Chelsea Moreno and Simone Vincenty are that kind of couple who are adorably unaware of their own coolness because they’re too busy doing what they love to do. Vincenty, with her bleached-blonde undercut and Moreno with that quarter-shaved, rest-left-curly ’do, are practically bouncing off the picnic bench—all aflutter with excitement—describing how their love sparked their artistic collaboration, One Sea.
The name is a play on both their first names, Simone and Chelsea. “I think it’s also the epitome of who we are, we’re just a part of the ocean and the ocean is such a part of us and we feel very connected to it. We are one. It just makes sense,” says Vincenty, pausing, before adding an emphatic “Barf!”—at which the two collapse into giggles.
Besides being young and in love and all that, the singer-aerial dance duo is also ridiculously talented. Their One Sea show, which goes on tour Aug. 29, features Vincenty creating her Fiona Apple-Regina Spektor-inspired songs on a loop machine while Moreno complements with dives and weaves around a hoop suspended about 10 feet above the ground.
“We’re really playing around with connecting our art and making it one, that’s the exciting part for us,” explains Moreno. “Instead of giving the audience two different artists, we’re coming together to blend the two.”
Moreno has been active in the dance community for years, currently an artist with Wily Minx Burlesque, Flex Dance Company, and Aerial Arts Santa Cruz. Although she comes from an extensive gymnastics background and was active in the dance department at UCSC, she only began aerial training in February; “She’s gotten really good in a very short amount of time, but she’s very modest so I like to speak her up to everyone,” adds a proud Vincenty—met with a small shrug and chuckle.
Vincenty had been performing back-up vocals for friends’ bands around Santa Cruz for a while before she went solo with her band Frankie Simone and the High Tide.
“My music is definitely more of a sultry blues vibe, but I don’t feel like I’m singing the blues at all,” she says, practically beaming.
Their first performance together was at the Catalyst Club in April, where Frankie Simone and the High Tide opened for Sin Sisters Burlesque. From there the couple took the leap of faith to combine acts at the Supperclub in San Francisco.
But, as fun as it sounds to travel, sing and do flips over people’s heads, One Sea also has a powerful message to their madness—challenging genderqueer norms to empower their audience.
“I think the art that we’re bringing already does that, and the fact that we’re a couple does that,” says Moreno.
“We definitely feel a lot of pride in who we are and aren’t afraid of it, and want other people to see that so that they can be more comfortable with who they are,” adds Vincenty. “Hopefully, we can inspire people.”
Clearly, there are others who believe they can, with their Kickstarter campaign surpassing their goal of $4,600 by $1,070, four days before the end of the fundraising deadline.
Even with that chunk of change, the Kickstarter funds are only for equipment, gas, and food—not for performance venues.
That’s because Che Che La Boom and Frankie Simone, as they’re known by their stage names, didn’t want to tour the traditional way. Starting Aug. 29, they’ll be singing and dancing their way across 12 cities from Huntington Beach all the way up to Vancouver, B.C., through backyards and public spaces. And they’ll be doing it for free.
“The point for us isn’t to make money,” says Vincenty, “It’s to have this amazing adventure and collaborate with different artists along the way, to try to find a new way to make art accessible and to experience that together.”
While they don’t know exactly what One Sea will be upon their return to Santa Cruz, that’s half the adventure, they say.
“We’re excited and inspired and feel like there are no limits,” says Vincenty. “We’re present in this moment and this is all we know right now.”
One Sea are back to perform in Santa Cruz Sept. 6. Keep an eye on their Facebook.com/oneseaduo