Princess Chelsea is the whimsical indie pop/electronic solo project of Auckland, New Zealand-based musician and producer Chelsea Nikkel.
Since debuting in 2011 with Lil' Golden Book, Princess Chelsea has continued to merge ambitious theatrical concepts with introspective synth and chamber pop.
A classically trained pianist, Nikkel lent her talents to self-professed "circus punk" act Teen Wolf in the mid-2000s, and later in the touring lineup of indie pop outfit the Brunettes. When she wasn't performing, she worked as a composer for a local recording studio, all the while refining her songwriting and production skills. Her full-length debut as Princess Chelsea, Lil' Golden Book, was released in late 2011 by New Zealand label Lil' Chief. The album was a collection of songs about her youth presented with innocent melodies and baroque arrangements to create a musical fairy tale. She made videos for many songs from the album, and the clip for "The Cigarette Duet" earned over 20 million views. The song was a duet with ex-BrunetteJonathan Bree, who would feature heavily on Nikkel's next Princess Chelsea album. A synth-heavy sci-fi opera about a future world rendered helpless in the face of depression brought on by technology, The Great Cybernetic Depression was released by Lil' Chief and Flying Nun in June 2015.
In between projects, Nikkel would often record cover songs as a way to work out new production and arrangement techniques to be later applied to her own songs. The 2016 Aftertouch album offered a collection of covers from artists as varied as Marianne Faithfull and Interpol. She followed up in 2018 with The Loneliest Girl, an all-original album that expanded on her theatrical mix of synth and chamber pop. ~ Chrysta Cherrie, Rovi