Shaili Champ is a gifted up and coming artist from Toronto, Canada. Her unique hip-hop flare and R&B flow sets her apart in today’s industry. Born in India, Shaili brings a diverse outlook to her artistry and sound. She has performed at many open mics, poetry slams, youth conferences, workshops, and local events. Shaili is multi-talented and self-made, she’s a producer, singer, songwriter, and poet. She passionately believes in the power of music for initiating important conversations, creating new norms, and establishing positive change, to build a more equitable world for everyone. She is determined in creating equity for women, for LGBTQ, for POC, for the disadvantaged, through her music and art.
Shaili Champ’s latest single “Call In Sick” is a hard-hitting and catchy track. It’s upbeat tempo and heavy bass makes it a true summer smash. The sexual and seductive hit “Call In Sick” is a track about ditching work to stay in bed and play all day. Shaili Champ spits verses about explicit sex and paints a picture in the listeners mind. It’s a track filled with desire that all listeners can relate and vibe to. The backbeat and production are flawless and the intricacy of Shaili’s lyricism is fascinating. Shaili Champ is a star on the rise and the one to watch!
Listen to “Call In Sick” here and read more below in our exclusive interview!
Hey Shaili Champ! When did you start writing songs? How did you know it was something you wanted to pursue?
I immigrated to Canada at a young age and had to learn English from scratch, so I began writing songs as a way to learn English. I would write little songs for family members, or jingles, or rhymes. Three years ago I started playing around with Ableton and actually putting together songs, my friends loved what I made so I decided to post on SoundCloud, and increased reception of my work kept me going. I just have so much fun doing it, music flows through my body, mind, and soul. I started taking it seriously when I realized how much impact music makes; on people’s individual day to day life to cultural and societal impacts. This realization came from listeners telling me how much empowerment, relatability, or joy my work brings them. Realizing this, I knew I had to keep doing it with the intention of creating positive cultural shifts through my music.
Your new track “Call In Sick” is so sensual! Is this what you mean by creating a new norm in the music industry?
“Call In Sick” is meant to be very sensual and simultaneously empowering and celebratory for queer women of color. Expression of sexuality is something that is so suppressed and taboo in desi culture, and for women of color overall. It’s always expected to be for the purpose of serving/pleasing men, rather than enjoying sexuality and sexual expression for yourself. This song creates that new norm in the music industry because its an actual dancehall type song that embraces queerness and embraces both dominance and submissiveness, putting me in charge of my own sexuality, on my own terms. It’s not meant to serve or please anyone but myself. It’s so common to hear dancehall music with slurs towards the gay community and objectification of women (which is present in mostly all rap/hiphop songs); I love dancing to this type of music but hated supporting that kind of cultural norm, which is why I made “Call In Sick”. If you look at the lyrics of “Call In Sick” you’ll see what I mean; “She love it when they give her brains, but she’ll never fuck with a no brainer, frontal lobe grown let her be your trainer”, and that’s exactly what it is.
Tell us more about the writing process of “Call In Sick”! What inspired it?
The hook came to me while driving to Scarborough being stuck on the 401 as usual. I immediately though of the premise of the entire song and recorded it on my phone. Then I wrote the verses. Part of the first verse was actually a few bars I had from two years ago which was inspired by the relationship I was in at the time. The second half of the second verse was meant to be very blunt as it is: to show that communication and consent can be, and should be, part of a very fun sexual experience. This song is also my own way of reclaiming and celebrating my sexuality, which, after having experienced sexual assault, was very hard for me to express and enjoy. This song reminds me that I can, and that my sexual assault experience does not and will not define my sex life. The inspiration also came from wanting to defy the norm of desi women not being allowed to talk about sex, I thought, fuck that.
Who are your musical influences and how do you pull from them for inspiration?
People called me rap genius because I would always know whatever song was playing, in any given environment. My musical influences span across all genres. My inspirations are endless but include slaying Queens such as Missy Elliott, Erykah Badu, Joan Jett, Aretha Franklin (RIP<3), Pink, Lauryn Hill, M.I.A., Princess Nokia, Tierra Whack, Noname, Rapsody, Little Simz, WondaGurl, Rihanna, Alicia Keys, Santigold, and The Sorority to name a few. Male artists are cool too, but it’s the female artists that inspire me the most. I pull from their work ethic, morale, quality of work, and attitudes of not giving a fuck about others and unapologetically being yourself, establishing your own style.
What’s next for you Shaili Champ?
I’m focusing on producing again now, because I want to produce all the songs I have ideas for my mixtape and singles. I co-produced “Call In Sick” and realized I really miss producing my own work and being a one woman army of skill sets like a boss ass bitch. That being said, I am in the works of making music video(s) and potentially releasing another single before the end of the year. And of course, a mixtape in the works as well. You can keep up with me on Instagram!
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