Chivengi - Class of 2020


21, I also use they/she pronouns.

Where are you from?

I’m Haitian born and raised in Tiohtià:ke/Montreal

What’s your daily routine?

These days my daily routine has been: get up, drink some water, boil some water, water my plants and go through my mental to do list and the regular workload, lol. I’ve been writing a lot also, writing and reflecting in real time. I’m mainly trying to get into a better mental state and carve out a new self care routine for the next season. I don’t want to be ashy...[laughs] I want to be moisturized, warm and minding my business k.

How would you describe your craft?

Experimental and personal. It’s very intimate and I’ve only really recently acknowledged it as my ‘craft’. It’s studious but very spontaneous too. Music has been essential to me in ways I didn’t even really know it had been and that realization always sort of hits after the fact. I’ve always taken my time with it too. I would describe it as patient too.

When do you feel the most creative/What’s the vibe when you’re making music?

I feel the most creative all the time to be honest. I have a lot of energy. Soft energy though. The vibe when I’m making music is very deep. It almost feels like time warping in a sense. It’s lovely, like a love message in all caps or in all low caps, no in between.

What did you want to be as a kid?

An informatician, [laughs]. I love tech. I was actually working as a closed captioner for night time programming for channels like CNN, CBS News, etc. It was actually pretty intense. I was basically closed captioning the news for the whole night in a super corporate looking office space. It was also one of the first jobs where I was able to make significant personal progress in my gender affirming transition and have my correct name and pronouns be respected. My good friend jupiter hooked me up with that job. I had never worked a job like that before but it was also pretty cool, not gonna lie.

If you could live anywhere in the world where would you live?

I don't know, to be honest, but somewhere that has a winter… not too cold though. Weirdly enough I’m realizing that I'm not too bad with colder climates. It promotes us to have our priorities be in check, for real.

What’s your favourite song of all time and why?

Necessary by Brandy. It's the refresh in time. It came into my life during a very transformative time in my life a year or two ago. I have no choice but to view it that way.

How did you get your name?

I got it in high school. One day my friend was looking for a new tumblr handle during class. We were kinda hypebeasts back then. I suggested the handle ‘chivengy’ which is basically ‘givenchy’ backwards. He thought it was kinda whack but I liked it. I used it for myself and switched it to Chivengi cause it looked better. Also someone had already stolen the @ on tumblr after I had changed it for a brief moment lol.

What’s next for you?

Growth and healing, always, haha, seriously though, what’s next for me is new truths. I’m ready to build new worlds and share new truths. I’m working on finding my voice and I love the song I'm in right now. I would love to have a new website soon too. I think I have some good friends that can help me. I’ve been trying not to fall too deep into the instagram rabbit hole as much. I’m calling it operation offline. I would like to get the opportunity to talk about my music some more as well. I released my debut ep ‘Mitsubishi’ last year in June. It’s my first independent release. It was the result of 2-3 years of music and life’s experiences. I feel like most of the magic resides in what it is that informs my art. That has a lot to do with my livelyhood as a young queer black transfeminie person. There’s great power in being able to hold agency of your own narrative. I’m excited to keep preserving and honoring that truth throughout my transition and with my music .

Artist: Chivengi @chivengi
photography: Koku Awuye
Words: Yasmine Seck & Alpha Oumarou