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Public Enemy said don’t believe the hype. But when it comes to the new pop singer, ChianoSky, you might just have to.
It’s been a week since the 19-year-old’s debut album Hungry was released and she’s looking to feed off the crowd’s energy when she performs at The Assembly in Cape Town tonight.
Cognisant of the fact that this club is known for giving the stage to dance and dubstep DJs and, sometimes, left-field rappers, ChianoSky says: “I am going to add my own elements to the show and I know people love to dance, but sometimes you have to stop dancing and take in something else. The album is hip and I know someone in the audience will be able to relate to the weird and fun elements of my music.”
The album is a mixture of strong pop hits, soft rock and an edge that can only be attributed to a youthful abandon of the norm. The tracks Sick Sick, Walking Away and Home Sweet Home have already been on high rotation on national radio stations.
ChianoSky wrote most of the songs and her break-up with someone she was fond of fuelled the lyrics that speaks of unrequited love and men who really just need to grow up.
“It’s strange,” she tells me. “When I was having the meeting with EMI about working together, I was dating someone and it didn’t work out. So he gave me the ammo I needed to write the album this way. He’s probably hitting his head against the wall now, but he gave me my Adele moments,” she laughs out loud.
ChianoSky also got to work with popular producer Pete “Boxsta” Martin, in the home of Big Ben.
“That was my first time going anywhere outside of SA,” this former waitress gushes.
“Working with Pete was amazing. He just thinks in terms of all these musical elements. I also got to work with Jon Shave who worked on Jessie J’s Do it Like a Dude. I learnt a lot from him, like I got to know a new side to me and what I can do with my music.”
This bubbly young ’un has also learnt to hold onto her jazz-influenced voice and her name.
“My mom had a friend called Luciano and she really fell in love with the ‘Chiano’ sound and always believed the sky was not the limit for me so she named me ChianoSky,” she explains.
The singer also admits she had a tough time during her primary and National School of the Arts days because of her odd name.
“But,” she laughs, “at least I don’t have to think of a stage name.”
And with a powerful pop album under her belt, she doesn’t have to worry about her career, either.
• ChianoSky, at The Assembly, Harrington St, in Cape Town, today. R10 ladies, R20 guys.