There’s something about the air in Southern California that messes with your perception of reality—for better or for worse. It’s this bizarre numbing effect Nigerian-born and Berlin-based vocalist/DJ Isis Salam confronts on her new single “West Coast Chillin’,” which addresses the phenomenon with a smooth, funky instrumental behind lyrics about coming out the other end of a serious relationship soothed by the region’s perpetually warm environment.
“I thought about how Cali can put you in a bit of a trance or keep you in this beautiful and delusional state of mind, even if you feel like you’re in the wrong place or with the wrong person,” she explains of the new track. “I finished the song after the end of the relationship and immediately thought the hook could be a mantra about moving on, which is why I rap ‘West Coast chillin’, ain’t about your feelings / So move on, Cus.’”
Half the song, she explains, was written before the breakup in an Echo Park studio, which may have added to the track’s blissful, discernibly SoCal vibes. “West Coast Chillin’” also precedes future releases charting the same gulf of emotion. “The track is part of a bigger three-part album which has me working through feelings of elation and emancipation,” she adds. “I finished the song when I returned to Berlin after the break up.”
With concrete plans for those recordings yet to be revealed, get a taste of Salam’s next chapter by streaming the new single below.