Chrome Chats to NBM
London singer/songwriter Chrome has already featured on two UK number one records with Dizzee Rascal. In 2008 Dance Wiv Me topped the charts and that was followed up in 2009 with Holiday. Since topping the charts, Chrome has been busy preparing his first album and honing his skills. On August 28th Chrome unleashes his debut single as a solo artist, Wake Up. In an exclusive interview with NewBeatsMedia, Chrome explains what it was like working with Dizzee Rascal, the story behind Wake Up, how he feels about being compared to Taio Cruz and John Legend, and much, much more…
First of all, for the benefit of those who don’t know, can you explain who you are?
My name is Chrome and I am a musician. I’ve featured on two Dizzee Rascal tracks. The first one was Dance Wiv Me and it featured Calvin Harris too. The second one was Holiday. I’m just a musician. I really love music. I would do any sort of music that I can do. I just see myself as an artist.
What was it like working with Dizzee Rascal on two UK number ones?
It was an honour just to work to with him. Being there and to tour the world with him was a blessing. He’s so cool and he’s so talented. I learned a lot from him, definitely.
What did you learn from working with Dizzee Rascal?
To work hard because he is one of the most hardworking artists out there. Also to master the craft a bit more and to pay attention to it as there is always room for improvement.
Your new single ‘Wake Up’ is released on August 28th. How is the promotion for it going?
The video is out now. I’ve got a positive feeling about it. I really like the video, it is real. I think when people see it they will get the whole vision and get behind it and support it. That’s what I’m praying for anyway.
Have you had any radio play?
Yeah. I’ve got to give a big shout out to Sarah Jane Crawford. Also CJ Beatz, Ronnie Herel and The Wideboys have been playing it. It is getting mad, mad love and I just want it to grab the attention of more djs. It should just happen naturally anyway. Once it starts getting picked up I think people will start to get involved.
What is the story behind the track?
The whole song is real. It is how I am feeling right now. It’s an emotional thing. I didn’t really focus on it as a pop song, I just thought, ‘You know what? It’s a good song.’ The hook is uplifting and that’s kind of my philosophy right now — anything is possible as long as I wake up in the morning. I think people will like it and I hope they get it and understand it. The music has got a bit of hip-hop, drum and bass and dubstep, it has got all kinds of vibes. It has got the lot and that’s what I love about it. I wanted it to have a message and not be a typical song about clubs and drinking. I’m happy with it and I hope all the people out there will love it. It’s not directly for the pop market, it’s just a good song. I hope it will be like Pass Out [by Tinie Tempah] in that everyone will love it. I just wanted to do something totally different to what people expect because there are so many concepts that are the same. That’s why I am really happy with it. I think that in this music business it is important for you to believe in yourself before you expect anyone else out there to believe in you.
How well do you think the track will do commercially?
I’ve got the faith. I’m always giving my best and everything I put out there is the best I could have given, so hopefully people will like it.
You have already been compared to Taio Cruz and John Legend. Do you think you are similar to those two artists?
No. I’d never compare myself to those two. People from the outside will always compare you to someone and say, ‘You remind me of such and such’, that’s cool and I’m honoured that people would put me in that category, but I never, ever see myself like that. I respect music. I’m a big fan of music. A lot of the time when I listen to those guys, I don’t listen to them as an artist, I listen to them as just a normal person. It means a lot when people give me compliments, but within myself I’m just trying to do my best and to master the craft and to make people feel good with my music.
Was there a single defining moment in your life when you realised that you wanted to have a career within the music industry?
Music got serious when I started to tour with the Dirtee Skank family. Back then I was working 9 to 5 and doing music at the same time. At that time I didn’t think I could get an income from music, but the talent was there, and people noticed it and worked with it. It was a blessing that this thing happened. I started rapping first and that led to me singing. I just think I was destined to do what I’m doing now. Big up to Craig David for the album title, Born To Do It, that just says what I’m trying to say. He just did so much for the UK scene, he opened so many doors. He made America start to pay attention to us. That’s a tradition we need to keep. If we do then this scene is going to blow.
Who were your musical influences when you were growing up?
Michael Jackson is my all-time biggest influence. Also Kool And The Gang played a major role. There are so many artists who I listened to and loved that they made me love music.
How impressed with the whole UK scene are you right now?
There’s a lot of artists who are representing for the UK right now. We’re coming out of America’s shadow and we’re trying to establish what we have right now. I think it’s really good right now. We’ve got the likes of Chipmunk, Tinchy Stryder, Wretch 32 and Giggs. We’ve got all these people out there representing the UK at full force and I’ve got respect for every single one of them. They are going to be opening doors for everyone, so it’s a good thing. I’m very happy to be part of the UK scene because everything is just so amazing.
Which current artists do you rate highly?
That’s a hard one because I kind of rate everyone. I’m not really one of those people that has a favourite artist or a favourite song. I’m more like if I love a song, I love it and I will pump it all the way. Right now everyone is doing it. Wretch 32 is currently number one and he’s smacking it out to bits right now. I’m rating everyone who is putting in the work. The whole UK scene I rate highly.
Finally, what are your plans for the rest of this year?
Working, working, working. There’s no rest. The album is near enough finished and should be released in the middle of next year. I just want to work on good products. I love doing music and I’ve never seen music as a job. I actually love doing music – pop, rock, R&B, Soul, whatever the music is I love doing it and if I can’t do it, it is a challenge and I won’t stop until I figure it out and understand it a bit more. Music just motivates me in general, in life. I love it.
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