CHAI talk the importance of fans, stolen trailers and their latest album ‘Wink’
May 23rd 2022
Like many artists during the pandemic, Japanese all-female ‘Neo Kawaii’ rock group CHAI found that the stay at home restrictions altered their usual process of creating music. They used this as an opportunity to not only change the direction of their latest album WINK, but to celebrate their listeners. They told Kana Frazer about it on Mornings last week.
Although CHAI had never made music at home, the solo recording sessions imposed by the pandemics gave each member time for introspection and reflection. This would become the driving force behind WINK.
“Usually we would go to the studio and all do a session…But this time we had to stay at home and with COVID, we all had time to review ourselves, look back and reflect on ourselves individually and that played a part in making the whole album.”
The dramatic change in sounds from maximalist hyper-pop in their previous music, to the more minimalist and personal lyricism seen in WINK can also be attributed to both the personal process and outside contributors.
“CHAI always feel that music is their best friend in their lives, so we made Wink hoping that the album could become everyone’s best friend… This album was made not only by CHAI but also other musicians… So friends from Australia, America, all over the place.”
The collaborative nature of CHAI’s latest release exemplifies how the band cultivates a community around their music. They’ve worked to place their fans at the forefront of the project in spite of any geographical distance that might exist.
Talking about the video for their latest single ‘SURPRISE’, CHAI fully came to appreciate the power of fan support. The group’s trailer was stolen during their 2022 tour with US singer Mitski. Their fans raised more than $10,000 on GoFundMe in in response – something CHAI celebrate and showcase in the ‘SURPRISE’ video.
“As they say the show must go on and so even though their trailer did get stolen they were able to continue the tour because of everyone’s support and that was the appreciation put into the music video as well.”
Listen to CHAI’s new album ‘Wink’ below and check out the interview with Kana Frazer up top.