#OnTheVerge: Chiiild’s New Album ‘Better Luck In The Next Life’ Is The Musical Culmination Of A Diverse Past

The Montreal singer/producer discusses his new LP and the importance of being understood these days.

It’s hard to classify Chiiild musically but the way he presents his creativity is perhaps even more unique.

The Montreal native-turned-Los Angeles resident has used his life experiences growing up in a bilingual and international city to tell stories about diversity and examine humanity through a lens that is uniquely his. He also relays vulnerabilities in his music and a yearning to be understood during a time of such uncertainty.

On his single “You Get Me (A Final Word)” from his brand new album Better Luck in the Next Life, released Friday (March 3), Chiiild sings about those concerns: “'Cause it’s been so crowded lately / 'Cause these things they get so heavy / And I hope it's not too much to ask / To say you get me (To say you get me).”

That feeling of being accepted began during his childhood. Attending schools in a district and city that often segregates English students from their French counterparts due to the language barrier, Chiiild learned early on that dichotomy also presented itself in the type of music he’d listen to depending on the group of friends he was with at any given moment.

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“Music has always been the way that I navigated the world,” he told BET during a recent interview. “So when I was hanging with my skater friends, the whole soundtrack was completely different. When I was hanging with my other friends, we were completely immersed in the The Underdogs’s production and Bryan-Michael Cox and all these different intricacies of the bridge and the modulations and all that stuff.

“But then like my hockey player friends thought that was incredibly tacky and they're like, ‘Why are these people just like singing and crying about nothing?’” he adds. “Music has always been the thing that defines those relationships in a way.”

All of this culminates on Better Luck in the Next Life, which Chiiild says is his first project where intention was a major focus but doesn’t in any way take away from his creativity.

“[It] was the first time that I actually sat down and said I'm making an album that needs to coexist and work together and needs to tell one long narrative. Albums are never too linear, but the process was really like, how can I make the most honest representation of what I want to hear in the world, like, what I grew up listening to? And how can I mash it up in a way that is really exciting to me?” he describes of his new LP. “Going back to the basement where what excited me when I was making music was like let me take this 808 thing that we're obsessed with and make a polyrhythmic, Afro-type situation [out of it]. Those are the things where you get a train of thought and you follow it.”

Chiiild’s inspirations stem from a myriad of sources. From more classical musicians like D’Angelo, Pink Floyd and Marvin Gaye to self-described “Tumblr-era bands” like Cigarettes After Sex and The War on Drugs, he noticeably weaves tidbits from them all in his own music, but does so in a way that pulls the listener in through his trademark soft-yet melodic voice. He says the goal is to be the opposite of someone “singing at” you.

“When you think of a traditional voice, it's always like big and kind of coming at you,” he says. “And I was like, How can I be the opposite of that? How can I just be really reserved and how can I be warm and have that restraint and still convey just as much emotion?”

On his previous album Hope For Sale, Chiiild says he felt pressured to be a “light” during a “dark time,” referencing the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, he’s trying to re-establish the reasons his fans go to him when they themselves are in search of the same answers he’s looking for.

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“Everybody was locked in the house, and in some ways it was just like, Let me just put all my stuff aside and just kind of create what I feel I want to hear in the world,” he says of the pandemic and his last LP in contrast to his new release. “I wanted to answer the question, but who are you though? What did you go through? Why does this matter? Why are you here? Am I listening? Like who am I buying into?”

Currently, Chiiild is on a North American tour in support of Better Luck in the Next Life which will continue until mid-April. After that, he plans on continuing to create because it’s often how his own world revolves, with new ideas presenting themselves daily.

“I feel like so much just shows up as the days pass,” he says. “I'll be back in the studio still, constantly creating – more music videos, more shows, and just more moments to celebrate some of the intricacies on the album.”

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