An exclusive Pachagazine interview with prolific vocalist and song writer Chili AF based in Los Angeles California.

An exclusive Pachagazine interview with prolific vocalist and song writer Chili AF based in Los Angeles California.

Chili AF

Pachagazine: What’s your real name and your stage name?

Chili AF: My real name is Iliana Nedialkova and my stage name is Chili A.F.

Pachagazine: Tell us more about Chili A.F

Chili AF: Chili A.F was born in Bulgaria and raised in Brazil. My family moved to Brazil when I was 4 years old. I later moved to  Los Angles at 21.

Chili A.F. is the version of me that I always envisioned and strived for. Open and honest with the public, being real and true to myself. I’m always striving to be my most authentic self as an artist. I think the music paints that picture really well. I try to keep my lyrics optimistic where I can share good energy and a positive vibe but still realistic, no sugarcoating. With Chili A.F. my main goal is to make people feel good and empowered while they listen to my music

Pachagazine: What inspired your brand name?

Chili AF: My closest friends always called me “ili” when I was a kid. Chili represents my gemini personality, meaning hot or cold and always intense. The music always plays a lot with sonic contrasts. Chill, soft, flowy vocals over hard hitting drums and 808’s.

Pachagazine: What got you into music?

Chili AF: I’m the 3rd generation of musicians in the family. Music has always been present in my household even before I was born. My parents are professional classical musicians and university professors, so I started playing the violin when I was 6 years old, practicing everyday for at least 3 hours a day.

Pachagazine: How long have been in the music industry since you decide to focus on it.

Chili AF: I’ve been a professional violinist for over 21 years. I’ve been a songwriter for 7 years, and releasing music as Chili A.F. for almost 2 years.

Pachagazine: Who do you look up to as your inspiration in music?

Chili AF: There’s no specific artist or genre, as I always look for feelings in every song. But I definitely love Frank Ocean, Solange and The Internet! I used to listen to a lot of rock music too when I was a teenager such as Linkin park, Underoath and A Day to Remember. lately I been listening to Grizzly Bear!

Pachagazine: Are there any challenges in the entertainment industry that you can relate with?

Chili AF: Figuring out the business on my own such as promo, PR and managing myself as an artist. I feel like I learn something new with every stage of releasing music; on how to showcase my music to a larger audience. I like to push myself so I can reach my dreams faster. As a songwriter I had to figure out how to fight for my rights.

Pachagazine: What else do you do apart part from music?

Chili AF: Apart from handling the business of my music, I’ve been studying photoshop for the purpose of making my own artwork, as well as constantly creating content online. I also like to hike a lot in the mountains of Los Angeles to keep myself physically and mentally healthy.

Pachagazine: Where have performed and what’s your favorite venue to perform?

Chili AF: I started releasing music in the beginning of the pandemic, so only recently I’ve been able to start performing live. I had the opportunity to perform in a Hollywood launch party for Kolohe Juice and that was really cool! My dream venue would be the Hollywood Bowl.

Pachagazine: Have you done any collaborations? Who would you most likely to collaborate with?

Chili AF: Yess, as a songwriter I have written a song that was released by superstar Zayn Malik, and I was very fortunate to have my background vocals featured on it. I have a song to be released next year where I’m featured on a Justy record. She is really cool. In the future I’d love to collaborate with Baby Keem, Frank Ocean and Doja Cat.

Pachagazine: How is the music competition in California and how do you make your pieces stand out?

Chili AF: It’s really competitive! There so much saturation. I think the way to stand out is being truly authentic and true to one’s self. Also working really hard to push out quality content! Consistency as well.

Pachagazine: What advice would you give to someone who wants to follow your footsteps?

Chili AF: Be honest with yourself in who you truly are. Find your passion and what lights you up. Then work hard with what you love!

Pachagazine: Do you have a favorite song to perform? Tells more about it.

Chili AF: My favorite songs to perform are “U Luv Me” and “Keep Going”. “U luv me” is just really fun, it has a rap verse and dope melodies! I feel very free performing this song. “Keep going” is really emotional for me and has a deep meaning as I wrote it for my grandma after she passed away, so it’s always special.

Pachagazine: What do you think about African music. If given a chance, would you do a collaboration?

Chili AF: I been really loving African music. The rhythm and vibe realy moves me! I’d love to collaborate with Wizkid.

Pachagazine: Where can people find your music?

Chili AF: on all major platforms. Spotify, Apple, Amazon, Deezer, Youtube, you name it! Just search for Chili A.F.

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