Celebration of Women and the Steelpan Art Form

Tribute To Women In Pan


Follow When Steel Talks
WST google search WST Forum WST facebook page WST on Twitter WST RSS feed WST Steelpan music videos on You Tube WST Newsletter Global Steelband listings

Meet Chelsea Clouden - Brooklyn, New York

“I play pan because I absolutely love the unique quality and sound of the instrument. My passion is never-ending, it only grows as I continue to play pan and study music. It helps me to grow as a musician.”

In an exclusive interview with When Steel Talks - matriculating degree candidate and enthusiastic panist Chelsea Clouden shares her reflections, experiences and views on Pan, and the steelpan art form.

A When Steel Talks Exclusive

When Steel Talks Women Logo

WST - “Tell us about Chelsea Clouden?”

Chelsea C. - “To start off I’m 18 years old, born and raised in Brooklyn by St. Lucian born parents. I currently attend Pace University-PLV majoring in Personality and Social Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice.”

WST - “When and how did you first become aware of the steelpan instrument?”

Chelsea C. “I started learning to play in late 2008. As a little girl I attended St. Matthews R.C. Church. Harmony Music Makers practiced across the street in the church’s yard. I would hear the manager of the band, Mike, play. I was captivated by the sound and decided to attend a practice and learn to play.”

WST - “What is the greatest challenge facing this current generation of steelpan musicians in New York?”

Chelsea C. - “Finding a space to rehearse. It’s sad when Panorama time comes around, that getting kicked out of a practice space early has become a norm.”

WST - “Why do you play pan? And what keeps your passion for the instrument and music going?”

Chelsea C. - “I play pan because I absolutely love the unique quality and sound of the instrument. My passion is never-ending, it only grows as I continue to play pan and study music. It helps me to grow as a musician.”

WST - “If you had the power to change something in Pan immediately what would that be?”

Chelsea C. - “The current “pan politics” that exist.”

Chelsea Clouden
Chelsea Clouden

WST - “What have you been most proud about as it relates to Pan?”

Chelsea C. - “There’s no particular moment, there were many moments. I’m proud to be a residing member of Renaissance Steel Chamber Ensemble. I got to experience many different environment settings with them and I got to explore the pan in a different light.”

WST - “What disappoints you the most in the steelpan movement?”

Chelsea C. - “That the variety of music that can be played by this instrument goes unnoticed. Most people associate it with soca and calypso, but it can and is capable of so much more!”

WST - “What is it you believe the global steelpan community needs work on?”

Chelsea C. - “Coming together and experiencing each other’s presence more often. It can make us more united as a community and unity is key.”

WST - “In 2015 year you played in New York’s Panorama.  How was that experience?”

Chelsea C. - “It was an interesting experience. I wasn’t around as much as I usually am because I was preparing to leave for college but overall I made the best out of a tough situation and enjoyed every moment of it.”

WST - “What is Panorama to you?”

Chelsea C. - “Panorama is more than a competition. It’s the one event that brings everyone together in the name of Pan and although everyone is going for the win, the vibes we give off to each other are through the roof.”

WST - “What type of music do you listen to other than Pan music?”

Chelsea C. - “I listen to all types of music but mainly soca and reggae.”

WST - “Who, and what are your musical influences?”

Chelsea Clouden
Chelsea Clouden

Chelsea C. - “My top three musical influences are my father, Stanley Clouden, my second God-Mother, Renee Ogiste and my music mentor/teacher, Michael Zephyrine.”

WST - “As is common in the steel band community - there is great camaraderie among the players; you stay in contact and hang out together year-round with fellow-band mates, outside of the Panorama season. Talk about these relationships.”

Chelsea C. - “Many of my closest friends I met through playing pan. They became more than just friends, they became family.”

WST - “You may have come across colleagues who did not understand what you mean when you say you ‘play pan’ - if this has ever been the case, talk about how shared you your steel band experiences, and their reactions?”

Chelsea C. - “It’s a bit frustrating explaining what ‘playing pan’ is, especially to those who have absolutely no idea what it is. I use my necklace pendant, a tenor pan, as a bit of a guide to explain what it is. They usually reply saying “that’s so interesting,” “how does it make the sounds,” or “I wanna learn to play.” It usually intrigues them.”

WST - “What is your vision for the steelpan instrument?”

Chelsea C. - “To venture out onto a larger stage. I want everyone to enjoy and share in the happiness that this instrument brings many of us.”

Chelsea Clouden performing with Sonatas Steel Orchestra


Their Story, Their Voice, Their Life, Their Dreams - click for more stories

Leave a comment in the WST forum

When Steel Talks shirts
now available!
Order yours now!
When Steel Talks -- T Shirt