Signing Story: Chika

Date Signed: June 18, 2019

Label: Warner Records

Type of Music: Rap/R&B

Management: Elena Awbrey - Tiger Eye Management

Booking: Caroline Yim - CAA

Legal: Julian Petty - Warner Records

Publicity: Aishah White - Warner Records

Web: officialchika.com

A&R: Chris Morris and Norva Denton, Warner Records

At 23, Chika––an LA-based Alabama transplant born Jane Chika Oranika––has a commitment to being unapologetically herself. Having earned a scholarship to Berklee College of Music, Chika chose to express her truest, edgiest form. She has drawn supporters that include Erykah Badu, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Jada Pinkett Smith, Missy Elliott and Jay-Z.

Determined to pursue music since childhood, Chika taught herself guitar, took piano lessons, and shared cover songs on YouTube from age nine. A 2016 post following Donald Trump’s election brought 17,000 followers and her video blasting Kanye West’s support of the president also went viral. “Once you have an audience,” she says, “you need to understand why they followed you,” and she continually challenged herself to keep writing and improving her craft.

Chika’s confidence led her to the Calvin Klein #MyCalvins campaign in Spring 2019, followed by the single, “No Squares.” Performances at Coachella and on Jimmy Kimmel LIVE! came soon afterward. She then toured LA, visiting labels to find the best fit, which turned out to be Warner Records. She knew what she wanted and an agreement was crafted around creative license and artistic support. “Warner felt like family from day one,” she says. When asked what made her stand out, Warner Records Senior VP of A&R Chris Morris says, “There was absolutely zero uncertainty with regards to what she wanted to say or who she was as an artist.” Warner Records Senior Director of A&R Norva Denton concurs: “She stands in her own truth. She knows who she is and what she stands for and it will not be compromised.”

“There is power in building your brand,” Chika says, “especially when it comes to getting signed, because the artist development is done. There is a mutual respect and you will get a fairer deal simply because they assess the fact that you could do this by yourself, so if you’re going to do it with them, they had better make it worth your while.”

Asked what he most enjoys in working with Chika, Morris added, “She can knock out a performance in one take. Watching Chika work in the studio is really a masterclass in artistry.”