Chicago is full of unique talents, yet unfortunately too many that go unnoticed. It’s our goal to make sure everyone has the chance to hear the song of Miss Chiff. I’m not talking just about her music, but her ability to captivate a crowd, own the room, and promote a positive message in a city where that is much needed.
“Since the release of Miss Chiff’s second album: The Bright Side, she has received public acclaim throughout Chicago and the surrounding Midwest. She has been the featured artist on Media Milwaukee, Radio DePaul, as well as Radio One Chicago. Miss Chiff has performed along side supporting acts for Macklemore, Nas, and Devin the Dude. She brings her emotional experiences to the surface through rap verses and pop hooks. Her sensitive lyrics combined with industrial beats favor conventional rhythm with an underground flair. She is motivated to create a voice for the misfits and the individualists.”
Find out how you can help Miss Chiff change up the scene for positivity, and get to know her a little better with our questions below!
Let’s Start a RIOT!
“Miss Chiff, a Chicago artist, is launching her next music video this Fall. ‘Riot’ is a pop song with a very important message. In our technologically-connected world we struggle by allowing the opinions of others to affect and control our emotions and intentions. Putting yourself out there as an artist is easier, and yet more difficult than ever.
BM: What got you into the “rap” scene? What keeps you there instead of transitioning to another form of music?
MC: I have played an active role in Chicago’s rap scene for a little over two and a half years now. I almost feel like I stumbled upon the idea, because it happened very naturally for me. I be-friended a group of rappers in the early fall of 2011 and found myself regularly frequenting their shows. Somewhere between enjoying the music and feeling inspired by the song-writing structure of hip hop, I began writing my own songs. I’m a trained actress; at the time I was feeling very bored with acting because I no longer found it challenging and new. Rap was the exact opposite of that. It was hard, foreign, and a little frightening. But that being said, I knew the challenge was necessary in order for me to grow and develop as a person and artist.
I also continue to write rap lyrics because I find that it best articulates my thoughts, feelings, and emotional state. Where, in other mediums of art I felt slightly limited in my means of self-expression, with hip hop I feel limitless. I really enjoy other genres of music; in fact, I was the lead singer of a punk band for 2 years. The experience was irreplaceable and I loved my time in the band. Punk; however, was never as stimulating for me from a cerebral standpoint. Hip Hop (if done well) is smart.
BM: I think my favorite part of Miss Chiff is the unique, fresh and down to earth artist you are. How have you grown since you started in this industry? How do you stay fresh & on your feet?
MC:Thank you so much! I try to stay grounded and realistic about my goals. I’m a total dreamer though. It’s very easy for me to get caught up in an idea, to the point where I skip over the necessary details required to help me make that idea a reality. I always end up making things work though. Dreaming is half the fun! I greatly enjoy the kindness and openness within Chicago’s North Side hip hop community. There is a certain level of respect between artists that radiates through the room at hip hop shows here. I didn’t always find that to be the case at the punk shows I played. For example, emcee’s will sit in the front row of my shows and listen to my lyrics; and I mean really listen.
I don’t know how I stay fresh. The best answer I can give you is that I make it a point to continuously create. I never stop writing things down. I travel, go to shows, enjoy life, and allow myself to be inspired. As long as I’m living my life to the fullest, my art will thrive. And when my art thrives, it allows me to live life to the fullest. Goes full circle 🙂
BM: What is the hardest part of your craft?
MC:Two years ago I would have told you that the hardest part of my craft was the struggle I experienced to get people to take me seriously. It still happens; a little over a week ago I entered myself in a rap contest. A friend of mine and I showed up to spit our hottest 16 bars with the hopes of networking and possibly winning $$. I go to sign up and the woman with the paperwork assumed I was my friends girlfriend. The look on her face when I told her that I was only there to rap was priceless. I get that a lot. After I tell people that I rap, a common assumption is that I write satire or comedic rap verses. My appearance, color of my skin, and gender create a wicked combination that people find difficult to associate with the hip hop scene.
Today I’d admit to bearing with these challenges and recognizing that the true struggle is maintaining momentum. I have experienced some amazing momentum this year; however, I get pretty stressed out about having to be my own manager. So between writing fresh material, booking shows, organizing events, music videos, promotion, music distribution, etc etc, I am swamped. I want Miss Chiff to thrive, so I work my butt off to make sure that that happens. But, I’d be lying if I denied any interest in having a manager take over some of these responsibilities.
