Cozy Mag recently caught up with Che Lingo, an artist whose eclectic perspective and alternative approach to hip hop has built up an undeniable buzz. We wanted to chat to the guy to ask how it started, what’s next and how he’s been able to get London so eager so early.
COZY MAG: So firstly, how did you start off on a career in music?
Che Lingo: I started creating music when I was about 15, just by going to my local youth clubs and being in studios. It was great but I felt like I wanted to learn from that so it lead me to taking a production course and creating my first ever track, which got radio play on DJ Targets "Best Of British" show back in 2007- I was over the moon at the time [haha]!
CM: That’s a powerful early sign of things to come! Last year you released your 2nd project following your first Mixtape "TRILLINGO" and have continued to build a strong following with shows all over London. What do you put this down to? And how important has social media has been in engaging your fans?
CL: The type of supporters/fans I find I have are a very warm-hearted, intelligent community of people. I believe the strength of such a following so early comes from the amount of gigs I've done, (approx 125, since 2013). They can relate to the groundwork and ethos, making it easier to appreciate what comes of it, in this case the music, performances and progression.
Social media's been a big help, it's given me a means of projecting my personality as a new artist and someone people don't fully know yet. With that comes the connection with the crowds who appreciate the music and want to keep up to date my adventures. (It helps me find a lot of new anime to watch too, lol)
CM: Not many rappers are able to present themselves to a broad spectrum of audiences and you’ve done that already early in your career. What do you see as being your special ingredient to make this happen?
CL: A sonically open mind/ear more than anything I think. I listen to all sorts on Soundcloud. You'll always have things you will and won't like, that's natural but you can find inspiration in the weirdest places.
It's helped me become (and remain) versatile with my sound, flows, rhyming patterns etc, which helps loads in adapting to sounds that I may like but (without that "ingredient") not have been able to touch musically, for fear of forcing it which as a creative I think you should never do.
CM: Your tag line ‘The Risk Is Proof’ encapsulates the grind, but what does the phrase personally mean to you?
CL: To me it mean exactly what it says on the tin, the risks you take (investing time, money etc) in any journey you embark upon, whether it be in music, business, sport or whatever - that risk putting your all in because you can't visualise your future without it, shows your convicted to that, proving your passion and resolve for your dream/ambition, despite anyone's opinion.
CM: London’s hip hop scene is vibrant at the moment. Who/What would you identify as being instrumental in influencing the new wave of hip hop spreading throughout the City?
CL: I think the creative scene entirely is a lot more writhe with budding artists, painters, illustrators etc and they support what they believe in now more so than ever. People are generally more appreciative of art now within our generation so naturally they would be more appreciative and celebratory towards the newer buzzing Hiphop/Grime scene that's surfaced.
I believe Orph Gang, Renowned and New Generation are some perfect examples of other movements/collectives making good music in different ways, that’s being celebrated at the moment and rightly so.
CM: Your previous extended release was a bridge project leading into this one so tell us about the upcoming project and what’s helped to inspire you to keep creating?
CL: Yeah, my previous project 'Black Flow, The E.Tape' is available on my Soundcloud, and features Tinyman, LuvRell, Kojey Radical, Leon Jacques and George The Poet.
My debut EP coming this summer will be a solo project. Watching anime helps a lot too in the early stages. My inspirations can come from anywhere but there isn't one specific thing that I think inspires me more than my own life and the things that happen in my friends lives too. I'll manifest semi-fictional scenarios and characters and lace them full of real experiences to create my concepts and then start writing.
It's a really fun process, it being real in sentiment but also still engaging my imagination and creativity.
Check out Che Lingo on Soundcloud, Twitter & Facebook
Listen to his last EP below:
Interview by Ranako (@NarkiP)