An interview with the singer
As many of my friends already know, back in the day I was a hardcore Drake fan. I stumbled across Room for Improvement on YouTube back in 2007 and I started listening to everything. From Thank Me Later to Comeback Season. I knew all the lyrics. I knew all the lingo. I even started watching Degrassi and let me tell you, it’s not all hype. That show was the bomb! I began opening myself up to a world of underground hip-hop, a hidden sphere of RnB and neo-soul that I never really had the chance to explore before. I was introduced to a number of artists I had never even heard of. From the laid back lyrical flow of Virginia rapper and producer Nickelus F in The Grind and A Scorpio’s Mind, to the placid sounds of vocalist Voyce in Smile. I grew to love the classic samples and witty rhymes of hip-hop’s beloved group Little Brother, the soul of Dwele and finally one of the QUEENS of underground soul – Choklate.
Overdose was the first time I heard Choklate sing. Her sultry vocals, her runs and her indie-essence in the track was enough to put me in a musical trance, as I became immersed in psychedelic soul. Drake’s witty and upbeat bars also added to the sound making it an unforgettable track. Choklate’s voice sounded like liquid to me, it really flowed. I began exploring her music and her sound in more depth, which is how I found Grown Folks which features a cameo from Malcolm-Jamal Warner, who you may know as Theo Huxtable from The Cosby Show.
Choklate surely knows how to dominate a track with her soulful aura and deserves credit for doing so. She has also demonstrated her ability to manipulate her voice on a faster tempo and does so in Sun’s Out, where she get’s us up and grooving ready to take on the day ahead.
Who is Choklate? Tell the readers a bit the woman behind the soulful vocals.
I’m an artist, a woman, a cook, a baby sister, an auntie, a singer-songwriter, a bike rider, a horse lover, a baby of seven and a spiritual seeker. I’m working on being the kind of person I want to encounter out in the world.
I love how you maintain your authenticity despite changes in the music industry. How would you describe your sound?
To be honest, I have never been able to answer this question. I feel like I sound like me. At least I hope I do.
Overdose ft Drake was actually the first time I heard you sing, a couple years back. How did it come about and what was the inspiration behind the track?
That track was specifically about my addiction to music. I wish I could give up and walk away sometimes, but I often find myself remembering words from the folks who’ve spoken into my life with encouragement – people I look up to that tell me never to quit. Overdose was about the sheer and utter bliss of an unabashed addiction to music. Tha Bizness produced it and it was Henry’s mischievous mind that put that together. Glad he did. It’s one of my favourite songs and Drake verses.
Mine too! I’ve since heard an array of classics from you. You’ve got songs with the likes of Musiq Soulchild, Phonte and Rapper Big Pooh. Who would you like to collab with that you haven’t already?
I would love to collab with Anderson Paak. He’s an Aquarius, his cadence and the way he rides a track’s beat is so dope to me. We’re both Aquarians, I think the session and content would be vibe heavy. I would also love to collab with Van Hunt, The Internet, ApxMusic, Anthony David, Terrace Martin and Robert Glasper. In my dreams it would be…Isaac Hayes, Sam Cooke, Willie Hitch and many more. Those guys were pure magic.
Almost every artist I’ve interviewed said they want to collab with .Paak. He is one of my favourite artists. His talent definitely doesn’t go unnoticed. What advice can you give to black women reading this who are struggling to breakout into the music industry?
Don’t try to break in. Just be and embrace yourself and let the chips fall where they may. Maybe the industry isn’t as glamorous as you think and freedom in the industry is definitely only available to a small select few. Indie is where it’s at.
Unfortunately, there is a lot going on in the world at the moment. In the U.K. we are still recovering from the Grenfell tower tragedy and recent events. In America, many are fighting for black lives to matter. Many feel forgotten and neglected by a government whose main purpose is to represent the people. Can you shed some light on any of these issues? What is your opinion?
The world is a sick place. Especially America. We are not what the constitution speaks of and we’re declining. We’re missing love, compassion and a hunger for peace as a country. We are hell bent on war and dysfunction. My opinion is that nothing lasts forever, so something’s gotta give.
That’s true. Can you give us any clues about any upcoming music? What can we expect from you in the near future?
My new music is nothing like I’ve ever done. I’m scared sh*tless, but I really love it and I’m very proud of it. I can’t wait to share it.
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