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28/07/2021

WATCH: City and county influences stamped all over rapper Chaila's 'bold ode to Limerick'

FROM the use of the area code in the song title to including local artists and entertainers in the video, acclaimed hip hop and spoken word artist Denise Chaila has ensured that Limerick is stamped all over her latest musical offering, '061'.

Described as “a bold ode to Limerick” the single was released this Friday morning.

"We came from the 061, we'll show you how to get things done," Denise raps, over the MuRli-produced beat.

Produced on narolane records, ‘061’ sees the rapper’s commanding energy roll over a syncopated and medieval-themed beat. Denise exudes an empowering sense of autonomy and confidence for her community in the track, whilst retaining a healthy amount of wit and her signature cultural references. 

The video for ‘061’ is by narolane’s Stephen Hall and was filmed in the historical Aillwee Caves in The Burren, Co Clare, the Irish Aerial Creation Centre, at Old Burlington Industrial Estate, Gillogue, County Clare, and Cratloe Woods. 

It sees Denise’s commitment to building herself and her community come through into all aspects of ‘061’. The video was premiered on MTV UK.

Denise was raised in Zambia until the age of eight when her family moved to Dublin. The family had spent a year in Dublin when she was three years old. Having lived in Dublin for 10 years the Chaila family relocated to Limerick in 2012 to facilitate Denise’s father’s work.  Elijah is a consultant neurologist at University Hospital Limerick while Denise’s mother Lydia works as a radiographer in the hospital in Ennis. Her parents, she says, are her heroes, in very different ways.

“I moved here in 2012 at the age of 18. I met all of the people who nurtured me into a musician here - all of the people who gave me the final push to go for this - they were all from Limerick. Limerick is the place I came to and people embraced me and made me look beyond my doubt and I think it’s really apt because where but a place called Limerick to go and discover yourself as a lyricist,” Denise, who is from a suburb in the city, told the Leader last year.

The release of the new single has sparked huge excitement locally with many well-known Limerick people applauding the rapper’s slick latest offering.

“So thrilled for Denise and crew that this video is being premiered on MTV UK, what a moment, go on a chailín,” tweeted singer Emma Langford who features on the video and is among a number of local people referenced in the closing credits.

A visual sequel to the ‘Anseo’ video, while the mythical theme stays strong, this latest film is definitely less Game of Thrones, more Lord of The Rings 4: The Return of the Fellowship. Rap and high fantasy go on a second date, wave at Afrofuturism, and decide that a call to arms is exactly what’s needed.

Denise came to international attention last year after the release of her debut mixtape Go Bravely caught the attention of media across the world from NPR (“a limber lyricist”) to The Guardian (“turning heads from the outset”) to NME (“the name Denise Chaila holds regal status”) to France 24 (“Known initially as a rising star of Irish hip-hop, Chaila's mixtape ‘Go Bravely’ has now propelled her to the top of the firmament”).

In Ireland, she was the highest-charting female solo artist in 2020 and Go Bravely won the Choice Music Prize (Ireland’s equivalent of the Mercury Prize) album of the year award - making it the first time an artist had received the award before releasing their debut album. 

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