Stripes Spotlight: Young Army wife finds comfort recording her first album
November 22, 2004
DARMSTADT, Germany — It took miles of separation, unanswered anticipation and a whole lot of lonely nights for one Army wife to get her groove back.
Chelsea Nicole Pedro, 23, lost pieces of her groove throughout her young adult life: sometimes through bad situations and discouragement, other times by personal motivation and changing paths in life.
All she needed to find her groove again was for her husband Pfc. Brendon Pedro to deploy to Iraq and then crush her hope by being extended with the 1st Armored Division in April.
Some times Pedro’s newfound groove has an Arabian feel to it, other times there’s a country twang, and every so often there’s even a bit of a soft rock touch to it.
Regardless of the beat, this groove is Pedro’s voice and when her lyrics meld with music on her personally licensed CD “Soldier’s Girl,” the outcome, she said, is liberating.
Pedro doesn’t really classify her music into any specific genre, though much of it has a musical inspired sound to it and is Christian-laden. She said the best category she would fit into would be “adult contemporary.”
Her real inspiration, though, she said, is the love for her husband, which is in a genre all its own. The separation of a deployment during their new marriage, after just having dealt with being apart during Army basic and job training, was all too much to handle.
“I’m flattered … It’s very nice to be somebody’s muse,” said her husband, who has been married to his wife for two years.
“He finds it very …” Pedro began to explain.
“Amusing,” interrupted the soldier.
All kidding aside, the he said he was stunned to hear the CD his wife put together in just 20 days of the nine months he was deployed. But, he said it was a long time coming.
He said he always knew she wanted to make her own CD, but how sometimes life got in the way of dreams.
Pedro, who was born in Fallbrook, Calif., but calls Bellingham, Wash., home, said she thinks she began singing when she was about 2 years old. At 8, she began studying voice, and then she continued her musical aspirations throughout her childhood and teen years by being part of choirs, playing in musicals, singing at church and taking on state-level solo competitions.
She relied heavily on theatrical opportunities to help build her voice and stage presence. She also relied on invitations to sing at community events, like doing the National Anthem at sporting events.
In 2002, Chelsea got married, then toughed out her husband’s Army’s training portion for seven months. The Pedros then were assigned to Wiesbaden, Germany, in September of 2003. Her husband was only in country for six weeks before he had to meet his unit in Iraq.
Pedro said she took her perspective as a military wife alone in a new country and made inspirational music.
“I found comfort in writing music. Plus, I think my music can help comfort and encourage other military families,” Pedro said of the cathartic feelings her CD has inspired.
But, Pedro said not only military families can relate to her lyrics. She said she finds lots of younger women have connected with her songs, and she said she wants to be an inspiration to more than just military families.
On one song, “Never Surrender,” which Pedro defines as an Evanescence-like power ballad, she works through her own emotional scar of being raped and hopes that the she connects with one of the 876,100 women who are raped each year, as estimated by a National Violence Against Women survey.
“I have a huge heart and being able to educate women to a degree is an added bonus of doing music,” Pedro said. “Never Surrender” was the first song she wrote in her adult life, she said.
“This really affects people’s self-worth, more than any other crime. It’s incredibly scary. The biggest defense we have against sexual assault is for people talking about it. I can use music as a platform to inform people about this crime,” she said.
Pedro said next she’s aiming to tour military installations throughout Europe.
“I’m seeing lots of doors open for me,” Pedro said of the success her personal CD has made. She hopes to get a label and start singing professionally. “I’m not looking to be the ‘American Idol’ pop star. I wouldn’t mind always singing on the side, but if it became my career, that would be awesome.”
For more information and to hear “Soldier’s Girl,” go to www.cdbaby.com/cd/chelsea.