Chhoti Maa

Musician, cultural producer, educator

Chhoti Maa, known offstage as Vreni Michelini Castillo, was born in Guanajuato, México. She is the executive producer and creative engine of Chhoti Maa’s genre bending music, rooted in community organizing, hip hop, neufolk, R&B, cumbia, migrant soul, and oral tradition. The music reflects decolonial living, ancestral medicine, queerness, migrant empowerment, love and radical sisterhood. Since launching in 2007, she has performed, exhibited, collaborated & taught in unceded Indigenous lands, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Spain, Qatar, U.A.E., Ghana, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, Mexico, Sweden, the U.S., and Canada. Chhoti Maa has been a migrant since 1999, formed by the cultural context of the USA’s south, Peru, and Qatar. She studied visual arts, craft, and art history at VCU, and art practice and ethnic studies at UC Berkeley. She is currently based in Huchiun/Oakland working as a transdisciplinary cultural producer, curator, and educator. Her practice involves visual art, performance, music, hip hop, writing, Mexican folk medicine, cultural organizing, institutional critique, traditional ecological knowledge, and danza.