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Music Interview

Chiddy Bang interview: 'It's a relief to finally release an album'

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Chiddy Bang


As with most emerging talent in the modern music industry, if they haven't spent nine gruelling weeks on The X Factor, chances are they got noticed through a viral mixtape released online.

Back in 2010, duo Chiddy Bang - consisting of rapper Chidera Anamege and producer Noah Beresin - sampled MGMT's electronic anthem 'Kids' and caused an online storm with their own take on the hit, the cleverly titled 'Opposite of Adults'.

Having since recorded and released their debut album Breakfast, Digital Spy caught up with the pair to chat about how they found the experience moving on to a major label, along with their penchant for a covert sample.

Congratulations on the release of your new album Breakfast - how does it feel to finally get it out?
Chiddy: "Man, it's been a relief. We've been working for a year and a half of our lives trying to get this album together and be at this point. It's exceeded all our expectations and it's been a blessing."

The release was delayed a fair few times - why was that?
Chiddy: "It was just about getting on track with the label and getting everything squared away. They initially signed us for the 'Opposite of Adults' tune and me and Noah then consciously decided we wanted to start afresh for the new album. We wanted the new record to flow from start to end and we felt if we had 'Opposite of Adults' on there that wouldn't happen."

How have you found being signed to a major label?
Chiddy: "We've come out with something we're proud of and it's all about balance. Before we were working off a computer, but now we have people who have a financial interest in our music. We have people who want to see us succeed and sell records and the requirements from you are different."

How would you describe Breakfast?
Noah: "Future space rap."

So would you say 'Ray Charles' is a good representation of what to expect from the album?
Noah: "Definitely not. To say that the whole album sounds like 'Ray Charles' when it's just a piano loop and a drum beat and then the rest of the record is futuristic synths and bizarre samples would be wrong. 'Ray Charles' and 'Happening' are the only ones I did minimal production on and the rest feel more like tried and tested Chiddy Bang songs."

You've sampled the likes of Icona Pop, Ellie Goulding and Radiohead - what's your main draw towards certain samples?
Noah: "I don't really restrict myself to any genre or artist to sample from. It's really Chiddy who says what he thinks will cross over and have a larger appeal. Because Chiddy is not versed in this kind of music at all, he has a very honest ear when it comes to picking tracks."

Chiddy Bang


Have you ever used a sample and not been happy with the result?
Noah: "No, I just make beats and then Chiddy picks which ones he likes. It's not a question of, 'aww man, I shouldn't use that'. If I don't like a sample or beat, then I just won't send it to Chiddy."

What musical tastes do you each bring to the writing process?
Chiddy: "Musically I just bring straight hip-hop background. We sample alternative and indie stuff and quite a lot of it I have never heard before. So my approach to the process is putting a fresh hip-hop perspective on it in the way I know how - and that's just from growing up in New Jersey and freestyling."

Talking of freestyling, you own the world record for the longest freestyle rap - before the attempt, were you confident about breaking it?
Chiddy: "I was confident, but I realised that there was a long road ahead of me."

If someone broke the record now, would you try and get it back?
Chiddy: "Truly not! I think the beauty of the whole situation was the fact that it wasn't something that I woke up and just decided I wanted to do. It was more like a challenge that I accepted and completed. There's probably someone out there who wants to break the record and is like 'I'm going after you Chiddy'. But Chiddy doesn't give a s**t! I did it for a reason and it turned out to be positive."

Would you ever consider writing for other artists?
Chiddy: "Yeah definitely. I think that's a part of the process. When we got signed we got a record and publishing deal and we're writers - we write for people. We're not writing for people now, but that's something that is always available."

You've sampled lots of British music like Radiohead and La Roux - has music from the UK influenced your own material in any way?
Noah: "I think we just try and present people with elements they're not used to - whether it's going to a club in America and playing Wiley or coming over here to the UK and playing Gucci Mane. I think it's just about broadening the cultural variety."

You made your name with mixtapes - can we expect more in the future?
Noah: "Yeah. The plan was to do one immediately if the album didn't do extremely well! But it's done very well so that mixtape will probably be put on pause. We'll just make albums until the label gets sick of us and then we'll go back to mixtapes."

Chiddy Bang's debut album Breakfast is out now.

Watch the music video for Chiddy Bang's 'Ray Charles' below:

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