Chief Cleopatra is creating a special brand of pensive soul that has her name written all over it. Self-reflective and tender, her music swirls through the air, with crisp guitars lying just under the floating reverb. The band follows her intuitively as she skips around the scale, never missing a note.
Born Jalesa Jessie, Chief Cleopatra began releasing music in 2019 with her first EP, Lesa x Lenny Vol.1. She’s been hard at work ever since, as she has already caught the attention of SXSW, who featured Cleo as an official artist in 2021, and the Austin Chronicle. Now, she’s our KUTX Artist of the Month, and you can catch her DJ’ing for us on My KUTX this Saturday at 6 pm CST.
Her upcoming EP, Luna, has been teased to us as a continuation of her signature croon, but she’s throwing in hints of her Texas roots with steel guitars sliding in and out of her dreamscape. Fans of Amy Winehouse or SZA will fall in love with Chief Cleopatra – and not for the reasons they think. There’s emotional intensity, there’s a driving drum beat, and there’s not enough time and space to gush about it all.
Chief Cleopatra will be playing her next show at Cheer Up Charlie’s on Friday, February 25. $5 cover at the door, 21+ venue. 8 pm CST.
Follow Chief Cleopatra
Album: Luna (out March 4)
Label: Park The Van Records
Jalesa Jessie, vocals; Leonard Martinez, guitar; Emilio Mendez, drums; Tre Pham, bass; Presley Brooks, Keys
“Fortuity” – Jalesa Jessie, vocals; Leonard Martinez, guitar; Walker Lukens, keys; Jack O’Brien, guitar; Curtis Roush, guitar; Zac Catanzaro, drums
Engineer: Rene Chavez, Jake Perlman; Producer: Deidre Gott; Cameras: Gabriel C. Pérez, Patricia Lim, Sheryl Wong; Video Edit: Michael Minasi