Chi Ilochi is a 19-year-old goal getter. She’s hardworking, dedicated, and determined to not only accomplish her dreams, but help others to do the same. She’s a stylist, designer, journalist, poet and singer/songwriter, so it’s safe to say you can call her multi-talented. She’s a goofy, positive, and vibrant individual with nothing but great potential and a bright future ahead. Chi is always working towards improvement in herself and others. In all Chi does she aims to spread love and light.
Where did your passion for music come from?
My passion for music ironically came from being shy. Yes, I know what you’re thinking. How can you be shy and sing, those two can’t antedate? Ironically that is where I found my voice, by being so afraid to express myself and let the world know I had one. You know for all of those who are shy, you’ll know what I mean when I say you get A LOT of time to yourself, you see things differently, you have a keen ability to discern and study life, and all that comes with it. So that’s exactly what I would do, it first started with poetry, then turned into songwriting based off the perspectives or lives I presumed the people I studied lived, then it turned into MY story. I was considered an outcast because of how unique I am, and I began to feel like music was the only thing that truly understood and accepted me for me. And that realisation lit a flame in me. From them on I had a passion for music.
What inspired you to become a stylist & designer?
One word: Outcast. Growing up I didn’t dress like everyone else. I always mixed prints, wore wacky colors. There eventually came a point when I felt so different that I hated it I had to fix it, so I did, or at least I thought. I tried to follow the trends I hated and wear the clothes I knew I didn’t like, and still didn’t feel how I’d imagine my fellow peers felt when they wore the clothes. Eventually I realised that it was stupid and a waste of time. I figured if people love these designers clothing and style why not create and push your own. All it takes is one person to like yours so who’s to say someone won’t. And here we are, it’s funny how life goes full circle sometimes!
What have been the highlights of your career?
Meeting the iconic Ty Hunter formally known as Beyoncé’s stylist. He was extremely humble and chill. I gave him a business card of mine and he was so appreciative to have it. Even followed me on Instagram. He never made me feel less than, and I could tell his mantra was we’re all amazing no matter how much fame or notoriety we may acquire, and he loved my outfit so that was an OMG moment for me!
Where’s the place you dream of playing your music one day?
Hmmm I’d have to say the Grammy’s or BET Awards.
What do you hope people will get from listening to your music?
I hope people gain insight and a peace of mind from listening to my music. Most importantly I hope they better understand me, as well as my highs and lows I encounter along this journey.
Given the opportunity who in the world would you like to style and design for?
SZA no question, I absolutely love and am inspired by her.
How do you come up with the designs for your outfits?
Hmm it truthfully just comes from my head, but If I can’t get it there usually life itself, nature, the sun, the birds, fashion and design documentaries and other creatives creating freely.
What is the one thing you can’t live without?
This may sound corny, but my bible it’s gotten me through some Rough times and it’s a great guide. It keeps me balanced, humbled, confident and grateful.
Oh yeah and I can’t live without cheese fries.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Following your purpose in life is your tithe back to the universe.
Who would you like to collaborate with in music and in fashion?
Music – SZA
Fashion – Either Jeremy Scott or Kolin Carter
What is the soundtrack to your life?
What are you most proud of about being Nigerian?
Definitely the culture itself, from our food to our clothes to our music and dance down to our village’s and cities. Most importantly the comfort. No matter where I go if I’m around my fellow Nigerians I always feel at home. We know how to make each other feel good and how to have a good time!
How would you like to be remembered?
I want to be remembered as the little shy girl who fulfilled her purpose in life. The woman who made sure to bring out the best in others. The one who was comfortable enough to help others shed their light on this world, without fear of it potentially dimming her own. I want to be remembered as a powerhouse in the black community and a boss in all I do from music to fashion to journalism.
What advice would you give to aspiring artists/designers/stylists?
I would say there is room for you, and to never give up. Anytime someone tells you there isn’t room for you tell them to check the credits at the end of the movie. I guarantee they’ll see over 100 directors for just one film. Stay humble but not to the point of self-depreciation. Finally if you’re persistent you’ll get it, if you’re consistent you’ll keep it, and if you’re grateful you’ll get more of it!