NYC Collective, Music, Michelle, New Single, TotalNtertainment, Chai

NYC Collective Michelle team up with Chai

“…crisp R&B with a bright indie flourish… musical serotonin you’ll want to bathe in for hours…” – NME

NYC collective MICHELLE have teamed up with all-female Japanese group CHAI for a brand-new take on the New York natives’ latest single – releasing “FYO feat. CHAI”, out now on Transgressive Records. The remix arrives joined by an official music video starring both acts – watch here.

The original version of “FYO” was released in January, powerfully recounting MICHELLE’s lead singers’ experiences growing up with mixed race identities. Today’s release finds CHAI remixing the track’s production and adding their own opening verse to the top of the song, with lyrics in both Japanese and English [translation enclosed below].

Of the new remix, MICHELLE shares:

“CHAI’s rework of FYO breathes new life and sound into what it means to grow up in a certain state of limbo. To connect audiences and languages across the world in this way, to this particular track, means a lot to us as a band and we hope for our listeners too.” 

On collaborating with MICHELLE, CHAI’s Mana expanded:

“We can’t get enough of the romantic and nostalgic sounds of MICHELLE! They are like all we listened to this year! WE LOVE YOU MICHELLE♡♡♡!!♡♡♡ I’d say waking up first thing in the morning and listening to MICHELLE is the best! ⭐︎ Crazy how I added them to my playlist and the next thing I know we get a phone call about a collaboration! And without hesitation of course, we said ‘YES!’ immediately. ♡♡ And this song we did together…it’s super relaxing right?! ♡♡ MICHELLE’s amazing vibes are what’s most striking and WE LOVE IT! They possess something that we don’t and that’s what we admire most♡♡

The band’s Layla Ku and Emma Lee directed the original “FYO” music video – watch HERE. Speaking on the message behind the single, Jamee Lockard shared at the time:

““FYO” is about belonging to different worlds but feeling rejected by both. Growing up as a mixed-race minority in the US, my self concept was warped by other people telling me what I am and am not, pushing and pulling me between identities. Although my feelings of cultural dissonance still ebb and flow, now I have the vocabulary, support system, and perspective to unpack that inner conflict on my own terms.

We should never give others the authority to define who we are.”

“FYO” marked the first new single from the group since “UNBOUND”, released last October.  MICHELLE’s debut single of 2020 – “SUNRISE” –marked the first new single from the collective since their self-released 2018 debut album HEATWAVE.

A streets-and-skylines homage to their hometown, HEATWAVE was created in just 2 weeks – seamlessly weaving together R&B-inflected pop, sleek synths, plush harmonies, and buoyant groove. Heralded by stand-out track “THE BOTTOM,” the album amassed millions of streams, led to shows for sold-out NYC crowds, and earned critical acclaim from The Fader, NME and more.