Lorine Chia Talks 2014 Plans, ‘Strange Fruit’ Video & Truth-Dodging Men [EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]
Lorine Chia might not be a household name just yet, but she’s well on her way to being a hot topic. The Cleveland-bred singer’s music — boasting soulful vocals mixed with a bit of acid jazz, electronic layering and brutally honest lyrics — even earned her a spot on The BoomBox’s list of the 15 new R&B artists to watch this year.
The songstress’s stirring voice can be heard on her 2012 mixtape, ‘Lorine,’ and her 2013 EP ‘Naked Truths.’ She’s also collaborated with the likes of the Cool Kids, producers BlendedBabies, Chance the Rapper, Lili K and more recently, Machine Gun Kelly and DJ E-V on the EDM-infused track ‘GoodTime.’
The Boombox sat down with Lorine, who hails from Cameroon, to chat about her music career including 2014 plans as well as writing for other artists. And since she’s relatively new to the spotlight, we even delve into her opinions on dating, moving to Los Angeles and why she loves Cleveland so much.
With her free-wheeling attitude, cheeky personality (as showcased on her Twitter account) and undeniable talent, it’s only a matter of time before the spotlight finds Lorine.
The Boombox: How’s 2014 treating you right now?
Lorine Chia: It’s great. Everything’s treating me well and is a blessing right now. I’ve been progressing forward and getting out there. I’m just working on new music, probably put a project out later this year just to keep people happy and all that. I’m also trying to write for people now. That’s really cool. It’s going well. There’s this one rapper that I wrote a hook for. So people are going to be so surprised. Also, I’m trying to move to L.A., I think that’ll be perfect. I’ve been in Cleveland and Maryland the whole time doing shows.
The Boombox: How does it feel to write lyrics for other artists as opposed to yourself? Any difficulties?
Lorine Chia: It is weird because at times, it’s like, “Yo, I wanna sing it myself.” But it’ll be cool to just get that writer’s credit and be known as “Lorine Chia, that girl that wrote that awesome hook or whatever it is.” It’s cool. I don’t really mind. It’s like a piece of me is going into the world.
The Boombox: If you could choose to write for someone, who would it be?
Lorine Chia: Oh my god. Like I have hooks for Drake. I don’t know if Drake knows, but I have hooks for [him]! I have hooks for Kanye. Kendrick [Lamar], oh my god, that would be dope. I have some stuff for Rihanna. I think Rihanna could kill the stuff I’ve been doing lately because you know we both have that Caribbean vibe. It could be cool.
Listen to Lorine Chia’s ‘Living in Vein’ Feat. Chance the Rapper
Are you nervous about moving to the West Coast since you’ve been an East Coast/ Midwest girl your whole life?
I’m in the process. I’m just getting my money up so I can get in my spot. You know what? I’m not even nervous. I’m so excited. L.A. is so positive. Every time I get there, I get work done. I do random things. The last time I was there, I had a session with Asher Roth. It was just really random. I just walked into the house, and he was there. Then he said, “Hey I’m Asher,” and I was like, “What? Like dude, you’re my hero. Why are you here?” It was cool. We just vibed out, and we sang then I left. There are just lots of opportunities in L.A. I’ll say, there are a lot. And it’s sunny all the time. It’s great. You go to the beach, chill out, play your guitar.
You just mentioned jamming out with Asher Roth. So what was that experience like? Will the public get to hear your collaboration?
I met him through the BlendedBabies when I was invited to one of the members, JP’s, house. So I came over there, and Asher was on the couch. And I was like, “What? Crazy!” It was definitely fun. And if [Asher] wants to put it out there, it’ll be perfect.
Your EP, ‘Naked Truths,’ is currently out, and you’re planning your move. But when are we going to see an album?
I think I’m going to do the move first because I have two [other] albums out already. But I want people to at least hear them. I want to get a 100,000 followers on Twitter and have them all tweeting ‘Naked Truths’ and the albums. I want people to be tuned in before they hear what’s next because I have new music for days. I really want to put it out, but I just want more people to be tuned in.
So let’s talk about the video you recently made for ‘Lost in My Mind.’ It’s trippy. So what’s the idea behind it?
