Hi Chyna, we’re glad to be able to ask you a few questions. We appreciate you! First of all, what area of Brooklyn New York did you grow up in and how would you describe your neighborhood? And are there some aspects of your neighborhood that you would never trade with any other area?
CHYNA STREETZ: Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate you taking time to get to know me. I grew up in between Brooklyn and SouthSide Jamaica Queens. My neighborhood was pretty decent, but it had its fair share of hood politics. I wouldn’t trade the essence. It’s a feeling that no place on earth has. Many people say NYC is dirty or grimey, but growing up there it just becomes a part of you. I always say NY is a nationality. lol.
What is the moment in your life when you have decided you wanted to be an MC? And what were the things that pushed you more than anything else to want to pursue a career in music? And what were the biggest obstacles or fears?
CHYNA STREETZ: Honestly from young I always known that I wanted to do music. I feel like anyone that truly does music just has a feeling in their soul that causes them to do it. I always used to hear songs and change the lyrics to put my name in the song or just personalized it. The moment I’d say I took rap seriously was when I was in the 7th grade and I was jokingly battling my friend. I won and the fire was ignited from that day forth.
What about your name: Chyna Streetz? Where did it come from and who gave it to you?
CHYNA STREETZ: The name Chyna Streetz was given to me by none other than the man himself. Y’all know this… it started off as a joke: My rap name was actually Chy the Empress. Still is. The world knows me as Chyna.
Often your name is linked to Rome Streetz, a Brooklyn MC who is having some success in the underground so much so that he has become a member of Griselda Records (among other things we were lucky enough to see him live here in Italy, recently)…What is your relationship and how did you meet?
CHYNA STREETZ: Rome Streetz is the King. The End. Make sure y’all get that “Kiss The Ring” when it drops. Glad y’all saw him in Italy, I can’t wait to get over there and turn up!!! Bad Influenyce baby 😘
You recently released a new ep called “Hourglass”. What does it represent for your career? Is it an appetizer of much more succulent dishes that will come?
CHYNA STREETZ: Hourglass was a project that needed to happen. It represents the fact that time waits for no one and that the time is now. This was definitely an appetizer, the best is yet to come!
How was “Hourglass” born? What’s the concept behind its title?
CHYNA STREETZ: First and foremost Shout out to Wavy da Ghawd for fully producing the project. I was so excited to work with him ‘cause the man is a genius. The collaboration was effortless. Again the concept was just about it being time for me to release something.
For some years your singles and featurings have been circulating in the New York underground scene, but, apart from a few EPs, you haven’t released many full projects yet. Why? What have you been doing in the meantime?
CHYNA STREETZ: Music is spiritual. I don’t put out music to compete or to keep up. I put out music when my spirit tells me to move. You’re gonna feel what I do. Hourglass was me listening to my higher self. Trust me, I’ve been rubbing shoulders with those I needed to make my grand entrance. Again divine timing is everything. But you will definitely get those full lengths you’ve been looking for this year.
What’s your approach when it comes to recording a song? Do you have to go through some beats first, or do you already have the lyrics ready? How are your recording sessions?
CHYNA STREETZ: It completely depends. I get inspired in some of the weirdest places. I could be in the middle of a rave and my mind will drift to writing a song and I’ll stop right there and pull my phone out so I don’t lose the concept. Other times the beat talks to me. I just follow my heart. Any true musician will tell you that.
In recent years, as concerns for the mainstream it would seem that women have finally gained more space in the rap industry, thanks to figures like Nicki and Cardi B. Instead,among the flourishing underground scene where you navigate, distinguished by classic sounds and lyricism, the women who rap or make beats are still a minority.
In your opinion, is there more disparity in women representation among the underground scene than the so-called “mainstream rap”? If so, why? And who do you think are the most skilled girls in the “underground” scene?
CHYNA STREETZ: I can only speak for myself in this instance. I feel like if you’re putting in the work you will get what you need to. The women in the “Underground” are way more versed in subject matter that is not necessarily accepted by most mainstream male ears. We write our shit, you feel our shit and that makes many uncomfortable. As far as who I think is skilled, I’m focused on myself right now. I’m not too worried about what anyone else is doing. Again, it’s my time now.
Who would you like to collaborate with in the future? Do you have any unexpected collaborations ready to be unveiled?
CHYNA STREETZ: Funny thing is, damn near anyone that I want to collaborate with I can. You asked me earlier what I was doing. I was developing relationships that will last a lifetime. So of course I DEFINITELY will be releasing collabs y’all will not expect. Just stay tuned and buckle up. It’s Bad Influenyce. Shout out to Rome for paving the way, Look out for Ox, Wavy, The Artivist, The walkers. Always remember Keep ya aura Royal 😘