For years, a beautiful voice from Cleveland has continually directed our collective ears outside our city. While somehow still a somewhat well-kept secret, 22-year-old Lorine Chia appears ready to take the long-anticipated step to the big-time and set the tone with her January EP, When Morning Comes. For those familiar with the scene here in Chicago, Chia's name might be familiar through work with well-known locals like Chance The Rapper ("Living In Vain"), Jamila Woods ("Lonely Lonely") and Lili K ("Help"). Possessing a unique, layered vocal ability that truly underlines the word 'soul', Chia has assembled a powerful library that has drawn even the biggest of names her way. Over the course of the last five years or so, Chia has popped up again and again with memorable singles and well-heeled projects, in the process evolving into one of my favorite artists operating today. It's obvious at this point that Chia has both the writing and innate skill to operate at the highest of levels, perhaps 2017 will be the year the rest of the world finally realizes the full potential of the Cameroonian-born songstress. Regardless, we couldn't be more excited to dig into a new project and we were able to catch up with Chia to get some added insight into the collaborative project with Romero Mosely. Check out the Q+A below and be sure to check back for more soon.
How would you characterize the sound of this project?
This project is what I like to call Sweet Noise. From the instrumentation to the lyrics, to the vocals and on. It's a fuse of jazz, soul, blues, contemporary, with a bit of modern to it. It's something you can put on and just vibe to.
Where does this project find you on your musical journey?
It's definitely been a journey I will say. This project just shows the growth. From my 1st project to now I think listeners can really hear how much I've grown up. Romero and I started this back in late 2015 in Atlanta. Worked on it all throughout 2016 and now it's finally here. The live instruments definitely add to the sound I've been building over the years.
What in particular drew you to working so closely with Romero Mosley?
I felt like it would be like if J. Dilla of Robert Glasper got with Erykah Badu to make a project. The soul in his sound is reminiscent of them. I figured well I love Glasper and Dilla, Romero is basically that to me, why not?!
At this point in your career, what are some goals you have on the direct horizon?
I want to be big. I want the whole world to know my music. They need it. I want to tour all over the world and put on for Cameroon. I want to work with my faves like Coldplay and Kanye. I want to create as much as I can. I want to win Grammys. I want to be great.
How would you like to be remembered when it's all said and done?
I want to be one of the biggest voices of my generation. I want to inspire people, teach them self love and grace, heal people, provide. I want to be remembered as a woman that made a difference in this word. I want to make a change for the better. I just feel like if people loved themselves and the people around them great things would happen.
What has it been like working from the midwest?
Definitely was a struggle when I was there. Not a lot of opportunities and I was just letting the wrong people represent and be around me. A lot of people tried to ruin my career whether intentional or not. But I had to get away from all that. Moved to Atlanta for a while and now I'm in LA. Just learning day by day. Not having management or label help has been hard but I've been doing it. Honestly glad I'm in a good space and I can direct myself how I want to. It truly has been fun learning all the ins and outs of pushing an artist's career forward.
What should the people be looking out for from Lorine Chia in 2017?
I'm trying to drop as many songs and videos as possible. I want people to know that I'm back and ready to step into my spotlight. I want to do more shows too. Crazy goal would be to feature on someone's late night show like Jimmy Fallon or something cool. As myself and not a background singer this time lol. I'm working. Going to share a lot this year. Just want people to start tuning in.