Yes, it is trippy, but that’s the point. What people don’t know is that part where I’m in slow motion, I had to sing in reverse. They had cue cards for me, and it was just the weirdest little experience, but it was great. But I had fun.
And you also are wrapping up the new video for your next single, ‘Strange Fruit.’ Can you talk a little about that?
It’s crazy because there was never a video for that song ever in the history of time. So it’s going to be dope. It’s going to be very haunting yet appealing and beautiful. We did it it at the Manhattan Inn with Kelsey, who’s Tony Bennett’s granddaughter. The place is an old piano bar, and the piano will be white. It’ll go down in history as a ‘Strange Fruit’ video.
Listen to Lorine Chia’s ‘Strange Fruit’
You’ve done a collaboration with another Cleveland artist, Machine Gun Kelly, and you’re working on another. So what’s that working dynamic like?
You know what’s weird? I’ve only met MGK once. We’re not even like best friends, but somehow musically we click. So it’s cool. He heard the ‘GoodTime’ song because we’ve been sitting on that song for a year, and he finally just heard it and said, “Yo, I want to put a verse on this.” And he was talking to EV, and EV wanted to see what it sounded like. MGK killed. I was also doing a hook, which I do a lot and send out to people, and he heard it. He really liked it so I think that’s what he’s working on now. So maybe one day, I guess we’ll hang out and kick it.
Music aside, let’s talk about your Twitter account. You’re a certified tweeter and don’t hold back on your opinions including your feelings toward men. You have one tweet where you say your favorite quote is , “F— ‘em.” Now let’s talk guys. What is your guy situation right now?
I’m a very blunt person, very straightforward. If I like you, I’m gonna tell you. Or if I have something on my mind, even if I don’t like you like that, I’m going to tell you. Now guys, I’ve noticed, guys don’t like the truth. I mean, most people don’t like the truth, but I’ve noticed this with men, especially. Men don’t like to be told about themselves. You know how men don’t like to acknowledge their flaws? Yeah … they really don’t.
So when I try to say what is on my mind, it’s like I’m disrespecting them. And I’m like, “What? How am I disrespecting you?” It’s funny, from my experience anyway, I think men are like pussies these days. They are like little bitches, and they don’t know how to accept the truth when it’s given. I’m just like, “F— ‘em. I ain’t got time.” It’s just whatever.
So if a guy is feeling you, how would you want him to approach you?
Just be yourself. Just be you and be prepared for my bluntness. Just be prepared for my honesty. I’m very simple. I don’t look for a baller or whatever it is. It’s just like if you’re yourself and you’re cute and you’re put together then I’m good.
But now that you’re music is getting out there, and people are getting to know you more, you might end up with a kind of trophy boyfriend. Is that what you’re looking for or are you looking for more of a partner-in-crime kind of thing?
You just gotta have something going on for yourself. I can’t be like the reason you’re in the spotlight or whatever it is. You have to have something. Just do it, whether it is teaching or whatever. As long as you have your thing, then I’m cool. I’m not looking for a little sidekick. I’m looking for a man.
Now onto a few rapid-fire questions. What would you want as your last meal?
Oh my god. That’s so sad. There’s this Cameroonian dish called water fufu and eru, and my mom throws down. She makes it. It’s my favorite food of all time. So that will be it.
What’s the best thing about being from Cleveland?
The best about being from Cleveland is that I’ve had time to grow. It’s not like there’s a lot going on in Cleveland so you have a lot of time to yourself, and that’s what I really appreciate about Cleveland. I’ve had time to just be as good as I am right now — no distractions, no nothing. Just motivation.
Since you’re leaving Cleveland, what are you going to miss most?
Nothing … no I’m just playing. I guess the friends that I’ve made in Cleveland, the little amount of friends I do have, I’ll definitely miss them. The support and the love I’ve gotten, I mean that’ll always last, but I’m definitely going to miss my fans that are there. I have these set of fans who even drove to Chicago to come see me, and they’re awesome. I’ve kicked it with them. They’ve helped pass out flyers. They’re so cool. I’m gonna miss them definitely.
Watch Lorine Chia’s ‘Lost in My Mind’ Video