine’s Day. While making this track, Chanelle says she was influenced by Ciara’s 2013 hit “Body Party.” She even opens the song with a nod to her predecessor, saying “Body party, want you to love on my body baby.”

Her vocals are polished, and the track is laced with advanced harmonies and production work that sets “Reservations” apart from her previous joints. The single is already being played on WGCI, and has already gained early traction across the city.

Chanelle is scheduled to open for singer-songwriter Tweet at The Promontory on Feb. 20. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. Early-bird tickets, tables and couch sections are sold out, according to The Promontory’s Eventbrite page. However, there are some General Admission tickets still available for $30.

I got a chance to talk to Chanelle for this article on Feb. 16th. When it comes to influences, Chanelle said her family introduced her to a ton of different sounds, ranging from the “King of Pop” Michael Jackson to reggae pioneer Bob Marley. 

“My grandma has played Shabba Ranks, Bob Marley. And then on my own, I grew up watching Disney Channel, So I was listening to people like Miley Cryus. Watching BET [and] listening to Beyonce, Rihanna and Chris Brown. I’m really versatile. Living on the South Side has shaped me because I’ve grown up seeing everything.”

She showcased that type of versatility and range on her first project, So Tru Vol 1., which she released in October 2017. On that one, she showed she was more than a songstress, rapping on her popular single “Purge.” “Midnight Hour” is a thoughtful R&B cut and “Complicated” is a feel-good reggae jam.

In 2019, Chanelle gave us another project. Ha|ve is a 15-track album that was laced from top to bottom with certified R&B vibes.

One of Chanelle’s greatest attributes is her stage presence and performance. That was acknowledged when she secured a spot on the Bud Light Seltzer stage at the 2021 Lollapalooza music festival.

We spoke about Chanelle’s background in dance. “Dance plays a huge role in my performances and in my life. It’s a way to express myself freely, where I don’t have any cares in the world,” she said. “I don’t have to look a certain way. I don’t have to think about it. It’s just how I express myself as an artist. It’s like I don’t even have to be in a box with it. I just do what I want to do.”

Although Chanelle hasn’t dropped a full project since 2019, she has been consistent in dropping successful singles, such as “Face It” in 2020 and “New Beginnings” in 2021. She’s also been featured on many songs with artists from all over the city, such as her collaboration with Jeff Koonz on “You Wouldn’t,” Dotchi’s “Can’t Get Enough,” and APOLLOSOGODLY’S “Undergrad.”

is a culture correspondent with The TRiiBE.