Sounds of Bristol: Interview with Chikaya

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There’s a huge array of creative talent in Bristol, and whether it’s music, art, design or anything else, 365Bristol wants you to know about it. With that in mind, we present the Sounds of Bristol series: a detailed look at some of the brightest musical talent in the city.


In this edition, we speak to Bristol-based singer songwriter Chikaya. Known as the queen of Cosmic Trap, a subgenre she has coined in her own right, her new EP Descend is a magical, soulful six track sampler that fuses weighty electronic bass with spirited lyricism and dreamy, soothing vocals. Her style isn’t influenced by a specific genre, but her electronic sound is a nod-toward that of R&B, Trap, Chillstep, Ambient and Neo-Soul to name only some. Once a strictly acoustic artist, her music has evolved over the years into what is her most amazing work yet; music you can chill in the bath to, dance at a party to, or blast through headphones as you gaze out the bus window, visioning your outerworld fantasies. It’s only upwards from here for this blue-haired beauty and Descend recently won Jamz Supernova’s EPTOP5 No.1 on BBC Radio 1EXTRA, which comes as no surprise. It’s mystical, spacey and powerful all at once and if you don’t know, get to know. Now! Listen here.

Cover of Descend, Chikaya's new EP

What do you think people get out of listening to your EP, Descend?

Hopefully they get to escape for a little bit and enjoy. I like to think my songs are relatable because we all go through the same motions, life is full of ups and downs and twists and turns and writing and creating music is my way of dealing. If it helps people by comforting them or making them happy or energetic or whatever it may be, then that is very cool for me.


Is there a theme to the EP?

The theme was a journey inwards, exploring the depths of love. I’m not in love right now but I have been before so my words are my experiences, both positive and negative and the impacts falling has on one’s heart and mind.


Talk about the win of Jamz Supernova’s EPTOP5 No.1 on BBC Radio 1EXTRA? How did this feel?

Yo that was so sick for me, it came out of nowhere and I wasn’t expecting it. It was such a nice little boost to be acknowledged like that by Jamz, she really does the most for artists like me.


How has your music evolved over the years?

It’s massively evolved because I started out strictly Acoustic, working with just my guitar and me, but I knew I saw for myself music with a much fuller weightier sound. It was just a case of finding the right producer to work it all out with me.


Favourite venue you’ve played at in Bristol and why?

Rough Trade, I was supporting Barney Artist there and I loved the room and how blue it was lol.


Any shows coming up in Bristol?

Yes! Corner 77 on the 29th of December for a ‘OR Sessions’ and I’ve got a few more to be announced soon!


Favourite artists to watch out for in the city right now?

Definitely listen to Anna Lisa & Mercys Cartel they’re both making great music! They are both electronic artists like me and they both have super unique styles and voices so get to know!


3 all-time favourite songs?

I can’t give a genuine answer to this cause it’s all about the context, what mood I’m in what I’m doing, it will genuinely change according to how I’m feeling/where I am so choosing a top 3 is too challenging haha!


Favourite female icon? 

Musically, Madonna is one of them 100% because the cultural impact that she has had in music is incomparable. She paved the way for female artists, she has always fought for what she believes in which is freedom of expression and that literally changed the music scene for women in music forever! That is a true Icon.

chikaya 6

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

Now that summers over I’m starting to think Teleportation would be great. If you’re feeling fed up of grey British weather, snap your fingers and bam you’re sipping a daiquiri in Fiji chilling on a hammock!


If you could be any animal, what animal would you be and why?

A bird so I could fly and glide and swoop and just chill in a tree or soar over the ocean, a nice bird though with a nice song, not a loud hawking bird- that shit would be annoying, nobody wants to be a pigeon or a crow at the end of the day.


Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer?

Gatherer 🙂


Would you rather visit the past or the future?

Hands down the future, just to see how far we will progress in 200 years that would be fascinating.


Listen to Descend here.



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