Asian hip-hop artist Imran Mandani aka Chill AF, has an unconventional approach to rap music…

"Don't keep it real, be Ethereal. Life is a symphony, orchestrate your life." – Imran Mandani aka Chill AF

Chicago based Indian-Asian hip-hop artist, Imran Mandani, aka Chill AF, has an unconventional approach to rap music…it takes more than two speakers to look beyond stereotypes

CHICAGO, IL –The home to mainstream celebrity artists such as Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, Twista, Chance the Rapper, Lil Durk, Crucial Conflict, Chief Keef, and Common, to name is a few, never really had a clear cut style. Instead, the city’s artists garnered influence from various other genres and demographics such as putting their own spin on West Coast and East Coast rap, infusing instrumentals with jazz or spitting “conscious” bars over soulful beats. It comes as no surprise then that hip hop artists from this area are as diverse as their local scene. This is evident when you explore Chicago rap and find that its artists range from “chopper” (fast flow) rappers to drill music rappers. Yet, in today’s rap genre, trap music currently dominates the charts and most rappers regardless of their hometown usually stick to the sub-genre's popular thematic of glorifying mind-altering substances, gang rivalry, fortune and fornication. And then also, there’s the dilemma of ethnicity. The entertainment industry itself only features a handful of Asian Indians who’ve reached mainstream success as comedians, musicians, or actors.

Chicago native hip-hop recording artist, Imran Mandani, however, loves these challenges. The Windy City rapper and graphic designer enjoys carving his own path while evolving his brand. Imran Mandani takes an unorthodox approach to his craft; from writing hip-hop verses over a pop ballad to putting poetic prose over a rugged rap instrumental, a listener wouldn't know what to expect next, but the unpredictability has recently helped him gain interest from a variety of audiences. The artist also writes pop and EDM songs as well. "I try to be diverse"  says Imran, whose musical influences are just as eclectic as the plethora of playlists on his iTunes app. However, he wasn't always a music connoisseur. During his school days, Imran was more concerned about coming up with impromptu rhyming retorts to discrimination during freestyle battles on stage than creating wide-ranging albums.  Everyone had the same '7:11-on- the-dot' punchlines and clichés for me” he explains, and although people were impressed with his lyrical abilities, he became discouraged. "People loved me for my verbal talent, but I was still Indian and didn't try to act ghetto. My culture also had different expectations of me, so hip- hop just became a pastime" he elaborates further, understanding now what he didn't back then; that music trends keep changing and that people should follow their passions in life. “So I came up with my brand, Rhyme Dilation. It’s a pun to Time Dilation, a theory by Albert Einstein. I draw inspiration from Einstein’s legacy because it is a quintessential story of hope. Einstein went through the same struggle we all go through in life as we try to make it in whatever endeavor we undertake.

Everyone talks about keeping it real, but you got to be “ethereal”  which breaks down to “be-the-real” or connecting with the Divine force within yourself. It’s not about “keeping it real” with your ego or street cred. To me [making music] is about encouraging listeners to not only give importance to education but to think outside the box and dare to be different. The stereo speakers in your car; you hear songs on the radio, that influence you, that influence people in some way. For me though, I hear rap songs on the radio and then I think back to the freestyle battles I’ve been in, but I learn to look past all these stereotypes now. Because I feel that anybody who stays true to who they are and works hard to succeed despite their circumstances is 'real.' It’s about getting into the flow, not just in the studio polishing the sonic balance in your mix, but finding balance in your whole life as well. Life itself is a symphony, orchestrate your life. At the end, music has a time travel effect. You can make a four minute song that can influence people's lives for many years to come; it’s about taking responsibility for that.” 

For Imran, the love for hip-hop started in eighth grade. It wasn't long before he started writing rhymes of his own, honing his skills until the break-through moment in high school when he could suddenly free-style. Then it was college; opening for major artists and rapping at university-sponsored events. Despite generating a sizable campus fan base, he put hip-hop to the side when he graduated. After a hiatus, friends encouraged him to take his musical ideas to a professional recording studio.

The Chi-town rapper, who sometimes operates by the alias, Chill A.F., is currently working on a rather unusual hip-hop mix-tape called Patent Pending. Instead of rapping over popular hip-hop beats, the mix-tape features instead, actual rap remixes to songs by some of today's top artists and includes self-crafted cover-art to boot: Clean Bandit, Ellie Goulding, Ball Greezy, Lil Dred, Linkin Park, Steve Aoki, Paul Banks, RZA, Trey Songz, Tech N9ne, Krizz Kaliko, Wyclef Jean, Lunch Money Lewis, The Knocks, Cheat Codes, Demi Lovato, Martin Solveig, Alma, Quavo, Livvia, and Meresha. Some of these songs are very non-rap, yet the approach to lyricism and writing around the original choruses is undeniably the same for every remix. Imran has also completed several rap songs for his debut hip-hop album, Mercury Retrograde. Some of these tracks have been submitted to musical contests and uploaded on his SoundCloud page. The artist is also working on his first pop, EDM, and rap fusion album which include songs "You Should Dance", "Beneath the Ocean Tide", "Sunshine Through Rain", "Sunshine Through Rain" Sunset Mix dance club bonus track featuring popular Chicago house music vocalist, Curtis McClain, "In Another Dimension" and a track in progress called "Dead on the Inside" which was recently featured in a short film called, Boxes of Chocolates, for a Midwest Arts Festival. An upcoming project to The Patent Pending mixtape is a remix to Wiz Khalifa. Accolades include contest winner for a 2013 Microsoft sponsored remix contest and semi-finalist placements for two international indie songwriting competitions in 2014.

Though he was featured in recently released Lifoti's September 2019 issue 09, you can check it from below link's for your country:

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