The dream is just beginning for 19 year old ChianoSky who is set to release her debut album ‘Hungry” through EMI Records. ChianoSky’s 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 high school before matriculating, 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.My manager 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 and with the help of people like my mom, and some key characters in my life, that dream has become a reality for me. I definitely placed 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 feel about everything that is happening in my life at the moment. I am starved for experience, hungry for it, and I am willing to fight for it. That’s really what this album represents for me,” says ChianoSky.
ChianoSky has already had 3 major singles playlisted nationwide, ‘Sick Sick’, ‘Walking Away’ and her current single ‘Home Sweet Home’.
Her first single ‘Sick Sick’ solidified her as a firm favourite amongst SA audiences.
“I wrote the lyric for the hook, “the closest thing to my lips is my lipstick” and I sent it along to Andre Scheepers, who I had been doing some writing with. The song came together so naturally, which was such a great sign we were on the right path. 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 is about a different aspect of me, and the journey I have been on”, she notes. “Songs like ‘Walking Away’ epitomized a time of my life where I was hurt and vulnerable, and needed to get away from a really bad situation. 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, Adele and especially Amy Winehouse. ChianoSky has found an original voice and style all her own.
One of the crowning moments of ChianoSky’s journey was working 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 sides 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, it’s a very personal project and I know what I want,” she adds.
With downloads and piracy playing such a big part in the music business these days, I wanted to try create a physical package that people would really want to spend their money on. I’ve put every single effort into every aspect of it. I want the fans to have something worth the money they are going to pay”.
‘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.
‘Uncrumple My Heart’ is another one of my favourites that I worked on with Pete “Boxsta” Martin. It’s all sultry dark French beats and sets the mood perfectly” she says.
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.
“My mom named me, after a friend of hers Luciano, so Chiano has Italian roots. My mom was also a bit eccentric and artistic, and she always used to say the sky is not the limit, so that’s where ChianoSky was born.
ChianoSky, a mere 19 years old, is being true to her namesake.