Chikaya – Descend

Neo soul/down-tempo R&B has gone along time without an undisputed queen. I mean in the late 90’s/early 2000’s we had Erykah Badu. But since her supremacy dwindled, its been a bit quiet on the alternative soul front. However of recent, America has seen artists sprout up that definitely fall from Badu’s tree. But they have evolved the genre and added an electronic edge to the sound, with artists such as Abra, Tommy Genesis and Doja Cat,┬ábringing it to new levels. We also see these artistic songstresses coming out of the UK, like Bristol’s own Chikaya, a blue haired artist with an affinity for all things cosmic. For the last year, Chikaya and her producer (also her flatmate) have been developing their electronic sound and this culminated in her 6 track EP Descend.

Other than music, Chikaya has a deep love of old school sci-fi movies and cosmic pixel art, as well as Hans Zimmer’s work and all of these influences are ever present on her debut project. The first track reflects her nature in essence. “Symmetry” possesses an electronic beat that is an absolute vibe, with its bouncy marimba synths and snappy snare and kick and she proceeds to lace it with atmospheric vocals about how she’s one with her boo in perfect symmetry. The next one is dubby, and the hazy production induces one into a dream like state. With its sci-fi ambiance and her celestial singing, “Body” has a steamy and sensual aura, concerning that body to body touch.

She continues the atmospheric waves with “Ice”. The production is cold, with wobbly 808s and she sits atop the bouncy plateau and soulfully croons about that chilly sensation that runs through your vein, when touched by the one you love. As we move further up the track list, we come upon “Satellites”, a lofi cut that sounds like an early Weeknd production. Chikaya smoothly glides across the alien like instrumental, using Satellites as a metaphor for how far her love can extend. “Motive” is in-line with the feel of the previous numbers, in that its sounds like it was transported from Mars. Its thematic space odyssey production puts you in that zone, as if you have been teleported to the Nirvana state.

We are now at the final stop with “Islands”, an epic closer and another science fiction like production. Chikaya’s enchanting voice has caused me to completely lose sense of time. Its flown by. We are now on planet Chikaya, descending down to ground zero. Through the tape she lead us on a galactic voyage including soulful vocals, electronic vibes and love themed ballads, which she sang exceptionally well. The future is bright for the young star, so make to check her out before she goes into supernova.

Written by /
Published /
August 31
Category /
Album Review