Imani Chyle – Interview

Imani Chyle is coming for the crown. This regal singer/songwriter has worked on the front lines of music for over 20 years, “breaking genres with her music” (Urban Twist magazine). Chyle has created great opportunities for herself with her strong business acumen – such as licensing her songs to ESPN’s late night talk show “Unite” – and has learned to take nothing for granted.

What is your name?    Imani Chyle

Where are you from?    Houston, Texas

How long have you been making music?   I’ve been stomping the music grounds for a little over 20 years. I’m ripe and ready!

Can you tell us about your latest release and the background and inspirations behind it?   My most recent release is “Lose myself “I wrote it through pain. It was inspired when business turned into greed. After financing my project in full, chaos and threats of holding my record and masters for more money were made. Once I paid all invoices, I was told afterwards that I wasn’t getting my project mixed or mastered without more money. I was shocked, hurt, disappointed, and felt bullied, but lesson learned. My trust was broken, because I paid what we agreed upon with extras. I am passionate about my music so this was very serious. That on top of other let downs around the same time gave birth to “Lose Myself.” I booked a studio session at IllMuzik studios in Los Angeles and LA based producer Toni Rox helped me arrange it. So again, my message through this song is push forward through the pain. No matter what the enemy tried to do, I will never lose myself. The song is currently trending and ESPN licensed it! BAM!!

How have you ended up in the music industry?   I have been surrounded by music all of my life, and started singing initially (when I was 6), until the age of around 15 when I began to write my own songs as well. During family gatherings my uncle Larry would be on the turntables jamming, the moment he played Patti LaBelle’s Lady Marmalade, I would beg them to let me sing on the mic. I was inspired to write my first song when a childhood friend (age 13) died from a game of Russian roulette. The moment was frightening and she was like my blood sister. I wrote a tribute song and named it after her, “Sharanda.” Right up until 18 I wanted to do more, I started taking things seriously and started to get a taste for rap. I learned how to play a little bit of keyboards, invested into a radio, cassette tapes and a Casio keyboard, and I started working with it. I played around with it for a few months and I slowly started to make songs. I began to write more, hang out and battle with rappers in the local club circuit and noticed that people really liked my style.  At that point I decided I was ready to pursue my career. I was certain that my passion was to write, perform, and make great songs. I started a female rap group called 2aggrivated with my good friend LaTonya Reed! A month after forming the group and recording our first demo, we were lucky enough to land a deal with Profile Records in the late 90’s.

Things took a turn for the worst, bad management and mishandling of recording advances were abused and caused us to be dropped off the label. We tried to save our deal by travelling to Port Author, TX and working with the late Pimp C (R.I.P) and BunB of UGK but it never worked. Management was more like a damager instead of a manager, but we were blessed to work with the Underground Kings. Eventually, I went solo and moved to Atlanta, GA, and later decided to relocate to Los Angeles, CA. This was primarily because I thought I needed to push myself out of the ‘Big Box’, where, to be honest, the music and entertainment scene really is. From that move my career thrusted forward and I’ve been rolling ever since.

What do you think of the music industry in 2014?   I feel it has changed significantly good and bad. Good because there are many tools and resources to help independent artist excel, reach the masses and spread their talents and music with the world. Today’s industry is all about work more and be more involved in the business aspect of your career. The bad part is it has lost some old school values, and most of today’s music sucks. I’m an artist and music lover and I swear I can’t take listening to radio because most music today has lost its touch. I can say so much more but I’ll save that for a seminar.

Who do you think is the most influential artist?   Bono of U2. I love his purpose, mind-set and movement.

Dead or alive, who would be your dream collaboration?    Oh wow I can’t just name one! With all due respect to those who passed away, I would have loved to have worked with Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Tupac, and Amy Winehouse. In the land of the living I would love to colab with Stevie Nicks, Annie Lenoxx, Bono, Sting, Linkin Park, Lenny Kravitz, BunB, Kendrick Lamar, Rah Digga, Lauryn Hill, Dr. Dre, Andre of Outkast, Eminem, Rihanna, Erykah Badu and international artist PSQUARE and ZapMama. Ok I’m done. I think! (laughs)

What was the first album you bought?   My aunt bought me the “Off the wall” album by Michael Jackson along with the glove and the jacket. I was Mrs. Michael Jackson. (Laughs)

What’s your favourite song at the moment?   I’m going to swing international and say Alingo by the Nigerian duo PSQUARE! I work out to it, dance to it, and it just gets me going. They Rock!! Catch up!

Who is the most influential artist now, and 10 years ago?    Though Beyonce is currently ranked as the most influential artist and that’s great especially since she’s from the hometown (Houston, TX) and I respect her work ethic, it’s amazing. I would have to say for me, Bon Jovi. They are still selling out stadiums now, 10 years ago and years before that. We also share a similar vision by securing housing for the homeless. That moves me and influences me and should influence all to step up and catch up!

If you had to sell your music collection tomorrow, what album would you leave in your draw?   Prince, Purple Rain Album

How do you think you differ from other artists?   I honestly can’t say how I differ. I just know that I’m different and in my own my lane, but I leave that for you and the rest of the world to judge.

What is your favourite saying?    Let’s goooo!! Let’s keep it moving! (laughs)

What other hobbies or interests do you have?   I have a passion for Graphic design, business development and charity work. I hope to do many great things in my future.

Do you have any tattoos or piercings?    I’m not sure how the question relates to music but nope, I have no markings. I can’t stand needles in no fashion! I love me just the way I am!

Tell us more about this new project?   Well I feel that I created something Magical with my producer Lovechild Productions and I can’t wait for the rest of the world to catch on this Chylefire!

What’s in the pipeline after this project?    Well, I am keeping busy and will continue to focus on branding Imani Chyle. I plan to remain extremely strong and never be stagnant. I am hoping to break “Lose Myself” on mainstream radio before the year ends and hopefully shoot 4 music videos. I will also be recording 6 new tunes which will all be captured on camera by TBJ Productions for my new Video EPK and my upcoming Webisode series called “SoulRock Saturdays.” It’s a way to get close with my fans and open my world to them up close. I love my supporters and I hope to be touring in front of audiences around the world soon. My growing fan base is the number one priority for me because they’re the ones who will make or break me. I want to keep them happy. My next performance is at the Viper Room in Hollywood, CA Nov 16th. I want it to be magical for everybody that attends. Whether they’ve known me from day one or they’re just finding out about Imani Chyle, I want it to be spectacular. I want them to remember Imani Chyle as the Queen of SoulRock.

Thank you for your time and may you carry on making dope, fresh music.

Thank you as well for supporting me I am always humbled and appreciate of all who help me spread the word about my music! You guys definitely SOULROCK!