Electro-pop whiz kid Chela is making pretty massive waves at the moment. Having relocated to LA in 2014, she’s been busily earning her stripes performing a bunch of cool shows at SXSW, touring around the USA with The Presets and scoring a coveted slot at last year’s Coachella. She also took out the number one spot in LA Weekly‘s “Top 15 Artists To Watch in 2015” list. Her new single ‘Handful Of Gold‘ is out now and she’s returned to Australia to play Melbourne’s music and arts festival Sugar Mountain taking place at the Victorian College Of The Arts this Saturday January 24, alongside NAS, Ariel Pink, ODESZA, Twerps, Kirin J Callinan, How To Dress Well, Banoffee and more.
Before LA, Chela lived in Melbourne for a significant portion of her life, plus she hails from Perth originally, so we made sure to collect her best tips for eating, sightseeing and bar-hopping in each respective city she calls “home”.
LA is the easiest place to be vegan because they have so many good options. Sage in Echo Park is one of my favourite spots for an amazing vegan meal.
Melbourne is my favourite city for food. They have the greatest cafe culture of all. One of my favourite local spots is Wide Open Road in Brunswick where they have the best gluten-free brownie. I just had one for breakfast.
Perth generally has a high price for average quality food, but there are a few cheap spots that make it all okay. One of those is the Fremantle Markets. There’s so much to choose from, from French crepes (my fave since I was ten) to paella and more.
LA doesn’t have the best beaches (especially when you’re from Australia), but there is one place I’ve discovered in Laguna which makes up for it. 1000 Steps Beach is mostly a local spot, away from the touristy hustle and bustle of Laguna Beach. It’s a slice of magic, roughly an hour and half drive from Downtown LA.
There’s so much nature to discover in Victoria. One of my favourite places to be at one with nature is the Dandenong Ranges. You can start on the tourist drive and end up somewhere in among the haunting rainforest.
Perth is an extremely dry place, so it’s really all about getting near the water whether it be the river or the sea. One of the best beaches is Cottesloe Beach, I always recommend it to anyone visiting Perth for a short time.
I’m not a drinker so when I go out it’s mostly for the dancing. There’s a great bar in LA where you can do both – Harvard & Stone is an institution on Hollywood Boulevard. They have a list of delightful unique cocktails (for those of you who drink), and on a Friday night it’s soul night so you can get down and dirty along with the Coyote Ugly style dancers that they have there dancing all over the bar.
It’s hard to beat Curtin House in the city if you want one building to cover your shopping, drinking and eating needs – they truly have it all. You have three amazing options for a bar experience. Cookie is one of Melbourne’s best restaurants where you can dine at the bar if you wish; up a level is The Toff In Town where you can hop into a private booth with your mates and pretend to be doing naughty things (for the dudes looking at the cameras who will try to kick you out) as well as watch some amazing artists performing in the band room (or my favourite – disco night on a Friday); Rooftop is the greatest on a warm night when you can sit by the fairy lit perimeter and look out onto glorious Melbourne city life or watch a movie in a deckchair at their outdoor cinema.
Perth is a fast growing city – new bars keep popping up every time I go back. Just this weekend I went to Flyrite Nightclub for a night called “Day Woo”, and stayed up dancing until they closed. It’s in an area called Northbridge where you’ll find the most nightlife, so if you get sick of one thing you can be at the next in a matter of minutes.
You can get Sugar Mountain tickets here.