The lyrical talents of Jane Oranika, known to her followers online as queer rap artist Chika, are continuing to push the performer’s name well beyond the bounds of social media, thanks to the 20-year-old’s recent LGBTQ-influenced take of Ed Sheeran’s mega-hit, “Shape of You.”
Writers for Staying Alive, a sister site housed by MTV, were able to interview the burgeoning Nigerian-American born web personality on Wednesday and discovered that Chika didn’t actually share her “Shape of You” cover simply for the sake of notoriety.
“I feel like it’s something that a lot of people needed to hear and so I felt like it would resonate with someone even if it didn’t go viral,” she mentioned about her take of the 2017 Billboard No. 1 hit, which was praised by several major publications, including Entertainment Tonight Canada, the Huffington Post, and most notably, Billboard, after Chika first posted an excerpt of the song to Twitter on June 13.
During her chat with Staying Alive, Chika expressed how extremely humbled she was to witness her strong voice being amplified in such a meaningful way, as well as the warm reception she continues to receive through “Shape of You” from music listeners as both an up-and-coming artist, and one who is also openly LGBTQ.
— chika (@oranicuhh) June 13, 2017
“The reception of [the video] was far greater than what I expected,” Chika claimed about her version of “Shape of You.”
“So many people reached out to me – and are still reaching out to me – tweeted me, sent me [direct messages] telling me that the song meant something to them and that the song helped them to feel more at peace with themselves and that they like playing it in the morning whilst they’re getting ready because it just gives them that extra kick to feel like they’re okay in being them themselves.”
Be that as it may, despite the apparent approval of both the public and entertainment-based masses, social media app Instagram reportedly removed the copy of “Shape of You” that Chika posted to the photo-sharing service for reasons on Tuesday that, according to the musician herself, weren’t made immediately clear to anyone.
“My ‘Shape of You’ cover got deleted off Instagram, which is f***ed up,” a frustrated but calm Chika announced on Twitter late Tuesday evening, “but whatever,” she added. “That’s life.”
Chika’s cover of Sheeran’s “Shape of You,” officially titled “Proud,” and her first EP of original poetry, Bloom, can be heard in full on the rapper’s Soundcloud profile.
— MTV Staying Alive (@mtvstayingalive) June 21, 2017
For more information on Chika and her future projects, follow her on Twitter.
[Featured Image by Jane Oranika/Instagram]