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CHAII Releases Her Genre-Bending Debut EP 'Lightswitch'

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Genre-bending New Zealand-based Persian rapper CHAII expresses her diverse creative powers on her debut extended-player Lightswitch-a bold six-track visual EP showcasing sounds and footage from Oman to Joshua Tree. With the release of her debut EP, CHAII is ready to take her place on the world stage and is rapidly making an impression as an exciting new talent to keep an eye on. Stream her Lightswitch EP here:

Despite her sudden arrival, CHAII's music has already attracted the attention of Italian fashion brand FENDI, mixed martial arts organization UFC and Charlize Theron's new film The Old Guard, which drops globally on Netflix today. In June, CHAII was announced as the first-ever Spotify RADAR artist in New Zealand. RADAR is the streaming giant's global emerging-artist platform, which helped launch international stars including Lauv, King Princess, Jorja Smith, G-Eazy and Trippie Redd. Inspiration for the Lightswitch visual EP came from CHAII's journey of learning more about Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution. The resulting upheaval forced countless creative talents, including musicians, actors and artists, to leave Iran and relocate to California after their work was banned in their homeland. Forty years later, California remains home to the largest Persian music community outside of Iran. Of this inspiration, CHAII said, "I am part of the new generation of Iranian immigrants who are creating music outside of Iran. Coming from New Zealand, where there's a very small Persian community that you barely see or hear from, it was a revelation to experience the perfect blend of Western and Persian influences when I first visited LA to see family".

The title track and EP opener "Lightswitch"--produced by Frank Keys, mixed by Grammy-winner Jaycen Joshua (Rosalia, A$AP Rocky, Nicki Minaj)--is a neon-soaked, dance-floor filler that calls out fake culture. CHAII explains that the song " about the raw realness in everything, being true to yourself and how obvious it is when people are fake". In the video, the Kiwi rapper explores the contrast and division between neighborhoods in LA, as she patrols Santa Monica beach on a technicolor bicycle, before landing in the desert rocking a visor-and-jumpsuit combo that sits somewhere between Black Mirror and Coachella 2029.

A hypnotic thump announces the arrival of the EP's second track "Nobody Know" --produced by CHAII and Soraya LaPread, mixed by Sylvia Massy (Alanis Morrisette, Tool). CHAII drops a distinctive freestyle that was originally meant as a guide vocal, before an unreleased demo of the song landed on the desk of famed music supervisor Julia Michels. She swiftly added the track to underpin an epic fight scene on Netflix's new Charlize Theron film The Old Guard.

"Middle Ground," produced by Frank Keys and mixed by award-winning engineer Chris van de Geer, is a three-part art-piece that provides a commentary on an artist's struggle and eventual triumph over the self-doubt that so often plagues creators. CHAII says of the inspiration behind the song, "I was once told that the high and low feelings in life are a reflection of your thoughts and subconscious - they are not real, nor should we be aiming for them. The middle, however, is a state that is true and constant".

Closing out the EP is CHAII's debut single "South," which was picked up by FENDI to launch their FENDIVA brand earlier this year, followed by Rolling Stone Australia's 'Song of the Week' "Digebasse" featuring Nigerian-Australian rapper B Wise, and her most recent single "Trouble," which soundtracked CHAII's announcement of her inclusion in Spotify's RADAR program.

CHAII self-directed and produced all the EP videos, filmed 'guerrilla style' with her small crew of friends - Brooke Tyson (stylist), Abe Mora (DOP) and Frank Keys (behind the scenes). Speaking of the experience of shooting the stunning visuals to the Lightswitch EP across both Oman and California, CHAII comments, "We captured so much of the spirit of my early childhood memories of the Middle East in the videos for 'South', 'Digebasse' and 'Trouble', and to film the videos for 'Lightswitch', 'Nobody Know' and 'Middle Ground' in California, the home of the largest Persian music community outside of Iran, felt like the perfect place with the right mood for this project".

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