After supporting Chiddy Bang since they first dropped Kids (or Opposite of Adults as it’s known nowadays) back in October 2009, we’ve finally got the chance to interview the Philadelphia group. You all know them, so I won’t bore you with a pointless back story, let’s just drop straight in there. The interview was conducted with Xaphoon Jones, the producer and sampling mastermind behind the two piece.
This interview was initially posted on Beat The Elite Four, the old version of this site. The interview was conducted by Felix Morgan.
First things first, the new mixtape, Air Swelly. How long has this been in the works, and how happy with it are you?
Air Swell’s been in the works for a few months, ever since we started flying over to visit Parlophone records in the U.K. (February.) We’re real pleased with it, it should be enough jams to hold people over ’till the record comes out.
There’s a lot of UK based artists sampled on the mixtape. Was this because of the people you heard on your UK tour, or did you tour the UK because of the music?
We’ve always tried to stay up on our UK music tip, but you’re not gonna understand a scene until you really get to kick it with the kids there. While the new stuff we learned isn’t necessarily reflected in Air Swell, it’s definitely influenced us and our music in the coming months.
You’re coming back here in the upcoming months for another tour, which we’re very much looking forward to. Are there any venues or events you’re looking forward to in particular?
I know we get to play a bunch of universities, which is great, I mean, we really shine there, and it’s gonna be nice to see more of the U.K. besides London, which was really the only city we had time to explore.
Which song were you most proud of on the new mixtape?
That’s tricky. I dunno about Chiddy, but for me.. Definitely our Under The Sheets remix. That one I’ve literally been working on since Ellie dropped the single, and just been tweaking and tweaking and working on the drum sounds, and when I finally gave it to Chiddy I feel he really murdered it. Also, it’s definitely the most fun Air Swell track to play live.
Looking to the future now, what do we have in store from the Philly golden boys? I hear you’re working on an album at the moment?
Yeah! In between shows we’re finding time to write and record new songs, some samples, some originals. The balance is really great, and the hardest part of the record is gonna be narrowing the songs down, we just can’t fit them all.
We’ve got a lot of love here at Control The Riot for another guy from Philly, Theo Grams. Do you guys anticipate working with him much on the album, or in the future generally?
Production wise, Grams is always among my go-to ears when I’m working on a new beat. There’s a couple of potential ideas for the record, but we’ll have to see how it plays out. Regardless, Grams is always working with me and chiddy on something, and as one of the best writers I know, the world should definitely keep one eye on him.
How do you feel about the Philadelphia scene in general? We’ve been hearing a lot of stuff from there recently, and it seems to be flourishing.
Philly is always going to be doing its thing, whether its filling up the backing bands of Jay-Z and Kanye, doing some crazy experimental stuff, or just keeping the speakers knockin on the block. I predict alot of great music to Philly-based music to be making headlines soon.
Who do you see as the people paving the way for producers like yourself?
Of course there are the legends Preemo, and Pete Rock. I dig Kanye’s beats (College Dropout – Graduation) for his orchestral style, Dilla for the drums and the way he can bop. My most-listened-to modern producers right now would probably be Black Milk and The Knocks.
You guys seem to be one of the most accessible artists out there, as you use social networking (Twitter, Facebook, etc), and really connect with your fans. How important is this to you, and do you think being so close to your fans has any impact on your music?
The internet has been huge for us, in the fact that we built strategies around it, mostly through blogs, but facebook and twitter can always help. You’re gonna need to be up on your digital game if you wanna connect with your fans AND collaborate with your peers. The internet is the global scene, man, and it’s good to hang out once and a while.
How do you see the use of blogs and sites like The Hype Machine in the music industry? Do you feel free music sharing has helped or hindered your progression as artists?
Free music sharing, as a philosophy AND a distribution method, has helped us so much. People love free music, its humbling, and its important to build the buzz from the ground up by giving and giving and giving. The more people know you, the more will come to your show, and you will do much better, financially speaking, when you go on tour. I can’t stress this enough.
Finally, as we always ask, if you guys got to collaborate with one rapper, and get one DJ to remix it, who would it be and why?
There’s so many good combos.. Featuring E-40, remixed by Chuck Inglish from the Cool Kids. I feel like those two would go well.
You can download Chiddy Bang’s latest mixtape >HERE, and for more songs from these guys just take a search around the blog!
What do you think of Chiddy Bang? And who do you think they should collaborate on the new album? Also, who do you want to see interviewed next? Let us know you bastards, crowd participation!