Chika is going up against Doja Cat, Phoebe Bridgers and more for the 2021 Grammys’ Best New Artist title. Learn more about the talented rapper who is loved on Spotify and social media!
Chika may be up for the 2021 Grammy Awards’ Best New Artist honor, but her name’s certainly not “new” to her devoted fan base. The talented artist has millions of streams on Spotify, over one million Instagram followers and has commanded the attention of music greats like Sean “Diddy” Combs. Many more people will be learning about this rapper-on-the-rise on Sunday night as she goes up against Megan Thee Stallion, Doja Cat, Noah Cyrus, Kaytranada, Phoebe Bridgers and Ingrid Andress for the Best New Artist title.
Chika (full name Jane Chika Oranika) is not just a rapper and singer. She’s an actress (you can catch her as a high school student in the Netflix movie Project Power), modeled in Calvin Klein’s #MyCalvins campaign and is an activist. Before tuning into tonight’s award show, here’s what else you should know about Chika:
Chika Releases Songs In The Hip-Hop/Rap Genre
Chika — sometimes stylized as CHIKA — rapped throughout her childhood. She started uploading to SoundCloud in 2015, where she often posted original tracks and covers of hit songs. However, her big breakthrough came in 2019 when she released her debut single “No Squares” and signed to Warner Records.
Chika’s most streamed songs on Spotify are “Industry Games,” “Songs About You” and “FWB” (each have millions of streams). She is known for her vulnerability and hard-hitting lyrics, whether she is rapping and singing about love, sexuality, her body, politics and other raw topics. Case in point: her song “Richey v. Alabama” condemned her home state’s abortion bill, which Lena Waithe invited Chika to perform on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Chika has released three EPs so far. Her most recent one, Once Upon a Time, arrived just two days before the 2021 Grammys.
For Those Wondering How Old Chika Is, She Is Very Young
Chika, who was born in March of 1997, celebrated her 24th birthday just five days before the 2021 Grammys. So, you can expect a lot more from this up-and-coming artist, who also made the XXL Freshman Class of 2020.
Chika Went Viral For Doing A Freestyle Rap About Kanye West
A letter to Kanye Omari West. Over his own beat. 🤮 pic.twitter.com/5xdxKJ7d4l
— CHIKA ☁️ (@oranicuhh) April 26, 2018
In 2018, Chika commanded attention across the Internet for calling out Kanye West‘s support of Donald Trump via freestyle over his own beat, “Jesus Walks.” Celebrities like Jada Pinkett Smith, Leslie Jones, Ice T and Sean “Diddy” Combs showed their support for the diss track.
Her Kanye Freestyle Wasn’t The Only Post She’s Gone Viral For
— CHIKA ☁️ (@oranicuhh) January 30, 2017
Chika was also the person behind the #EgoChallenge in 2017! Then just 19 years old, Chika started a social media challenge that called for people to celebrate and rap about their “flaws.” She took the lead by rapping over Beyoncé‘s song “Ego.”
Chika Is Born To Nigerian-American Parents
She was born in Montgomery, Alabama to Nigerian immigrants. Chika revealed that she is of Igbo descent; Chika told designer Kerby Jean-Raymond for a Teen Vogue profile, “I’m Igbo. We’re all about our money. But it’s really just the energy that we bring to things. We’re a very family-oriented people, and the fashion is actually similar to a lot of Asian and Indian fashion traditions, but it’s literally what each tribe brings to it. I grew up with my dad and my aunt’s husband dressing the same but different, and it’s literally just because of the different prideful backgrounds of each tribe, and it’s actually kind of cool to watch.”