“My first encounter with a DAW was somewhere around 2007 and for the most part I had no idea what on earth I was doing mainly because I was 9 and all I did was twist and turn whatever I could find until everything was inaudible… in an attempt to emulate sounds I had heard in video games,” CHEE says. “Roughly around 2012 is when things started to make sense and more time was spent actually learning how everything worked because my brain was a lot more developed (sort of). Only once 2014 came around (my final year of high school) is when the Chee project actually began and I started releasing on labels, specifically Underslung Audio based in The Netherlands. One thing led to another and I started getting offered shows. It wasn’t something I went out seeking, but my friends at the time were throwing shows and were like ‘Oy, you should start performing all these beats live’.”
He says that his sound today is a lot more digestible that when he first started.
“For the longest time, the most fascinating thing for me was how far a sound could be pushed before it turned into complete sludge,” he says. “Sound design has always been my favorite aspect of making music, but as of late, my taste and approach has been more focused towards composition, rhythm and melody. Being able to restrain and hold back from going too hard is a skillset on its own & I’m still trying to hone that in. Getting there slowly but surely— it’s been a lot more fun.”
CHEE says that this is an exciting time for electronic music — indeed, this is the most excited he’s been since he first got on Soundcloud.
“It feels as though genre barriers have been stripped away and there’s a lot more cross-pollination across electronic music, hip-hop, pop and so forth,” he says. “If I could name a few, Ternion Sound is pushing the envelope when it comes to dubstep. They’ve cracked the code and I don’t think I can name one bad Ternion track because those dudes have figured it out. Another one I’m also really excited about the rise of is Fred Again. Not just what he’s doing right now, but his style has inadvertently gotten a lot of listeners a lot more interested in UK garage, 2 step & bassline. It’s not that far off. These are genres I’ve been a fan of for as long as I can remember, and seeing the response to it all in North America gives me high hopes for what’s to come. For a while during the pandemic, there was a lot of murmuring about a renaissance era across all forms of art and it’s unfolding as we speak. A few honourable mentions in terms of artists that are pushing the envelope are Sleepnet, Ivy Lab, Of The Trees, Dorian Concepts, IMANU, LYNY, Quiet Bison, ISOxo & FLY, just to name a few. Oh… and the LA beat scene has been and will always stay unmatched.”
His latest release is the “Act Like You Know” single.
“The track started during the pandemic when I still lived in South Philadelphia,” CHEE says. “I believe it was written during the spring of 2020 and at the time, I was making a lot of mudpies (long recordings of sound design) and after messing with an arpeggiator enough, I layered down that melody and had it on loop for a bit. It was a relatively quick song to make and it’s very much inspired by early Carmack, Shades, G Jones and various other 120 BPM trap / bass. One thing I am grateful for during that period is being so detached from reality that I stepped a little outside my comfort zone and experimented with slower tempos.”
Looking ahead, CHEE has plenty planned for the coming months.
“As of right now, I have 2 more CHEE shows,” he says. “One as direct support for Peekaboo at Believe Music Hall in Atlanta on December 9th & a B2B with kLL sMTH at Snowta in Minneapolis for NYE. I also have a show with my partner in crime Jon Casey under our joint alias ‘It Hz’ in Denver at Cervantes Ballroom on December 15th with Nic Baker (Vide x Inspect3r), Molokai, Chromonicci & Imperivm.”
Act Like You Know CHEE: CHEE’s “Act Like You Know” single is out now.
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