Last summer a friend sent me a link to a Soundcloud page and told me I had to listen to it. He knew how much of a fan I was of Nina Simone’s Strange Fruit. I told him it better not be someone’s stank cover of her song, because it would be blasphemy.
But this is what I heard:
And then I sipped the tea I was drinking and said, “Alright now”.
Lorine Chia, whose father is also a musician, was born in Cameroon and moved to the U.S. when she was 6. At the young age of 20, Chia has already been compared to Lauryn Hill, Nina Simone and Billie Holiday. Chia, who’s definitely not a one trick pony, moves easily from dropping bars to taking a melody and shredding it to pieces.
After listening to Chia’s Strange Fruit cover, I immediately sought out more.
Her recently released EP, Naked Truths is a journey through life’s lessons. The hard-hitting bass sounds, coupled with her lyrics and melodies will leave you wanting more. Check out the full stream below:
I recently spoke with Chia about her background and her music.
Can you give us a little background on your upbringing?
I was raised in an African Christian home where discipline and survival were the first three things that mattered to my parents. Those are the best things you can teach a child at a young age. Now I know how to take care of myself and I have a great relationship with God and all I want to do is live for him. My parents helped me realized what life really is about and I am beyond blessed for that. Most people live their whole lives never figuring it out. People have to know that these worldly things mean absolutely nothing when it comes to eternity. My parents taught me that and I’m glad I know it.
Who inspires you as a musician?
My dad is my biggest inspiration. He’s the reason I started. I would watch him play his guitar with ease and just make up songs off the top of his head. I always wanted to be that good. He’s a beast. I don’t think I’m nearly as good yet but good thing I’m only 20. He’s in his 50’s so I have some time to catch up . I’m blessed to have a dad that shares the same dream as me and it’s funny because he has an album called “The Dream.” now I’m just trying to live it.
How would you describe your “sound”?
My sound is a bunch of love being thrown at your ears caressing your mind-body and soul. Nurturing your spirit. It’s my love. A lot of people would love to classify it with a specific genre and compare me to a lot of different artists but I think its unique. It has a class of its own. I just make what I feel you know? Whether it’s trap, pop, bluegrass, R&B, jazz, trip hop, etc it all just meshes together. Probably because I like all types of music.
With so many female rap artists/singers out there trying to one up each other on being provocative..how do you feel your music separates you from the rest?
From the beat selections, to the lyrics, to the different melodies I make up, the sounds, the experiences, it’s all me. I’d like to think we are all different in one way or another and it shows. I’m just being myself which is different enough. A lot of people try to be like their icons but I had an epiphany one day and realized that being yourself sets you apart period. You just gotta figure who you are first and I finally did that hence the music you hear from me today. Just me being me expressing what it is I want to put into the world.
What projects are you currently working on? Who are you working with?
I’m working with Rio (the mastermind behind the production for “Bout It”, “Wondering Where”, and “Lost In My Mind”) on a few songs and hooks trying to get a few more placements. Might come out with a little EP before the year is over. Also working with a few other producers just making good music. I want to try to reach out to my favorite rappers and make some songs with them. I’ve only had two so far rap on my songs which they killed. Shout out to MGK and Chance The Rapper.
This time next year, where do you see yourself?
Touring the world I hope. I just want to share my songs with people and relate with them, motivated and see others happy. Maybe win a Grammy or 6 [LOL]. Adele killed it at last year’s. Maybe writing for a lot of everyone’s favorite artists. Hopefully not having to worry about money anymore.
For my ears, Lorine Chia is a breath of fresh air and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing her pursue her dream.
Check out Lorine’s newest video Lost In My Mind, set in her hometown of Cleveland.