Kazi Approved: Chi Ume, Rollin’ Records’ Hidden Gem

There are not many people who can say they are close to multiplatinum super producer Sonny Digital. Chi Ume just so happens to be one of those select few who can. When they met in Atlanta for the first time their West African background and genuine energy created an instant bond. Since day 1 they have been able to kick it like siblings. Sonny does not trust many people, so for them to hit it off as they did, their relationship had to be special.

Born to Nigerian parents, Chi thought she only had two choices: be a lawyer or a doctor. The Boston raised artist started off in the military once she left highschool. Once she realized that was not the route for her she transitioned to college in Atlanta. Moving around in Atlanta led to her meeting Sonny and the rest is history. Fast forward to now, Chi is flawlessly balancing school, studio time, and vibrant social life. Although it is tough, Chi Ume makes it look easy because she is so determined to succeed in life.

Everyone in the Rollin Records collective speaks so highly of her work ethic and drive to be successful. I was lucky enough to connect with her to discuss her debut single “Blu”, from her project SYN that comes out in October. The album title is short for synesthesia, a perceptual phenomenon that directly links certain colors to specific sounds, numbers, or letters for certain people. Many great artists like Kanye, Pharrell, and Beyonce have all been linked to this term.

When asked to describe who she was, Chi Ume explained that she has two sides–feminine and tomboy. Her music is chill and is nothing like the female rap that is out now. She is just very down to earth and hella goofy.

As we all know, Atlanta is the home to many stars at the moment. Chi Ume says it is a blessing; Sonny Digital stamped her after they linked in front of Magic City. She knew she had to put in the work and be patient. Fifty hours a week in the studio. She feels like she has grown so much and figured out what she wants to say in her music.

It is clear that women are essentially running the game right now. Chi Ume likes an artist that is a lyricist, and that is what gets her going. “Nicki Minaj was my favorite artist growing up. Right now I am listening to Lady London & Meg Thee Stallion. “

Chi Ume was excited to speak about her inspirations. She went on to exclaim, “Honestly, music-wise, life inspires me. I write about how I feel. When I see the female artist who is going now, it inspires me more. Drake is my favorite artist right now. He has such a dope balance. My favorite Drake project has to be either Take Care or NTWS.”

When asked if it is hard to work with men because they sometimes cannot separate work from pleasure she had interesting commentary. Chi Ume stated “I go out a lot because it helps. Early on, the assumptions were there. It is unfair, but real women have to prove their worth before being taken seriously.” Chi is not interested in being solely a sex symbol, she wants her talent to shine through because she knows she has much more to offer than a pretty face.

Chi Ume went on to explain that “as a youth, being Nigerian, it is either be a doctor or lawyer. I just did not know where to start but now I know what to do. It has been a year since I started taking it seriously. My first love was fashion but now music is my main goal. A couple of years back, Chi used to make cross-body bags that were worn by artists like worn by Bia, Earthgang, and Dreezy.” She may decide to pick back up on fashion design but only after she has cemented herself in the music industry.

Lastly, Chi has plans to put out a couple of singles, do performances and build a solid fan base. She would love to perform a bit more in the near future. Check out her single below and stay tuned for her project SYN coming out after in October.

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