I managed to catch up with Chiddy Bang ahead of their massive schedule this summer to discuss what the future may hold, brutishness, Busta Rhymes and all things hip hop.
Right, there’s a new record in the works. What can we expect from it?
Really, it’s a full portrait of what we’re about. Nothing on it sounds alike.
Is there any collaborations we can look forward too?
Yeah man, Chiddy’s been working with the likes of Pharrell Williams and Q Tip. May even be a few more.
Oh, Exciting. So, how do you go about the writing process? Have you finished writing and recording yet? When do you reckon the new record could be out?
We’re always adding and writing to it, every day when we’re not gigging I’ll be in the studio mashing up and Chiddy will be laying down something. We’re looking at getting it out and finished by September.
How do you choose what you want to sample?
I chop up anything and everything I get my hands of, I don’t normally set my heart on using a certain something. Chiddy usually ends up picking which ones to use.
Tell us, how did Chiddy Bang come about?
I started messing around with production and then started to produce my own stuff, working with various random people in and about the urban scene. Then I got into college and found Chiddy. We worked on something, and I really digged his style. So we started making more music, and then, Chiddy Bang was born.
You show a lot of musical knowledge within your production, so, who’s behind all this? Who influences you as a musician? And who would you recommend people should look into if they want to find urban talent?
My friends originally got me into hip hop, and I loved it. And just couldn’t help exploring. I’m a huge Nas fan, I feel that what he does, is really fresh but yet still deep. He knows what he’s on about. He’s an icon to me as a musician, and definitely in my top 10 all-time artists. Other than that, I’m really liking, Black Milk, 9th Wonder ; Roots.
Right, i’m intrigued now, who else is in your top 10 most iconic artists?
Busta Rhymes is another real big one. I’d go as far to say he’d be in my top 5. At the moment, I mean, I can’t really think. We try to be inspired by a lot though. We both listen to lots of different things and then combine em.
All your current records have an element of ‘swelly’ behind em. What’s the story behind ‘swelly’?
Swelly’s always been Chiddys word. (Chiddy comes to the phone and explains) So, swelly, is basically my slang for anything that’s fresh, I started using it back in high school and it just stuck.
Yeah, I have words like that aswell. It’s brilliant that you can carry on something from high school onto a bigger scale though.
Anyway, you seem to balance your time between the UK and the US. But which do prefer, if either? And, Why? In which one do you get a better reception?
Well, that’s a hard one. In the US there is better weather. The UK has scones, and apple juice, something we always have when we’re there. We just love them and don’t have them in the US! Anyway, in the UK everyone’s more open-minded. Us as artists might be as far as considered mainstream in the UK, which in many ways is a nice thing. But we didn’t mean to make a hit out of ‘Opposite Of Adults’, this element of mainstream makes the more underground fans in the UK over look us, even though the more underground stuff is what we are about. In the US we are very much known as a real urban underground artist. Which is really strange.
We released ‘Swelly Express’ to try and show people what we are really about, our journey, it was free and available online, that was our aims. It seems though, that people don’t get past the single and for now, it seems to have been taken down.
In many ways, I prefer the much more underground tracks on ‘Swelly Express’. It shows a much more rounded personality and portrayal of yourselves, it’s a shame that you get that reception here.
Neatly though, that leads me onto my next question. What are your views on the recent ‘illegal downloading’ dispute? How should it be combated?
I think that it’s all about supply and demand, if the artist supplies material on an equal basis to their fans then the demand will be high. I’m inspired by the motto that you’ve ‘Gotta Share; Not Worry’. Our intentions were always to give our fans mixtape’s in return for their support. An artist’s job overall is too supply their fans, the labels should really just look at much more creative ways to recoup from the artists supply. If a records worth paying for, then a majority of people will buy it.
Do you think this puts a strain on yourselves to produce, or make the money up in other ways for the label, such as touring etc.?
Well, me and Chiddy both love touring. We’re both young, we enjoy it, there’s hardships and responsibility that comes with it but we love seeing the world. We look at ourselves everyday and just are inspired by the fact that ‘we do this for a living’. It’s the best feeling in the world, we’re happy to do whatever we can to maintain production.
Finally, what does the future hold for Chiddy Bang?
Well, our newly announced tour with Tinie Tempah, which should be fun, the album, maybe some other collaborations, possibly another free mixtape. We’re just tryna grow. We have so many sounds to explore. So, full speed ahead.
Awesome, brilliant guys. Enjoy the rest of your summer, and your scones. We look forward to seeing you back in the UK this autumn with Tinie Tempah.