BM:The most rewarding part?
MC:The most rewarding part is the feeling I get at the end of each day. I am doing something that I love and that I believe in. Miss Chiff allows me creative freedom as well as self-satisfaction. I don’t answer to anyone and I make my own schedule. While I’ll admit to being hard on myself, I still thrive in knowing that I am the only one that I have to answer to. It is amazing to be doing something that I love so much, and having that something also be the source of inspiration for other artists alike. I love it when fellow artists approach me after a show and tell me that my lyrics really made them think. It’s refreshing when the people actually listen. My songs aren’t just there for people to bob their heads to. They are stories. I want listeners to take away something substantial; something that they can use to improve their lives. I want to make people think!
BM:What accomplishment are you most proud of?
MC:I am so proud of all of the work I put into my music videos. I’m so proud of landing a gig in January where I headlined at Subterranean Lounge. I’m so proud of the work I put in the studio in order to create two solid albums. But most of all, I’m proud of the courage I have found within myself to stand in front of a curious crowd, rapping lyrics that are very personal to me. It’s such an intimate experience, and while I have plenty of years of experience performing, rapping is a whole different ball game. Still to this day I feel like I’m out of my comfort zone whenever I hit the stage to do a rap set. But I kind of like that. I feel like that’s going to get really exhausting someday, but as of right now, it’s helping me grow.
BM: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
MC: I’ll be honest and say that in 5 years I hope to be signed by a major record label. My ideal situation would be to find financial support for my creations in a way that allows me a comfortable and fulfilling life. I understand that a lot can come with being signed. I might be forced to forego some of that creative freedom that I love so much. But I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life. I want to have released at least 2 more albums by then, several music videos, have toured the country, and have made a solid name for myself in Chicago. I want young aspiring rappers to look back on my journey and find inspiration through my struggles as well as my successes.
BM:What is your ultimate goal for yourself?
MC:My ultimate goal for myself is inner fulfillment. I hope to find that fulfillment in being signed to a major record label and creating music as Miss Chiff for the rest of my life. I hope to reach my ultimate goal within the next 5-7 years.
BM:What keeps you in Chicago?
MC:Right now I stay in Chicago because I’ve made solid connections with people that I respect and I find it would be foolish to flee elsewhere without an agenda. I find Chicago to be so majestic. Miss Chiff was created in Chicago so it holds some sentimental value as well. Up until recently I haven’t actively considered moving to one of the coasts. But this year marks the beginning of that research. I was actually in Los Angeles very recently. One of the reasons I went out there was to scope out the area and try to envision myself living there. New York is my other option. Ultimately, I’m adaptable enough to live anywhere. I would really like to be where there is opportunity and I find that moving within the next 2 years might be a wise choice if I want to further my career. We’ll see what happens!
BM: If money wasn’t an object…how do you think, if any way, your career would be different?
MC: Oh boy! If money wasn’t an object! This question hit me on an interesting day. I’ve had money on the brain. Honestly, if money weren’t an object, I’d be a lot farther along in what I’d like to do. I would have released at least two more music videos, one more album, some singles, and would have done more out of town shows. If I had all the money in the world I’d take Miss Chiff as far as she could go. Money is sincerely one of the only things that holds me back from maintaining my ideal momentum. For instance, I have been ready to record 5 separate songs for about 3 months now. But between moving, traveling for Miss Chiff, bills, etc etc, I haven’t been able to afford it. And yes, many people would argue that I could just record myself or that I don’t need to put so much money toward my recordings in general. I aim to produce the best work that I can possibly produce, and unfortunately that means more money. I have funded all of my projects on a waitresses salary, and I plan to do so until I find a better way.
BM: What can we expect next?
MC: I plan on releasing some fully produced singles soon. I have chosen to forego the idea to construct and release another album and instead focus on releasing songs one at a time and making videos for them as well. I’ve found my music videos to be some of the most beneficial tools when it comes to getting my music heard. I’d like to focus on putting myself out there and when the time comes, I’ll compile all of those singles into an album. I have plans to perform out of town this fall. Unfortunately I am not at liberty to discuss these plans until things are finalized. I want to spread the word and focus all of my energy on working toward my ultimate goal.