The dream is just beginning for 20 year old ChianoSky , her hunger to be South Africa’s most revered vocalist has proven to be a driving force that has propelled her to release one of 2012’s most sought-after albums ‘Hungry’. A mix of seductive jazzy pop has seen her racing up the airplay charts in South Africa, showcasing her as one of South Africa’s most exciting, fresh and talented new discoveries.
ChianoSky didn’t waste any time pursuing her passion. “I can’t remember wanting to be anything else but a singer and a performer,” she notes. She left a standard high school and attended the National School of Arts where she studied music full time and slowly started realizing her true musical calling. It was only after an off chance meeting of musical minds that things for ChianoSky really started falling into place. A mere 19 years old, ChianoSky’s sound is anything but immature, and her talent almost bigger than her small stature can contain.
“I was waitressing at a restaurant in JHB where I bumped into the DJ Paul Almeida. I gave some demos to Paul, who really loved them. He called up EMI and the next thing I knew I was signing a major label deal. That’s as simple as the story gets” she smiles.
“I knew that leaving school to pursue a music career was a very risky thing to do, but I was adamant it was what I needed to do I definitely tried to place myself in the right place at the right time.
The album, which has been a year in the making, is aptly titled ‘Hungry’.
“Hungry is such a powerful word. It summed up exactly how I felt about everything that was happening in my life at that moment. I am starved for experience, hungry for it, and I im willing to fight for it. That’s really what this album represents for me,” says ChianoSky.
ChianoSky has already had 3 major singles playlisted on radio stations throughout South Africa, ‘Sick Sick’, ‘Walking Away’ & ‘Home Sweet Home’ .
Her first single ‘Sick Sick’ solidified her as a firm favourite amongst SA audiences.
‘The song is about the playful dynamic between men and women. I equate it to the whole concept of the Black Widow Spider, who appears helpless and vulnerable, but once you are seduced by her, it’s game over” – she laughs.
Although there are light hearted pop gems hidden on the debut album ‘Hungry’ there is nothing frivolous about the album as a whole. “I feel like I have been personally transformed by this album. Each song described a different aspect of me, and the journey I have been on thus far ”, she notes. “Songs like ‘Walking Away’ epitomized a time of my life where I was hurt and vulnerable. As you listen to the album you’ll see the different sides of this and how I’ve grown and walked away a stronger, freer person.”
ChianoSky also spent some of her younger years modeling , which helped boost her confidence and teach her how to be comfortable on stage and in front of the camera. But don’t be fooled by ChianoSky’s pretty face – behind the facade lies a lady with real talent, strong determination, and a passion that runs deep. “I like the idea of singing from a position of power and control, a powerhouse woman who isn’t afraid of trying anything.”
With influences ranging from afar afield as Nina Simone, Etta James, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, Kylie Minogue and especially Amy Winehouse. ChianoSky has found an original voice and style all her own.
One of her favourite experiences when working on the album was when she was teamed up with Pete “Boxsta” Martin in London. “I was so nervous, because it’s a whole different game overseas, but it was one of the best experiences of my life. I discovered so many different elements to my voice, and really worked on bringing them all to life.
ChianoSky is not an artist to sit behind the scenes and let other people create her story. She insists on being a part of the entire process, from vision and creative concept, music video, photo shoots, album artwork design and beyond. In perfect pop style, there are no half measures with ChianoSky, you get the entire package, all intricately thought out and planned.
“This is my album, obviously it’s a very personal project to me _ I know what I want and who I am,” she adds.
‘Hungry’ is an album that highlights the journey of an artist who has paved her own path, from start to finish. From the contagious blues pop of ‘Walking Away’ the intensity of the jazzy Ballad ‘Believe’ to the bluesy inspired ‘Sugar Man’, this is an album with a striking maturity, sultry sexy vocals that transfix and inspire, and a sound that is filled with the optimism and full bodied lust of youth.
Each and every song on ‘Hungry’ was handpicked and carefully selected.
“I connect differently with certain songs, and I was definitely adamant about which songs had to go on the album. To me the entire album is important, and it’s not just about a few hit singles. Every song speaks to me differently, she says.
Her hunger for success paid off as she cracked the nod in multiple categories for the 2013 South African Music Awards, being nominated for five awards including Best Female Artist, Best Pop Album, Record of The Year with her hit single ‘Walking Away’, Best Producer and Best Engineer, all for her first outing with her very first album.
She was also nominated at the Glamour Awards and took home the award for ‘Next Big Thing’ recognition that has all fed into her music, resulting in her headlining prestigious events such as Joburg Day, Heineken Symphonic Rocks, the Billabong Music Festival and the Durban July.
About to unleash her next single ‘Uncrumple My Heart,’ ChianoSky has also enjoyed venturing into different genres collaborating with Hip Hop artist Ross Jack on his single ‘Delusions’ and punk band Crash Car Burn with ‘Heartbeat Racing’.
Humble, modest and inspired – ChianoSky is an artist with a mission, the passion and the talent to take her far. “I’m flattered that I’m allowed to tell my story, “I can say things when I sing, that I can’t say in my everyday life, it’s so liberating being able to express myself through my music.
It’s been a journey for me, getting to know myself, and it’s definitely going to be a journey for those listening.