Exclusive Interview: Chip Announces New E.P. Release And Asks The Question ”What’s More Important? The Music? Or Where It’s Coming From?”
We caught up with the young success story about his new approach ahead of the much anticipated ‘Believe & Achieve’. EPisode I. E.P....
Chip is one of the standout success stories to come out of the Grime scene, with success not only here but also across the pond, where he worked with some of the hottest artists on the planet. He today announced his long awaited return to the British music scene with his independently released double EP, ‘Believe & Achieve’ – EPisode I.
Chip has had huge influence on the scene since he was in his early teens. Now 24-years-old, Chip is in a fantastic position to re-establish the hunger and aggression that saw him climb meteorically to the top of the U.K scene, both within his and our culture and in the ever-elusive mainstream pop scene.
From the hottest teenage MC in the scene to chart-topping singles, Chip is one of the most commercially successful artists to make it out of Grime. Now releasing work independently, are we set to see a new Chip? Chip decided to speak to RWD exclusively ahead of his big announcement to get across not only the brave and determined energy he’s putting behind the new project but also where he is, as an artist and as a man.
So Chip. You have announced the spring release of your new E.P ‘Believe & Achieve’ – Episode 1. Does this represent a new side of Chip?
Yeah. My whole year will be angled at re-engaging my fans and what we stand for and what we believe in more than anything, sometimes when I look at the records I have that can represent me, things begin to move around a little bit so Late March, early April will be the first chapter of this, definitely. I’m urban YES, I’m a young black boy and I got A’s and B’s in my GCSE’s through the state education but they’re not stripping me of my identity. That’s the angle, that’s what I want to represent. I want to drive the point where people are like “Chip’s making me feel like I can do this thing” independently or on your own, no matter what. If I spit sick bars I’m gonna get that chance.
So you’re in quite a bit of control of this project?
No. Full control.
That’s a pretty advantageous position to be in. It’s a situation that not many artists find themselves in but you have been around long enough and laid your own groundwork to put yourself in this position.
Yeah. I think that’s a good point because another thing I’m trying to do is to remind people to ask the question ”What’s more important? The music? Or where it’s coming from?” I feel that through artists there’s a responsibility that we should all step up as we get older and wiser and not paint the picture of people’s situations because people’s situations are their business if you know what I mean and what’s more important? the music or the business? To the fan at home it should be the music and that’s something that I’m trying to help create as an artist with my experience with the deals and business side of it.
Well you come into this E.P in a strong position considering the fact that you are one of the few artists to break through the U.K Grime scene to make those important moves with some of the biggest artists. Taking your sound to America and penetrating the charts. So has this helped you with this new E.P, knowing that your fan base is strong enough that they will want to just hear you?
Yeah. I feel with this E.P, the hardest thing has always been finding the balance between what people want from me and what actually makes my bloody self happy. Now with this project, it’s not about that balance. As a young man, growing up and changing into the man I am today, and I’m still growing and changing, it’s not about what people want from me and balancing that with what makes me happy, it’s just about what makes me happy. The older you get, the more you realise that more and more, the kind of stuff I’ve been through behind the scenes isn’t a reality show about my problems and my business, it’s more “yo, happiness is more important than anything” So anything you see from me or hear from me from this day forward is me, is Chip, I’m a 24 year old man and I’m willing to murk any M.C if they try it and I’m gonna be providing that good music with that positive energy. I’m about being happy and if you don’t understand that move from now. Everything I’m doing is part of the course to making me happy with positive energy and life and love to the universe. If you look at me and my catalogue, “Who are you” is a banger, it’s a Grime tune, “Every Gyal” is a banger, that’s a Bashment tune, “Oopsy Daisy” is a banger, that’s a Pop tune but I can never step away from the foundation that taught me and allowed me to flourish, which is Grime and that makes me happy so I’m gonna do that, as much as I’m gonna do other things.
So with your new E.P., you’re focused on self-motivation and happiness, something that you feel will cross over to your loyal fans..?
To be honest, I’m trying not to live off of past awards, I’m trying to live for today. Look at me like a new M.C. We know how it works over here, there’s this limit every year for like four new artists. England’s small, there isn’t four dope new artists coming through every year. It’s all a matter of opinion and in my opinion there isn’t four new artists every year and new acts we should be supporting with the full push campaign because this is England, it’s about the size of New York. It’s not America where there are 50 states. It’s not every year you get a superstar coming through from X-Factor, it’s not every year you get a superstar come through in the Grime scene.
It’s not every year you get that one artist who holds that strong fan base to really become something. Much like you had.
