’Lorine Chia – Help (Lili K & Lorine Chia)’
’Lorine Chia – House On The Hill’
’Lorine Chia – You’re Alright’

In a time of studio altered vocals and generic radio hits, Cameroonian-bred and Cleveland raised Lorine Chia is a refreshing dose of real. With just her vocals and a guitar, Chia put her pension for songwriting to use and built a large fan base in Ohio that’s spread nationwide. Her unique voice has been compared to greats like Nina Simone and Amy Whinehouse, so much so that she was rumored to have sung the hook on Kanye West‘s Yeezus track, “Blood on the Leaves.” With only five years in the game, she has already collaborated with Chance the Rapper, Lili K, and Darius and Dominique Logan. Mixing a vintage voice with contemporary sound, her debut mixtape LORINE gave a taste of her innovative aesthetic, while creating a well deserved buzz.

TMN got the chance to chat with the rising star in preparation for her upcoming Naked Truths EP, dropping October 15th. Giving some insight into her mental, Chia chatted with us about her passion for music, family, love of Drake, and chicken quesadillas. Check out the full transcript below:

TMN: First off, I want to congratulate you on your latest two singles, “Help” and “House on the Hill.” I definitely feel like you have a unique voice and sound. What genre would you consider classifying your music in?

LC: I never really know how to answer that question. I guess its kind of everything at once. Like hip-Hop, soul, and jazz and everything.

TMN: I Know that Makossa is a popular art form in Cameroon as well, do you draw inspiration from that or incorporate that in your music?

LC: Yes, It is! I haven’t been able to incorporate that in any of my music yet because I haven’t found a producer that can really do that. I’m really looking forward to doing something like that. I think it would be cool to make a Makossa track. That would be nuts!

TMN: Coming to America at the age of 6, do you still feel a strong connection back home and to its music scene?

LC: Not really music wise, but more as me as a person. It really has shaped me to be a lot more mature. A lot of people say that I have more of like an old soul and that’s more because of my upbringing. People think that because I left when I was 6 that I don’t remember anything. It’s crazy, like, in Africa the kids are a lot more mature because the kids are given a lot more responsibility at such a young age. When I was like 5, I was doing my laundry by hand. Me and my cousin would go outside and wash our school uniforms. If we wet the bed, we cleaned our mattress. We took care of the house, we washed dishes, and we walked 2 or 3 miles to school.

TMN: So who are some of the artists that influence you today? 

LC: Today? I would say that I love Drake. I love, love, love Drake. He is my number one inspiration. Umm, I listen to Travi$ Scott as well, James Blake, still listen to Amy (Winehouse), Bon Iver, and Future. He is like a trap genius and its so amazing, haha.

TMN: What made you venture into music? 

LC: I think, because I believe in God and all that, I think it was really what i was supposed to do in this world. Ever since I was born, I always loved music and I always wanted to pursue it. After college I couldn’t go back, because I couldn’t afford it, and it gave me time to really work on music, and now here we are today.  At that point in my life, it was a chance for me to say I LOVE it and do it 100%. It’s just wild sometimes how your destiny chooses you.

TMN: How long have you been playing the guitar?

LC: I have been playing about on-and-off for about 4 or 5 years now. I learned in 10th grade. My dad has guitars too and he plays music. I remember one time I had this English class project to perform a poetry slam. Either we had to perform or put one together, so my dad was like ‘why don’t you play the guitar?” I was like ‘oh, no’ but I did that and I learned how to play in a month. I performed “Give Love A Try It”  by the Jonas Brothers and it turned out great and I have been playing the guitar ever since.

TMN: Which song(s) that you have written and recorded are the most significant to you and why?

LC: “You’re Alright” is one of my favorite songs ever because I wrote that when I really found out who I was and understood who I was. I was going through a lot of things in life and when I wrote that I realized that yo, I really don’t need to worry because at the end of it, I will fine. Also “House on the Hill” is another favorite. I wrote that when I was in LA. As I was riding through the city, I was just looking at all the backed-up houses on the hill. Hadn’t seen that before and it was just crazy to me.

