Date Te rā
Saturday, 19 August, 06:45PM
Location Te wāhiThe Cloud
CHAII has been busy, rapidly building a strong following for herself through an intense live set and multiple projects. 2019 is the year she hit the siren, leaving a lasting impact with her maiden single 'Digebasse (Enough)', part one of a three-pronged project titled 'Safar (Journey)', filmed in Oman and projecting from her strong Middle Eastern roots. With a background in film and visual arts, you can feel the synergy between the music and visuals translated in her 'somewhat experimental approach' to it all.
Genre-bending Persian/New Zealand rapper CHAII expresses her diverse creative powers on her debut extended-player Lightswitch-a bold six-track visual EP showcasing sounds and footage from Oman to Joshua Tree. With the release of her debut EP, CHAII is ready to take her place on the world stage and is rapidly making an impression as an exciting new talent to keep an eye on.
Despite her sudden arrival, CHAII's music has already attracted the attention of Italian fashion brand FENDI, mixed martial arts organisation UFC and Charlize Theron's new film The Old Guard,out on Netflix. In June, CHAII was announced as the first-ever Spotify RADAR artist in New Zealand. RADAR is the streaming giant's global emerging-artist platform, which helped launch international stars including Lauv, King Princess, Jorja Smith, G-Eazy and Trippie Redd.
Inspiration for the Lightswitch visual EP came from CHAII's journey of learning more about Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution. The resulting upheaval forced countless creative talents, including musicians, actors and artists, to leave Iran and relocate to California after their work was banned in their homeland. Forty years later, California remains home to the largest Persian music community outside of Iran.
At the age of eight, CHAII migrated to New Zealand from Iran. Her first real taste for rap music was through Eminem, who at the time had just released 'The Real Slim Shady'. Quickly growing an interest in his music, she found herself rapping Eminem songs before being able to speak English properly. "Mr Eminem was my English teacher", she recounts.
At the age of 11, CHAII started to write her own rhymes to express everything she was feeling, from being confused between cultures to adapting to a new life. In high school, CHAII began to make beats to put to her rhymes. It was then that she realised her strong love for all aspects of music, from producing, writing, recording and mixing.
After years of experimenting and finding her sound, she has just started to release what she calls "the closest music to me and who I am."
Location Te wāhi
The CloudPlan your route
Getting there Te huarahi ki reira
The Cloud is located at Queen’s Wharf next to Shed 10 – its distinctive shape makes it hard to miss. Buses and trains are accessible via Britomart Station, located across Quay Street from the venue.
Local tip He tīwhiri mō te rohe
If driving, paid parking at Britomart and Downtown Car Parks are the closest. Save cash by using public transport, taxi or rideshare – there’s even a car drop-off right outside the entrance of The Cloud.