Chika’s Journey to the Top is the Inspiration Behind ‘Balencies’


Artists like Chika is important for our world simply because of her authenticity. She’s unapologetic about who she is, her opinion, her take on life. I saw a few videos of her just rapping to the camera and I was blown away. People know me from the Calvin campaign. The viral videos, the verses, clearly my like vehicle to where I am now was social media. There has not been a moment in this entire journey that I have not been able to be myself. But it’s really weird. I think people see me as an influencer for so long that they forget there’s a person underneath all that. I’ve literally had to watch conversations about my humanity, my body, be dissected on a regular basis. People think I’m like this chosen one who’s here to like speak up for like X, Y and Z, which is cool, but also a lot of responsibility that I can’t manage right now. Like I’m a kid. Let me say some reckless **** real quick. If I’m having like a depressive moment where I’m like, I want to step back. The world I’ve built doesn’t support that. Because if I’m not visible, then it’s not going to sell this record. And all this work was for nothing. I think I was probably one of the many people who say her online just sitting in her room going at it. Next thing I did I mean, we reached out, we connected. I let her know that I was a fan. I was like, “Excuse me. You’re Nick Cannon. I’m a fan”. I was doing like a writing camp in Atlanta and, you know, invited her down. He let me use his studio, her put me in this dope apartment and never was asking for anything in return. Which is so bonkers to me. It’s something different when someone has a drive or aura about them that you just know they going to make it. And those are the people I usually respond to and want to help out. I was like this, this girl is special and I really want to be a part of it. We’ve been at the studio for the past couple weeks, finishing up “Industry Games”, which is my first project that I’ve been working on for literally a year. It actually ended up being a narrative about how the industry is affecting my life. And it starts with this song that literally was written off the top of the year last year. Before I knew any of the **** that I was going to go through. And you genuinely see the progression. Lido executive produced my entire EP. She’s a great writer, so there’s a lot to work with for me, it’s building out the world that she already envisioned. She’s so conscious of all of the weird like social constructs that are out there. We wanted to experiment with pitching down her voice. The way that Chika put it was that when a woman in Hip-Hop says something, you listen to it with slightly different ears than if a man says that same thing. And it happened with everyone. Every time we play that song, people woke up in that moment and was like, who was this rapping? And we’re just like, it’s still Chika. She’s saying the same things. And she’s like, let me **** with you guys and let me see if I can catch you off guard to make you think a little bit extra. She represents honesty in her music. She’s not going to be overbearing with it, but she’s gonna stand firmly and proudly and who she is. The only way to be fully understood and for me to feel sane is if I’m honest. Growing up, I felt very defiant, outspoken. I can say that I was definitely a lot never gonna lie as I wasn’t a lot, but my parents made me think I was a problem child. I had to, as a kid, really like take it on the chin a lot. But I think it helped me be who I am now, and it prepared me for the lifestyle that I have to lead now cause there’s hella **** that’s thrown at me on a daily basis. The comments, the trolls, people taking your words and flipping them. There’s multiple sides of the toxicity of social media, like from my Calvin campaign. I was so proud of her about it. But in that campaign there was a lot of negativity and it’s just like people would body shame her. They will say these horrible things. They still do. Me talking about like body image and things like that. It’s not something I chose to talk about it’s something I was projected onto me that I had to because of how much hate was thrown in my direction from simply existing in my body as I choose to. A lot of people said, like, I’m arrogant. Oh, she had a steady come up. She got everything she wanted, blah blah blah, I’m like if you only knew the half of it. When I started doing verses like I had depression. So sad and broke and just not knowing if anything would pay off. Doing music was a way to share and making sure I survived it. I’ve been transitioning out of influencer status into what I’ve always wanted to do. My music, but it makes it almost like you’re letting other people down to step away. I end up feeling guilty about taking mental health days. I’m sorry. There’s supposed to be a verse today but I just can’t like I don’t know. I’ve been in this spot for like a hour. Trying to get this perfect. And I can’t and I’m trying not to be a bully to myself and like kick myself in the *** everytime I can’t do something right, but I’m frustrated. The more accessible I am to the world then the less accessible I am to the people who actually give a **** about me. And that’s been a hard pill to swallow too. Having to like. In a way mature faster than the average 22 year old. And that is hard. That is difficult. This is the only song we need strings on. One day we had like a string orchestra that came in. I was like, you know, guys, we’re gonna do this entirely differently. We’re gonna have Chika conduct you guys for a take. And she was kind of thrown off by it. But she went for it and she low key killed it. And like they came up with a bunch of weird things together in her like instinctual way of conducting them. I’m working towards everything that I’ve wanted. I want my parents to see me successful. And now that I’ve been blessed with the opportunities that I have and the placement of where I am and what I’m about to do. This is the moment that I want to breathe. These are the moments that I want to sit and enjoy rather than be arguing on the Internet. Social media is a weird place, but I think that there is something to be done and a world to be created within that that we haven’t quite tapped into and at the risk of driving myself insane. I want to find out what that is and create an environment that doesn’t have to be toxic. You know. I’ve seen some people who are extraordinary in their abilities, but they do nothing with it. I’m super impressed by what you do with your gift. If you inspire others with your gift, if you uplift people. And that’s exactly what Chika is doing.

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