Chi talks rat boyfriends, new music, and lizard people

Chi talks rat boyfriends, new music, and lizard people

by Robyn Pullen
7 min

Lagos-born, London-based music artist Chi is swapping “rat girl summer” for “lizard girl summer,” and you should too. Spotted speeding in convertibles, wearing tiny Mowalola tees, and hanging with other fashion and music It-girls, Chi’s new music video for her viral track “Lizard People,” featuring DETO BLACK and Mowalola, dropped a couple weeks ago and is already the 2024 summer soundtrack for anyone looking to party hard and look hot doing it.

Chi – formally known as Chi Virgo – has been transforming her image from the wavy, neo-soul artist she was when she broke onto the music scene around four years ago. She’s now a punk-revival It-girl, seen swinging off the back of a cherry-red convertible and screaming in harmony with her besties Mowalola and DETO BLACK in her latest music video, for the track “Lizard People.” 

We caught up with Chi to chat new music, lizard people, punk revivals, and her song of the summer. Let’s get into it.

We’re catching up off the back of your latest track “Lizard People”’s release. How are you feeling since it dropped?

So good, it was the best response I’ve had from a video so far. Everyone on Twitter was going crazy. As always, there was a mixture of good and bad comments, which I think is the best kind of reaction – if it makes people feel something, I’m happy – job done. That’s always been my main goal as an artist.

I honestly had no real expectations going into the studio when I was working on the song, and I loved how it all came together in the end. It really did feel like divine timing – working with the right people, at the right time. It also gave us the opportunity to get whatever we were feeling in the moment, off our chests.

@chi (shot by @tallulah.fx

We tend to think of conspiracy theories around the Illuminati and evil governments when the words “lizard people” are mentioned, but what are “Lizard People” to you?

I guess they’re just fake people that bring bad vibes. The world can be so divisive and dark and usually I think wayyyyyy too much about my lyrics. I was trying to say how I feel without really saying anything at all, and this is what came out the other side! I guess something worked, as I feel very proud of it. It’s nonsensical, but also makes so much sense – that’s what makes it beautiful.

 You can only choose one: lizard girlfriend or rat boyfriend?

Oh, rat boyfriend 100%…I feel like the lyrics in my music say it all.

“Lizard People”’s music vid just went viral for all the right reasons, featuring you, DETO BLACK and Mowalola hanging off the back of a convertible. What was your favourite moment when making the music video? 

C: Haha I think the end?! It was a long ass day and the shoot was hellish, everything that could possibly go wrong, went wrong. Jokes aside, for the video I showed the director a few references – I wanted it to feel like we were girls together being chased, because that’s kinda how I feel when I listen back to the track. 

I sometimes struggle giving up creative control, but they came back to me with this epic idea – I really took the back seat with this one which I’m not used to, but they smashed it! I’ve never worked on something like this before with my friends and it was such a fun experience. The vibes were exactly how it looks in the video and I think my favourite part is just how accurately it captures us in that moment.

In your opinion, what’s about to be the song of the summer? 

I feel like I haven’t heard it yet, it’s early days – the sun has only just come out in London. Seriously though, I am waiting on Charli XCX to drop her album as I’m sure I’ll probably find it in that.

@chi ©

You’ve moved away from your OG soft, neo-soul sound to punk revival bops in recent years, and that much is clear in “Lizard People”. Is there something about the world right now that makes you feel like a punk revival is due?

Honestly, I love neo-soul, it’s what I listen to, and it will always have my heart. That said, (and I can’t speak for everyone) I am completely fed up, exhausted and full of frustration at the state of the world. Every morning, I open my phone and usually the first thing I see makes me want to scream! 

I guess you could say this has translated into my music. I think venting and expressing yourself is a positive, and that the best thing that we can do with these pent-up feelings and anger is turn it into art. If it’s done creatively, with the best intentions and isn’t hurting anyone, we’re good.

 What’s a lyric that resonates with you?

‘I have such big feelings, can’t shut ‘em down without a sound’. It’s from a Willow song called Big Feelings. I think this is a rule to live by – we need to wholly experience and speak our truths.

 We know you’ve said before that your music style changed when you first moved to London, because you were “hearing so much soul music everywhere, and just got really influenced by that.” Where would you say your music is now on the scale between London and Nigeria? 

Oh, I’m working on fusing the two worlds together at the moment and it’s sounding crazy! This is something I cannot wait to share. Identity is such a nuanced thing – especially growing up between two, very different cultures. I’m happy that the ‘in between’ diaspora is something that people are starting to talk about more, and excited for the role that I can play in bringing the conversation to the forefront as an artist. 

You can be many different things and be from many different places at the same time – and that’s ok. The scenes in both London and Lagos are just so exciting and I take inspiration from them both on a daily basis.

@chi (shot by @tallulah.fx

We have to know… what would you have worn to the Met Gala on Monday?

 A Mowalola custom would have gone down a treat! I would have liked to work together on a look. She is my fave, always. I love fashion and the creative space it provides; I also don’t think you can really separate it from music – the two go hand in hand, it’s a big part of what inspires me. 

Lastly, can you share anything exciting that’s on the horizon for you in 2024?

More energy, more visuals, more vibes, more art, more life & more bangers! I love what I do, and I can’t wait to do more of it.

Featured image via @chi (shot by @tallulah.fx

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