Over the past few months, I’ve written about the rapidly rising Persian-born, New Zealand-based emcee and producer, CHAII. When the Persian-born Kiwi-based artist was eight, her family migrated to New Zealand — and as the story goes, she was introduced to hip-hop through Eminem, who at the time had just released The Marshall Mathers LP. Fueled by a growing interest in his music, the rising Persian-Kiwi emcee was rhyming along to his work before she really learned how to speak English. “Mr. Eminem was my English teacher,” CHAII recalls in press notes.
When CHAII turned 11, she started to write her own rhymes to express everything she was feeling and experiencing at the time — from being a confused, third culture kid to her troubles adapting to a new way of life in a new country. By the time, she was in high school. the Persian-born, Kiwi-based artist started to make beats to accompany her rhymes. Around that time, she began to realize a deep and abiding love for all aspects of creating and writing music, including producing, recording and music. And after several years of experimenting, the Persian-born, Kiwi-based artist began developing her own unique sound, which features elements of traditional Persian music, experimental pop, electro pop and hip-hip.
And from that point onward, the material she began to release was “the closest music to me and who I am,” she says. As an adult, she developed an interest in film, which has lead to a synergistic approach to all of her creative efforts, fueled by a decidedly DIY ethos. Earlier this year, CHAII released the Lightswitch EP, an effort that has served as her global coming out party — and as a teaser for what we should expect from her forthcoming full-length debut Safar (Journey). Now, as you may recall the rising Persian-born, Kiwi-based artist has released three attention-grabbing, genre-defying singles this year:
“South:” CHAII’s debut single, which was featured by FENDI.
“Digebasse,” an urgent, club-banger collaboration with Aussie emcee B Wise. Featuring lyrics in English and Farsi, the track offers a fiery commentary on millennial social pressures and urges the listener to say “that’s enough!” and to stand up for their rights — right now.
“Trouble,” continued a run of club-banging material paired with incisive social commentary on the social pressure millennials face — in this case, millennial women.
Her latest single “Wow (Look at Me)” is centered around a dense, club-friendly production featuring thumping beats, synth arpeggios and wobbling low end, the track is a perfect vehicle for the rising Persian-born, Kiwi-based artist’s swaggering and self-assured flow. Of course, the track finds the CHAII at what may arguably be her most brash and bold, challenging any and all comers to battle her, because she’ll soundly defeat them all. Interestingly, the track appears as part of T-Mobile’s attention grabbing ad campaign for the new iPhone 12.