Exactly. I want people to understand that my energy is more based on getting people to understand that sometimes you can chill. No matter who you are, once that new guy buzz dies down, when you don’t get that “We have to support this for such and such reason” you’ll see who the real artists are. Everybody gets that first super push and then that dies down and it gets much harder, then it’s about how you can keep yourself interesting and as hungry as the new M.C’s. I’m definitely not a new M.C, I got history; professional history, blast radio history plus killing M.C’s who try it history.
You even have the Basement history from the prime of the clash…
Exactly and if you were to one to care, I got plaque history. Not that I care, I don’t. My energy is that of a man who just wants to M.C, that wants to rap and wants to show people that raw talent is still a way to change your life. It’s not necessarily about what you wear and how you look or how much girls or bottles you pop or all of those types of things that people may be accidentally misleading the young people into believing is important. Of course a percentage of people may believe that is the way but I’m just trying to show a different way. The way that I came, the way that if you don’t have the memory span of a fish, you’ll remember but if you don’t I’m here to remind you. And to remind myself AND my fans. This is what ‘Believe and Achieve” is about, it’s about taking what’s in your heart and putting it in the studio and showing people exactly what can change your life. All the glitz and glam and everything else is simply a bonus. You can’t jewellery your way there. Sometimes I worry that there’s a million songs and a million artists but a lack of substance. I’m definitely somebody who want’s to add that.
So speaking on the new generation and stars coming through, the stand-out star at the moment is obviously Stormzy and here presents a champion the culture needed, very much like you were when you first came through. How does that kind of movement encourage you in what is this new chapter?
Well you’re right in what you say, the culture needed championing by a new spokesman. There’s a few people that have been here, I won’t reel off names but new is exciting and he is definitely somebody who warrants his support because he’s shown you that he can get to the people. Whether they support him or not. It’s the energy of what Grime is about. Stormzy came through in a time where there isn’t that Pirate Radio movement but I can feel that if he was about when I came through, he would have been on the roof with me fixing the rig. He’s not watching what’s going on in the outside world . ‘Wicked Skeng Man’ shows he’s not doing it for those reasons, the X Y & Z. We’re at a time where there’s been a real lack of success for so long since, let’s say Tinie Tempah with his first album. That was major and before that there was a wave of success; Me, Tinchy, this, that and the other but let’s be honest and I don’t wanna point at peoples track records, there hasn’t really been that type of success since that wave, doing those numbers again. Although, as much as there hasn’t been that blatant success, there has been this support that has forced the whole industry and the hierarchy of the business to celebrate the culture. Which surfaces Stormzy. Which is obviously a good thing.
It brought us back to our roots then…
Absolutely and now that I’ve been in my position to being here, talking to you while being behind the scenes in the studio, this environment suits Chip. There’s a scene for it again now. There hasn’t been that revolutionary moment in the culture since Grime popped up the first time…
Now ‘tho… you have to take note of me. If I’m in the room , it’s not gonna be a trip me off the mic kinda day I don’t care who you are. This is how I came through the first time and how I got the opportunity to change my life.]
(Check Out Chip’s ‘I’m Fine FEAT: Stormzy & Shalo‘ [Official Video])
So would you say that this hunger mixed with this current climate in the scene will play a big part in this new E.P? Considering how young you still are and considering how deep into the game you are and have been?
Yeah, I’ve been through a lot man. I won’t get into the details but sometimes sh*t will happen that unlocks a part of you that you forgot existed and like I said I’m not here to tell stories or to get sob-stories but just like everybody else, I’ve been through a lot. Now it comes to a point in life where happiness is very important to me and I just started thinking about when I was at my happiest. When I was murking M.C’s and I get a handshake congratulating me, that makes me happy. When people try to swing me off the mic and had to give them a two-two nudge just so they can know themselves, that made me happy. Selling records made me happy, performing made me happy. I’ve been involved with the elite here and the elite in the U.S so it gets to a point where, as a young man and I don’t wanna blow my own trumpet, I’ve done things. If artist here want to limit themselves to the glass ceiling of just England then they’ll struggle to get to that pocket of clarity where you can do the sort of damage to tracks that people say I’m doing right now. Where people are calling me for verses and I haven’t been in cycle for three years.
Chip’s forthcoming EP ‘Believe & Achieve’ – EPisode 1 is proving to be one of the most hotly anticipated releases of the year, by one of the most commercially successful and highly respected rhymers the UK has ever produced. Follow Chip’s moves for more official announcements around his huge independent release.