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Pittsburgh Artist of the Week: Chandra Rhyme ‘Bullet’

Chandra Rhyme is an incredible dancer. The artist, who used to go simply by Rhyme, can’t help but see the overlap between her passions for making and dancing to really good music. “I like to bring that attack end,” she explains, “That hard-hitting movement that we do, intricate choreography, intricate steps; I like to bring that into my cadences, like, wow, there are little moments of choreography happening in my songs.”

Sometimes the mediums influence each other in surprising ways. Sometimes it’s like a private concert inside of her head. “It was crazy,” she says, “Because, when I used to dance all time, they would play Bach, they would play Mozart, Tchaikovsky, and while I was hearing that, I’d be hearing Lil Wayne or Beyoncé or Rihanna in my mind as I’m doing combinations across the floor or at the barre.”

Chandra is a fastidious student of her art, often waking before the sun to write. That’s when her latest single, “Bullet,” came to her, inspired by something she’d seen on TV. “One of my favorite shows at the time was Tyler Perry’s “The Haves and Have Nots.” There’s a character on there, his name is Wyatt, and he has a dependency on drugs,” she explains. “The music, the production, it made me feel this somber type of feel like I really wanted something in my life, and I couldn’t let it go, even though I’m trying to purge it out of my life, my system. There’s just something about it that I have to have. That’s what the music spoke to me.”

Be careful, or Chandra’s passion for creating just might stir something inside of you. Actually, don’t be careful. Go ahead and jump right into that pool with all clothes on. “Don’t disregard your dreams,” she implores. “Don’t disregard that intuition, that feeling, those interests, those inklings, those type of special sparks that we all have as a child – even as an adult when our inner child shines through – don’t disregard that.”

Joey Spehar is a Pittsburgh native who started as a volunteer D.J. at WYEP, fresh out of college in 2006. He took on any job they’d let him do like editing audio, engineering remote broadcasts, and shoveling snow.