Chyme is an upcoming wonder with a sound bringing together a number of cultures and elements to his music. After living in cities like Warri, Port-Harcourt, Enugu, Toronto and Ottawa, his music is a blend of all these cultures.
With his EP, Acknowledgement making waves and drawing listeners, primarily from the Gen Z, the Alté, Afro-twist rapper, singer and songwriter, Chyme is looking to break into the industry with his own unique sound and genre.
Born Ebubechukwu Chime, Chyme began writing music at the age of 7 when his mother enrolled him in a Children’s Christmas carol competition at her workplace. He says that music had somehow always been in him as a lover of all that the world of art has to offer. With little drops of his sound like rain drizzles at events or on social media, and the validation that came, he was beginning to realize that a number of persons were “digging to his sound” and he could really this.
In a Zoom interview with our Lagos correspondents Timothy Edaki and Jane Aimuen, Chyme, who is currently based in Canada, digs deep into his style of music, his inspiration and breaking forth into the Nigerian music industry. Catch up with us below:
How do you get inspiration for your work? Does music run in the family
I wouldn’t know whether to say music really runs in my family, but growing up my parents played a lot of Brenda and a number of other gospel songs. However, if I must pick someone from my family who really influenced my music, it would be my late cousin. My earliest memory of my love for hip hop was memorizing the lyrics of 6 Foot 7 Foot by Lil Wayne. I remember sitting in front of the television and just watching music channels, writing down hip hop songs, then downloading them and learning the lyrics to sing them with the artiste when those songs came up again on the TV.My interest in music was solidified while in secondary school, when some of my classmates began rapping in year 9. I soon joined the group of between 6 to 7 boys as their manager and soon enough, I was rapping with the crew. In no time, the group christened itself Sabotage and we began to look to pursue music professionally. However, that dream fizzled into obscurity when the group disbanded as some found new interests; and others changed school. I was not going to let the desire to do music slip past me.
Does living outside Africa reflect negatively on how Nigerians react to your music?
(Laughs) Music is a global language. My music is a record of my environment. My environment inspires me, my personal experiences and other significant happenings. It s one of the reasons why people are moved to f**k with my shit.
What genre of music do you peddle and why?
I call the genre of music I peddle Afro-Twist which is a combination of what is present in Nigeria, available in Africa and prevalent in the West. It is all these things wrapped into one which makes my sound unique.
What’s the concept of your music genre, Afro-twist?
Afro-Twist was coined as a move to describe my sound and what it entails. It is a blend of different sounds that has the Afro originality at the root of it.
How did you come about it?
It came from my reading ‘A Twist in the Tale’ by Jeffrey Archer. I read the book when I was around 8 or 9. The book is a mix of different stories that all start ordinarily but take on a strange twist towards the end of the book, leaving you amazed and all. This is what my sound is. It is a combination of different shit, you have Hip Hop, the Afro sound and other genres of music to give you a desired, unexpected feel.
What’s your take on an artiste role in societal change (with emphasis on the #RevolutionNow protest)
It is inevitable, at some point we have to. And I feel like artistes have a bigger platform, if they say something, folks can f**k deep with it. For example, when Wizkid tweeted about the Xenophobia in Africa or Burna Boy who is constantly speaking about the need for Africa to do better. So, yes the musician cannot shy away from societal change and activism. If you can’t sing about it, with social media, on your page, you can lend a voice to the struggle.
Perhaps the most startling thing about Chyme is the fact that he doesn’t rewrite his songs. He says editing them gives them a strange false feel.
I am an artiste in every sense. I read a lot of books and all that, so art for me is very important. I like the authenticity of art, which is why I do not rewrite or edit my songs. Whenever I say it, a lot of people are puzzled as to this fact, but I believe as at the point of writing that song, there’s something truthful that must be divulged. With editing, there’s a huge probability that it would lose that truth hidden in-between the lines.
He also regards himself as a contrarian who will not allow others perception of his music shape or determine how he writes or his art. This is evident in the 2017 song, ‘Just Vibes’.
Who influences or inspires your music
I’m heavily influenced by artistes like Olamide, Burna Boy, M.I Abaga, P-Square, Pasuma, Danny Young then Big Sean and J.Cole from the Hip Hop scene
Which artistes would you love to work with soon
A number of artistes including Banggz, Fasina, Tay Iwar, Vector, Wani, Burna Boy, 6lack, Kid Cudi, Tiwa Savage, Waje, Merry- Lynn, Veen, Omah Lay and various others.
Where do you Alté 5 years from now?
No doubt, the Alté sub-genre has been doing amazingly well and I mean in five years time, we can expect the best out of it. Like, just look at it and what is done, but do I see it overtaking the Afrobeats? Not in 10 years time. Yes, I said it. Nigerians are naturally a dancing people and not all the sounds in the Alté scene are for gravitating to. On the other hand, there’s Afrobeats which is primarily meant among other things to make you move your body. However, we can expect a synergy between the two. There’s the possibility of true Alté artistes making it mainstream like the Wizkid and the Burna Boy.
How would you summarize your journey as an artiste and where’s Chyme going to be 5 years from now?
Well, as much as I want to look into the future and what it holds for me, I want people to know my shit now. Let them first know and understand my sound now, then we can begin to think of what to do from then. But then, as an artiste, I’ll say my journey has been exciting. I’ve been doing this for a while and it’s all coming together. There’s been ups and downs, but it’s been an interesting ride. The goal however, still remains, let people get introduced to my music and let them enjoy what I do. That’s the goal.Photo Credit: Instagram