ChetMega is a rapper from the Southwest of England who has been involved in many musical projects including, being the frontman for rap/rock band VTKTM. ChetMega is breaking into mainstream rap and we caught up with him to see what he’s been up to and what his plans are for this year.
What age did you start rapping? I’ve been writing lyrics since I was around 10 years old but it wasn’t until the age of 13 when I discovered the likes of Wu-Tang, Busta Rhymes, Keith Murray etc that I started writing raps.
You grew up near Bristol what was it like growing up there? I’m from a place just outside Bristol where there was a distinct lack of a modern music scene so naturally I gravitated towards Bristol where there was huge variety of original electronic music. My happiest times were spent in a dirty Bristol club surrounded by music lovers.
What is it you love about music? To be honest it’s all I know, I grew up around it and it’s been my best friend from day one. I’ve always used music as a soundtrack to my life and it has got me through some very hard times, simple as that really.
Tell us about your time as the frontman for rap/rock band VTKTM? I’ve got to say that I owe a lot to that band and it’s members in many ways, most of all because I learned more about my abilities in my time with the band than I had before I met them. Some of the best moments in my life have been when I’m stood on stage with those boys, so they’ll always play a massive role in my career.
You’ve labelled yourself as a cross-genre artist what does this mean? I think that limiting your capabilities is such a foolish move and for me personally my taste in music is so widely spread that if it comes from an angle where if I’m feeling it I’ll write to it regardless of genre, plus I’d say my personality is far from your stereotypical rapper. I like to think I can step onto any style of music and bring my own ChetMega twist to it.
Do you think it’s hard to combine rock and rap music? Truthfully this was one of the easiest moves for me, I’ve always been surrounded by musicians and working with a live band just opens up a world of possibilities. Without a shadow of a doubt I find the rap/rock vibe the easiest to write to.
What’s your favourite genre of music? An impossible question to answer, it all depends on the mood I’m in. I can go from listening to Kano to Mumford and Sons, Johnny Cash to Rick Ross, from Knife Party to Elvis, Skrillex to Linkin Park and so on. For me personally there are only two genres of music, songs I like and songs I don’t like.
Who are your favourite artists? Jim Morrison will always remain one of my favourite artists, more recently though I’m listening to a lot of Wretch 32, Mumford and Sons and Knife Party but it’s forever changing.
Who would you love to collaborate with? Producer wise right now I’d love to work with Skrillex because he’s killing it with his noises and production, also another person that is high on my list is Joker being that’s he’s local to me and has such an original sound. Other than that rapper wise I would have to say Wretch 32 or JME and I would love to work with Azelia Banks.
Where do you get your ideas from for your lyrics? Your guess is as good as mine! If I had to say then I suppose it’s a feeling that I get from the instrumental that kind of creates a scenario I can link to life experiences. It’s all about poetic licence for me, I take real life and amplify it.
What has made you want to cross over into mainstream rap? Well I don’t think it was a conscious decision where I sat down one day and said hey I want to go into the mainstream, I think many people have a fixation with selling out but, to me this is my chosen career and although it’s not money that drives me, its the desire to reach a wider audience. This naturally comes with working with more commercial producers, so it’s just natural progression to me.
Tell us about your new single ‘New Sound’ what’s that about? I actually wrote this song a few of years back and what’s it’s really about is bringing back the vibe of just boasting on a beat but, with a new take on it.
The video for ‘New Sound’ is quite unusual what’s the idea behind that? Well to me, it’s just a reflection of the lyrical content, I’ve always been one for pushing the boundaries of what’s acceptable and how much you can get away with in life, which as you can imagine has it’s problems. That’s probably why it comes through in my videos, luckily I have my brother there to censor/ filter my more extreme ideas. Also I’m a huge film lover and elements of that will always shine through in my videos.
Which new artists are you listening to at the moment? Definitely Benny Banks as a rapper I really like his style, also Frank Ocean for being a new breed of R n B singer. I don’t know if this guys relatively new or just new to me but, I’m loving Willy Moon too right now.
What are your plans for your music this year? I tend not to look too far ahead as that can become distracting but, currently I’m working on two more videos, looking forward to dropping the 4 Seasons EP and going out live with it, whilst continuing with my Mixtape ‘Mega City One’. Other than that basically just keeping my foot firmly to the floor and enjoying the ride.
Follow ChetMega on Twitter @ChetMega
Photography by Sai Photography