TMN: I was listening to that one track ‘Living in Vain’ where you collaborated with Chance the Rapper. Could you explain a little bit more about how that took place and what impact it had on you.

’Lorine Chia – Living In Vain (Ft. Chance The Rapper)’

LC: Chance heard my music from my old manager and he was really into it and wanted to meet me. So when I was in Chicago, he came over to where I was at and wanted to work with me. I thought that was dope, so I played the track I was working on called ‘Living in Vein’ and he loved it. About a month later, he sends me a verse and killed it! It was just really dope. He’s a great emcee.

TMN: What would say have been the highest and lowest points of being an independent artist? 

LC: The highest points would be the fact that I am actually doing this. You know, my team and I are doing this themselves and we are really working hard towards the bigger goal of the world hearing me. The downside being that it’s a really long process. I have been doing this for about 5 years and it’s really hard to get people to be receptive when you’re not international known. It just gets frustrating. But at the end of the day, I love music and just want to be heard.

TMN: What were some of the venues that were most memorable to you and why?

LC: My first show, first heading show at the Grog Shop was definitely memorable to me. I performed at Skully‘s that was pretty dope. I performed at the Pinebox Rock Shop in Brooklyn. That was pretty memorable because, before I went on, they wouldn’t let me in because I wasn’t 21. Right before I got there too, somebody’s cab got shot up. Ingenuity Fest in Cleveland was pretty cool too.

TMN: So who would you say comprises most of your fanbase?

LC: You know, its weird. On Twitter I have a lot of fans from Cleveland and American fans. On Facebook, I have people show love from all over the world–people from Thailand, Ireland, Australia, and Japan. Its amazing and I was just shocked to have support from everywhere.

TMN: What would be the highest point of your journey to nationwide stardom? What is a current goal that you have yet to achieve? 

LC: I would say that the highest point is definitely me being on stage. Thats just such a rush. I don’t know, I just be talking to everybody and interacting. The goal I am working towards is being able to create a whole project from scratch. Being in charge of production, background vocals, all that stuff. Thats just gonna take some time though before I get close to that haha.

TMN: Are there any artists out now that you would want to collaborate with in the future?

LC: Overdoz, Travis Scott, and definitely Nigerian producer WondaGurl. That would be a dope collaboration. I love her work!

TMN: Alright so onto some fun questions:

TMN: What are some songs that are on heavy rotation on your playlist right now?

LC: Hmm right now I have been listening to F.B.G. The Movie just back to back. It really keeps me motivated and I don’t know why it just turns me up for some reason. I work out to Future, I drive to Future…he just turns my soul haha. Definitely Travi$ Scott, “Uptown” is my favorite song right now and Overdoz “Lauren London.” Of course, Drake’s new album is really good.

’Travi$ Scott – Uptown Feat. A$AP Ferg’

TMN: Other than working on music, what are some things that you like to do? other hobbies?

LC: Well I’m a big family person, so I love hanging out with my little sisters a lot and trying to figure out is bingo clash legit with her at the moment. I couldn’t go a day without talking with my family members. I also like making people feel pretty, so I braid hair to just make the ladies look nice haha.

TMN: What’s a guilty pleasure that not many people know that you have?

LC: I LOVE sweets. It might kill me, it might give me diabetes, but I love sweets. I love chocolate, I love cheesecake.

TMN: What is your favorite Cameroonian food? What is your favorite American food?

LC: I love water fufu and aero. My mother throws down when she makes it and I don’t know how she does it but it’s amazing. I don’t know if this is considered American, but chicken quesadillas. I could eat those all day.

TMN: Just one more question. If you weren’t doing music, is there any other profession you could see yourself in?

LC: Definitely a therapist. I feel like Im a wonderful therapist. All my friends come to me like I’m a mother goose or something haha. I would definitely go back to school for psychology. You know how African parents are though, they want you to go into the medical profession or be some type of doctor.

Special thanks goes to Lorine Chia for taking the time to speak with us. If you are feeling her music, be sure to check out her upcoming tour dates:

September 28th-Detroit Public Library – Detroit, MI

October 3rd-Grumpy Dave’s Tavern – Bowling Green, OH

October 12th-Hoosier Dome – Indianapolis, IN

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