By: Rachel Ombok
Chxrry22, rising R&B star and Toronto native, just released her debut EP The Other Side, which touches on some of the most personal battles she deals with in her life such as heartbreak, dwelling on past relationships, and relationship conflict. The seven tracks on the album include “Alone,” “Wasteland,” “Do it Again,” “Call Me,” “The Falls,” “Us” and, “The Other Side”. At a recent press conference Chxrry22 talks about her recent rising star into the music world, what it’s like to be a signed artist, and how she stands out to other R&B acts.
Chxrry22, also known as Lydia, was born in Toronto to a traditionally Christian Ethiopian family. Growing up she recalls there was always music playing in the home, and always opportunities for her to sing and show-off her talents. Her mom would often encourage herto sing at friend’s and family’s birthdays and other events, which helped her get comfortable with performing at an early age.
When she decided to take her music interests more seriously, she started posting videos of herself singing on social media, which went viral in 2017, and led to her landing a record deal with The Weeknd’s label XO Records. Soon after she moved to Atlanta at the age of 20 and has been on her music journey since, which has led up to the release of her EP. She gives us an insight on how she views herself on modern R&B and what her goals are in standing out.
Where do you think you fit in modern R&B? How do you make sure you standout to new acts?
Chxrry22: “I think R&B has changed a lot over the years, and even though it’s changed from much of its old essence, it’s not really what it used to be like. Folk mixed with alternative music … some people like rap in their songs… the cadences can be so different too… but for me I don’t know if I necessarily “fit in” anywhere but I don’t think anyone really fits in, everyone has their own sound, I don’t think R&B has one sound anymore”
“I’ve never thought about how I stand out, I’ve just always felt being from Canada I’m always the most different person in the room, whether I want to be or not [laughs]… but I definitely always try to push the envelope and talk about things that not everybody talks about, I try to write differently… I try to be conscious of sounding different and writing different”
At the end of the conference we got to watch her music video for her single “Call Me”, which Chxrry22 gives us a unique behind the scenes look at how the video came to be.
Chxrry22: “‘Call Me’ was on the fly, it was originally supposed to be a photoshoot. We were just like why don’t we just record a video too? We did it all in two nights, and then we put it all together, flew out to LA and shot some of it there, and that was it. Very spontaneous.”
Listen to The Other Side Here
Watch “Call Me” Here
Watch “The Falls” Here