Grabbing the attention of major pop culture staples, such as Fendi, Apple, and Netflix to name a few, CHAII is an artist on the rise. The rapper, producer, director, and audio engineer is fairly new to the music game, releasing her debut EP, Lightswitch, just last year, which makes her accolades all the more impressive. Fresh off the release of her new single, “OH NAH YEAH,” the Kiwi-Persian artist found the time in her busy schedule to chat with us about career highlights, her work ethic, and what she has planned for the future.
Photo by Abe Mora
Melodic Mag: 2020 was chaotic for everyone, but despite everything that happened, you were able to thrive with your music! How did it feel to see your songs featured across so many different pop culture platforms, like Netflix, FIFA, and Fendi?
CHAII: It felt really good to be recognized by these big platforms, especially after years of work leading to it all! Such a great feeling, and it has been super exciting.
MM: When you are working on new music, do you usually go through several different versions of a track before landing on the final product, or do things fall into place fairly quickly?
C: Things fall into place quickly if the vibe is right. There are times when a song can take a long time to come together. I find the songs that have come together quicker are the ones I like the most.
MM: Your music videos have taken you all across the world, from Oman to California. Are you someone who loves to travel?
C: I do like to travel, but I also really believe in having the right visual fit for each song. So, for the Lightswitch EP, I just had to go to Oman and US!
MM: You wear so many different hats, from rapper to producer to audio engineer. How do you balance everything? What helps you stay sane and centered?
C: Having experience in those areas has really helped me as an artist to make sure my music is as close to what I envision as possible. Ever since I went full time into music, I feel I’ve managed to balance things a lot better, and I can focus on it at once. Certain things are a lot easier when it’s your own music that you’re dealing with. It’s definitely not all easy, but I try to keep it as fun as possible and surround myself with my favorite people to stay sane and centered.
Photo by Evan Xiao
MM: Your new single, “OH NAH YEAH,” is such a fun, confident track that was created virtually due to the pandemic. What was it like to link up with Party Favor (aka Dylan Ragland) and piece everything together?
C: Honestly, Dylan is the best! We clicked so well, he also comes from working in BTS of the creative industry, so we both had that in common. It made things a lot easier. I would link up with him on Zoom sessions for a few hours a day (NZ/US Time), and everything just came together so fast.
MM: Out of all of your songs, is there one that stands out to you the most?
C: “South” was one that stands out to me. I made the beat and wrote the song in only an hour one night not thinking anything of it… and then it went onto doing some really cool things! I was especially shocked and excited when it made it onto the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater game. It was a proud moment for me – to see a song I produced being played on a popular video game.
MM: What are some things on your bucket list?
C: 7 day fishing trip // Be an audience member on Take Me Out (UK) // Do voice acting on an animated film // World tour
MM: Goals for the rest of the year?
C: Keep creating!
MM: Do you think you will stay in music long-term?
C: Definitely! For me, music will always be long-term.
Photo by Evan Xiao
MM: Any final comments/shout-outs/words of wisdom?
C: Shout-out to my manager, Callum, and my team for putting up with me. BMG/Bigpop for always having so much trust in what I do. WE GOT THIS! LET’S GO!
Thank you so, so much, CHAII! Whatever you do next, we know it will be amazing!
You can listen to CHAII on music platforms like Apple Music and Spotify.