Welcome to a full display of power in just seven tracks. Welcome to hooks, punches and elegance all in one. Welcome to Chikas new EP.
Alabama-bred, LA-based rapper/singer/poet and activist Chika dropped her debut EP Industry Games back in March via Warner Records. The EP spans over seven invigorating and expertly crafted melodic tracks, emphasizing Chika’s versatility as she paints a vivid picture of her self-made success, trials, and aspirations via deft wordplay and a rapid-fire flow over hard-hitting beats.
Elsewhere on the EP, Chika’s nimble flows, socially-conscious rhymes, and soulful hooks cut through. On “Crown,” she bodies each and every bar with charisma and confidence, delivering a powerhouse statement in the process.
At 23-years-old, Chika has established a track record of actively using her platform to advocate inclusivity and challenge societal norms regarding race, gender, mental health, and body image. She opted to kickstart her career on the mic instead of enrolling in Berklee College of Music. The risk paid off. After starring as the face of Calvin Klein’s #MyCalvin campaign, she introduced a scorching signature style on her 2019 independent debut single “No Squares.” She’s since amassed a fervently devout fan base that includes, Cardi B, Erykah Badu, Lin Manuel, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Jay-Z, Jada Pinkett Smith and more.
We had a little chat with her a few months ago about what was happening in life:
Industry Games is OUT – how are you? 2020 is nuts overall, where you at with things?
I’m good, I’m very optimistic, very happy, in the wake of impending doom!
What are your major inspirations for this EP?
My year, my dreams, the way that my life changed when I moved to LA!
How is your F L O going these days? When do you feel most inspired?
Considering none of us can go outside, I try to do something every day. I get encouragement watching everyone else- we are all just trying to find a way to be creative.
What’s been the most significant highlight of your LIFE so far?
Putting out my project! I wanted to put this out since 2016. I always wanted to release this and make a statement, so it’s about time.
Your EP does talk a lot about issues like mental health and glowing up. How have these themes come into play in your own life?
I feel like every day I’m learning new ways to be challenged, and every day I to try grow and change. I feel you like you have to do that?! Every day I feel the energy, take inventory of where my brain is at… and keep growing.
Family. What’s it to ya?
It’s the only thing that stays the same! Not just in terms of blood family, but friends too. Those bonds that you are not supposed to break, and that you’re supposed to care the most about.
It’s a snapshot of my year. I mean, the whole project is but Balencies really goes in-depth! You hear me talk very comprehensively, and it’s basically an in-depth recording of where my life was at when I wrote it.
Do you ever find the body positive movement restricting when it comes to opening up about your identity or personal journey?
It’s a little restricting as it’s not a part of my identity… but it’s a part of my existence. My body isn’t at the forefront of my mind. There are so many other parts that flow into my existence! I mean I’m 23! Sometimes I hate my body. It’s natural.
What do you think is the most important behavior to make a relationship work?
Empathy- being able to choose to look at something from someone else’s perspective. If you were ever able to empathize for a second, you mostly realize that you’re tripping. You see that everyone is just trying to be the best version of themselves.
What’s next for you? Anything to be excited about in the near future??
What’s next for me is enjoying this mandatory break that the world has forced upon us! After that, I’m excited to get out on the road and meet my fans, and of course… there will be more music.
Big thanks to Chicka for being an absolute source of energy and artistic originality!