By Jim Servin
Mashup maestro Chloe Flower brings together the worlds of classical music and hip-hop with a splash of dramatic showmanship—her fiery performance accompanying Cardi B on “Money” at the 2019 Grammy Awards set Twitter blazing, and put the world on notice.
“I’ve always loved opposites,” she says. “Growing up in a small town in Pennsylvania, I was one of the only Asian people in my community. I didn’t completely fit in. But then when I went to New York City for conservatory, I didn’t totally fit in with the Asian community either, because I was too Americanized. Being on my own and being different is something I feel comfortable with. The same applies to my music. I always say, Go big or don’t go.”
Her new, self-titled debut album, composed during the pandemic, takes her signature blend of soul-stirring melody and trap beats into a sublime space of transcendence and catharsis. Each of its three acts (Innocence, Suffering and Hope) features a spoken intro by her friend Deepak Chopra. “He’s definitely an inspiration,” Flower says. “He really practices what he preaches.” The two are currently joining forces on a multimedia project about the effect of music on body and brain. “It’s going to have a music component, a spoken-word component, and a light-therapy component. It’s still a little bit away, but I’m really excited.”
Music has always been her great healer. “As a child, any time I went through a hard time, I was able to go to music,” Flower says. “I like to say I get ‘wasabi mad.’ You know how wasabi is spicy for a second, and then it’s fine?” She hopes to reach kids who could benefit from the therapeutic aspects of music, and possibly follow her career path. “It’s not fair that public schools don’t have music education programs as part of their core curriculum,” Flower says. “I try to package my album and videos in a pop way, because maybe it will help young kids think, ‘Playing the piano is cool.’ Hopefully, that will create a demand for them wanting to learn a musical instrument. We see a lot of sports geniuses coming out of schools, but we don’t see enough musical geniuses, and that has to do with funding and demand.”
The Manhattanite’s wellness go-tos include yoga, Pilates, walking, focused breathing and avoiding caffeine in favor of organic raw dandelion root tea by Starwest Botanicals. Her favorite chill-out spot in the Hamptons? “Montauk,” Flower says. “I’m obsessed with it. Ob-sessed. My dream is to have a house in Montauk, on one of the cliffs, with a piano facing the view.” chloeflower.com