CHIKA Reinvents the Fairytale with New Album: 'Once Upon a Time'
“Hickory Dickory Dock / This Shit a Bippity Bop”
If you thought Mother Goose was the queen of rhymes, you were wrong. Since The Cultural Reset's coverage of CHIKA’s first EP: 'INDUSTRY GAMES', her inevitable success has continued to cast a spell over us and sweep us off our feet. Borrowing inspiration from classic nursery rhymes (specifically Cinderella and Hickery Dickery Dock) CHIKA narrates her own fairytale. At 24, coming off the high of being a Grammy-nominated artist and signing with Warner Music Group, she released ONCE UPON A TIME: A crusade towards something bigger. Something brighter.
FAIRYTALE’s introductory trumpets swing us into a high as BJ The Chicago Kid proposes our protagonist, CHIKA. Though she is widely inspired by the whimsical tales we all know, the version she tells is like none we’ve heard before. This new and real story speaks to the faults most others ignore.
“No heroes inside a book look like me, I don't ever mourn my childhood, Know my folks is happy that they child good, Imperative a narrative reflect what's up in my hood.”
Picking up to the verse that will rock your carriage, CHIKA spits the riddles and rhymes into a web of truths.
Now that CHIKA has found herself in her own fable, it seems she is searching the stars and realizing her destiny for fame. HICKORY DICKORY brings us into the realm of CHIKA, which is very much tethered to her reality yet skewed and more fantastical. Over a string of backup vocals and an interpretation of the classic 'Hickory Dickory Dock' tune, CHIKA announces her truth while calling out those who are trying to benefit from her talent and the bittersweet symphony that is fame. The clock is ticking and it's only getting closer to infamy in CHIKA’s mind.
CINDERELLA, Pt. 1 is an anthology of a song, detailing out the moments before, between and after meeting her heart’s desire. CHIKA catches the feels in CINDERELLA, Pt 1. While trying to keep her cool with a quick smoke break she waits for Cinderella to make their move, but instead finds that some foes are getting on her case.
Swept up by the happily ever after, CINDERELLA, Pt. 2 features CHIKA’s soothing melodic voice. This dreamlike scene is filled with angelic voices, a smooth baseline and chimes that carry on throughout the song. The lyrical lullaby sets a scene of calm, comfort and compassion that brings a moment of serenity to the EP. But once the gossamer between dream and reality rips, this song lifts one up into a bubble, and drifts without coherence of time or space.
This EP blows away all 'once upon a time narratives' that have been white-washed and gentrified over the years. Whilst telling her story, CHIKA aims to break the mold of what a fairytale is supposed to be and injects it with a sense of 21st-century diversity.
CHIKA’s perspective brings a new happily ever after to the masses that we haven't seen or heard before, and for that reason, she is a cultural resetter. While she may not have had a yellow brick road to follow she has found her way to the Emerald City. She is our hero, our protagonist, our knight in shining armor, our cultural resetter helping to reimagine not only her own story but keep the book open for all others to follow. Spinning her life experiences into a spool of golden thread ONCE UPON A TIME may not rock you to sleep, but will bibbidi bobbidi boo you under CHIKA’s spell.
Stream "ONCE UPON A TIME"
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