Chxrry22 starting 2024 with break out shows in support of great new album

Toronto R&B artist to tour Australia with her mentor, The Weeknd



Genre: R&B

If you like: The Weeknd, Maeta, Nia Sultanna
Best track: More
Release date: Out now
Rating: NNNN (out of 5)
Next: Upcoming Australia and New Zealand tour with The Weeknd in early 2024
Why you should listen:
Whether you want to turn up at a party or be in your feelings alone, Siren has a range of songs for every occasion. Chxrry22 is a rising star who has a fearless approach to her music and is willing to take risks and experiment with new sounds and beats, and this unpredictability is what makes her so exciting.

This time last year, rising R&B artist Chxrry22 had only just released her debut EP, The Other Side. A year later she’s collaborating with Offset from Migos and opening for The Weeknd — whom she now counts as a mentor — for his stadium tour of Australia and New Zealand. Plus, she has just dropped her excellent second EP, Siren.

The artist, who was raised by Ethiopian immigrants in Scarborough, first went viral in 2017 as she uploaded covers on social media. She eventually caught the attention of fellow Torontonian The Weeknd and became the first female artist to sign for his XO Records. Despite the rapid rise to fame recently, Chxrry22 doesn’t feel like an overnight success.

“I don’t think there’s ever been a breakthrough moment. It has just been a series of moments,” says Chxrry22 via Zoom. “The more you do, and the more fans get to know you, and the more you break through to them, then they feel more connected to you.”

The recently released Siren is a captivating EP that showcases Chxrry22’s beautiful vocals, her confidence and her versatility in tackling different moods throughout her music. Unlike her previous release, Chxrry22 puts her vocals at the forefront on her new EP.

“This time around, I wanted to make music that was a little more upbeat and had more energy. I wanted to make stuff you could hear at a party, because I’m always at parties, so I want to hear my song in the club or on a boat. I wanted a song for every mood.”

Chxrry22 puts a different spin on R&B and writes about how “messed up” she or a situation can be, and that is where her vulnerability stems from.

This vulnerability can be seen throughout the album, especially on the brief track, Around.

Around is like a drunk voicemail and you regret it in the morning. I didn’t want to make it too long,” she says. “These are things you shouldn’t say to somebody. You don’t say four minutes’ worth of drunk thought. It’s usually like a minute of something you shouldn’t say and then you’re like, ‘Oh, fuck — I sent it.’”

Working with Grammy-winning rapper Vory as well as Offset is huge for the rising star.

“I was shocked that Offset agreed to do it,” she. “I was really happy because I think he was the perfect addition to the project. I wanted that aggressive tone and perspective.”

Collaborating with world-class rappers has also helped Chxrry22 develop as an artist as she observes their cadence and storytelling and looks to bring that to her own R&B style.

“Rappers have a way of keeping you intrigued while telling a story. They can make a song about something so deep and personal, but because the beat and the cadence is fun, you don’t actually realize that it is a sad song,” says Chxrry22. “So, I tried to do that a lot with my music. I’ll say some really fucked up things, but you won’t realize it because of the cadence and the way it sounds just fun.”

When navigating through the unpredictability and difficulties of the music industry, there can be no better guide than a global superstar who has been there and done that.

As part of the XO Records roster, Chxrry22 counts The Weeknd as a mentor and he is always a phone call away if she ever needs advice. However, some of the best moments of inspiration have come from just simply watching him from afar.

“Just based on his music and work ethic alone, I take a lot of inspiration from that,” she says. “It’s out there for everyone to see, he’s a living example of what a great artist is and how you should go about music and how you should work.”

Chxrry22’s being a support act for The Weeknd’s upcoming stadium tour of Australia and New Zealand — which has been postponed to next year — is another major step. She calls this a “surreal” moment but an exciting opportunity to perfect her craft on the biggest stages.

She recalls how inspiring it was to see The Weeknd’s homecoming show in Toronto last year at a sold-out Rogers Centre.

“It’s insane. Just knowing where we come from and how many years he’s put into this. It’s just so inspiring, and it makes me want to keep going,” she recalls. “I can’t quit because this is 10 years in the making.”

You Might Also Like

Music / Album Reviews

Cadence Weapon wants the win

Cadence Weapon's 'Rollercoaster' demands respect

By Adriel Smiley