In the track that heralds the upcoming release of her first long-play project, the rapper whose name is on every ‘ones to watch’ list worth its salt tells us, “It’s not Ch-laay; it’s not Ch-lala“, and implores us to say her name. You may not know how to pronounce it yet – but you will. Denise Chaila will make sure of that.
‘Chaila’ will be released into the world on Friday, May 29th 2020, just three weeks after her statement-of-intent track ‘Down’ was given a Bandcamp-only release.
Before this, the most recent solo material from Chaila was her debut EP ‘Dual Citizenship’, released in February 2019. That two-track release, however, was enough for her to gain attention from worldwide media such as NPR (USA), BBC (UK) and RTÉ (Ireland). On top of this, actor Cilian Murphy interviewed Chaila for Port Magazine, she wrote a piece that was included in Kevin Barry’s seminal arts anthology Winter Papers, she was interviewed for a publication she’s personally a big fan of, Gal-Dem, and featured on the cover of The Irish Times’ ‘50 people to watch in 2020’.
During the past year, Denise has performed at the Barbican Centre in London, the National Concert Hall in Dublin and the Black Box Theatre, Galway – all three as part of the critically-acclaimed Imagining Ireland series, also featuring some of Denise’s cultural contemporaries such as musicians Imelda May, Radie Peat (Lankum), Soak, Lisa O’Neill and writers Sara Baume, Sinéad Gleeson and Sarah Moss. She performed at the opening of the Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI) and the National Concert Hall’s ‘Make your own Markievicz’ event for International Women’s Day 2020, attended by President Michael D. Higgins. She made a number of summer festival appearances last year at the likes of Body & Soul, All Together Now, Electric Picnic and Other Voices Dingle. In February 2020, she headlined St. Michael’s Church for Other Voices Mayo in a televised performance for RTÉ 2.
This level of success and critical acclaim in the space of just over a year is triumphant, and is not lost on Denise.
Sure of her abilities yet humble about her ‘rising star’ status, she counts her blessings safe in the knowledge that she has worked hard for what she has. A star in her own right, yet in many ways inseparable from her collaborators and contemporaries. Straight up yet wonderfully complex. Denise Chaila is just getting started.