Locals know Che Forreign as a member of L.O.V.E. Culture, the mercurial Duval collective known for consistently creating forward-thinking hip-hop. Now with her six-song solo release, Self-Ish, Forreign reveals her skills at taking the wheel and chauffeuring listeners on a languid cruise through her take on 21st-century neo-soul, R&B, and stops in between.
“Mindfulness” sets the sonic and emotional tone, as she counts down what sounds like a flight into pure introspection, with a lazy, gated beat and luminous synth washes dipping into 90s trip-hop energy. “Waves,” with its cracking-pool-cue rhythm and hesitant keyboard motif, lets Forreign show off her jazzier vocal styles, stacked vocals rising up and merging with a bass wave and drum kit. The EP’s closer “OTR” is the most upbeat cut, but it’s evident that Forreign didn’t make her first solo offering a party album. It really plays like a private affair. Listening to Self-Ish, one could try to imprint any point of similar-genre references on Forreign. But she seems as immune to any influences; she rearranges all sources to serve her well, keeping it nebulous, new, and on point.
This Local Music Spotlight originally appeared in Void Magazine’s February 2020 issue.
Watch Che go Into the Void with her L.O.V.E. Culture fam below.