Kelsey Lu Is Making Orchestral Pop

Kelsey Lu Is Making Orchestral Pop

A background in cello informs this artist’s uniquely ethereal work.

A background in cello informs this artist’s uniquely ethereal work.

Photography: Luke Gilford

Styling: Kyle Luu

Text: Devin Barrett

“Music was always around the house [growing up]. I explored music outside of the confines of the classical music world, which is what I was going to school for and had trained in for so long. Being really, super depressed kind of pushed me into finding other avenues of sound that would help me out of that depressive feeling. That’s when I started working with local musicians. I went from doing underground rap and hip hop and singing, to playing cello again, and then discovering my own sound: a lot of layers of strings, and then voice, so it kind of brings you into this world that also allows you to create your own world. I still do string instrumental work and piano; I like messing with field recordings. My music is a spectrum of sound and light and inspiration: From one song talking about my parents to another talking about me having sex."

"I’ve played the cello for 20 years. I like wrapping my body around it—I feel very connected to it. When I first saw it, I was in my violin lesson and my teacher had it leaned up against the window. I was so intrigued by it; I wanted to take it home. I was like, I have to take that, so I did. I immediately fell in love with the sound—the tone is so close to the human voice—and the way it contacts your body. You can feel the vibrations. I fell in love with it.”

ROBE MOSCHINO, EARRINGS AND BRIEFS HER OWN, ON EYES NARS DUO EYESHADOW IN ISOLDE, ON LIPS MAYBELLINE COLOR SENSATIONAL CREAMY MATTE LIPSTICK IN PINK SUGAR
Credits: Makeup Ralph Sicilliano (The Wall Group) using mac cosmetics HAIR Ward (The Wall Group) Set Designer Lauren Nikrooz (the magnet agency) Photo Assistants Jason Acton, John Griffith Set Designer Assistant Alvin Manalo Location Pier 59 Studios NYC

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