With a sound so vintage its been compared to Nina Simone’s vocals on Kanye West’s song “Blood on the Leaves,” Lorine Chia has already made a name for herself in the music business. Her highly-anticipated album titled Naked Truths, set for release October 15, will leave fans highly satisfied with new melodies and deeper content. Check out our next artist to shine.
Name: Lorine Chia
Birthplace: Cameroon, Africa
Why we like her: She’s out to change the music industry by injecting lyrics of substance back into songs.
She followed her dreams despite being enrolled in college: I realized that after my first semester in school. I knew that school wasn’t for me because I wanted to be a doctor, I went to school for pre-med and I didn’t do too well. I was missing class and the whole time I would just be outside on campus playing my guitar (laughs), and I would be in my dorm room making songs. After that I thought maybe I should really get into it full-time and see what it can do.
She wants to impact the industry like no other artist: I just hope I can, especially for females it’s really hard for black women out here. I really hope I can make it known that you don’t have to reveal yourself too much to make it in life and talent and hard work can actually get you somewhere. I want to teach people how to love themselves and know themselves and really just understand themselves to make it.
Her voice is synonymous with greats such as Nina Simone when listeners thought she sang the hook on Kanye West’s “Blood on the Leaves”: That was crazy, I was thinking like what if he really did sample my voice. Because you know Kanye is very secretive about that stuff so I was like who even knows me to put me on the same track as him, so I was pretty amped. I was praying like hopefully it’s me, and it wasn’t (laughs). But it’s okay, people still come up to me and be like “You were amazing on the Kanye album,” and I’m like “Yep, thanks” (laughs).
Her lead single “House on the Hill” talks about social issues: It’s basically about greed and I’ve seen a lot of cases about greed lately, so hopefully people listen to that and just have a different outlook on life. We were riding around L.A. and I was looking at all these houses on hills and I was thinking, “These houses are going to fall. I don’t know how people inside want to live at the top.” So I just started thinking what if our pursuit for the American dream is just false and can really just turn out to be something horrid one day, like all our dreams go to waste because we were too greedy and wanted to be at the top when we can fall.
Drake is her biggest inspiration: His choice for production and stuff is so crazy to me. All his production is dope, the way his melodies come and the words, he gets it. He gets how to put his voice with an instrumental and make it sound extra dope and it’s not like the beat is making the song, he’s making the song.
She gathers her influence from popular artists: Right now I don’t know just one person, but I would say Chris Martin from Coldplay and John Legend and Amy Winehouse. Listening to them that’s how I got my voice because I would try to sound like them all together.
She’s out to make music for “the listener”: I think that, because really if you listen to my words it’s all realness. I really just put my thoughts down and try to put some substance and really hope that people will hear it and understand the lyrics. People at first… now people just want to listen to a good beat and catchy hook, and I’m like alright what if I get the catchy hook and a good beat and put some amazing messages in the verses, I wonder if people will catch on so we’ll see.
She’s an advocate for bringing back real hip hop: What I noticed about hip hop today is it’s kind of dying. A lot of songs don’t have any substance anymore and I really want to bring back the true feeling of hip hop and music as well. We can still have catchy songs that have substance to it that you can relate to, that you can cry to. That’s what I want to do. I think it’s cool that people compare me to Lauryn Hill or the new fresh sound to hip hop. I’m doing what I want to do. I’m achieving my goal in a sense.
Her debut album will showcase a different side of Lorine Chia: It’s a lot more up-tempo and you’ll hear a lot more trappy influences and it’s kind of like Drake-ish. It’s really cool and I’m really excited to put it out because people are used to the whole acoustic Lorine and not the urban and more hyped Lorine.
Listen to Lorine Chia’s songs, “House on the Hill” and “Eve’s Perspective”, on the next page.