The Cheers Club representer Vinny Cha$e hailing form Harlem, New York has been stirring the pot as far as newcomers to the game go. His approach to music has created quite the cult following, blending luxury fashion with streetwear or blunt smoking with an appreciaton for modern art. Vinny Cha$e has quite the diverse fan base. I recently got the chance to get on the phone and learn more about him.
EM: Hey Vinny could you introduce yourself to the people?
VC: This is Vinny Cha$e of the Cheers Club from Harlem, New York, Manhattan, New Money, New Art all of that (chuckles)
EM:A lot of our readers may not know who you are so let's start from the beginning?
VC: To the readers who don’t know, I started out in film. I started out as Juelz Santana’s personal videographer. I actually lived with him for a year. I went on a few tours and got to meet other artists and a lot of people behind the scenes and in the game, and that’s how I became involved in hip-hop in general. I just started doing music two years ago and the first project I did was The Plaza. It came out last year and it was my first effort and we built on that until right here Golden Army.
CB: During that time there were other videographers like Smack DVD. Did you have a name for your productions?
VC: Yea my production was actually called Maybach TV, you can actually look that up. That was my little production. It was before Rick Ross had Maybach Music and all that. But obviously he got so popular with that I decided to shut that down. (laughs)
CB: What was it about film that led you to start there and not pursue rapping initially?
VC: Honestly because like this was before a time that I thought it was possible. Back then I really loved rap and everything like that but I never thought it was something that I could do. I never tried it. I just ended up trying this about two years ago with the influence of my friends and that’s pretty much how it started.
CB: How did the Cheers club come about and where did the signature cheers introduction sound stem from?
VC: Cheers club started about three years ago. It was a concept thought of by me, my manger and producer Cartiar Court and my other good friend Kid Art, who is also the director of all of my videos and makes 80% of my beats. We came together and we wanted to make a company in music that we felt could make a difference in art and in actual sound. We didn’t want to come out and make some bullshit. So we came together and we thought that the best words to describe what we are doing is "cheers", because when you doing that it’s usually a good feeling or a good time so we wanted to envelope that in our brand basically. For the signature sound we searched and searched and searched and finally Kid Art made it in the booth himself until we got the perfect clink (laughs), but as far as the actual Cheers sample I don’t know where that sample came from, I cant lie.
CB: On The Plaza as well as The Golden Army, you sample some 90s indie songs. One that stood out was No Doubt’s “Don’t speak”. What is it about these songs that speak to you?
VC: That’s the era I grew up in I grew up in the era of No Doubt,Jay-z ,you know what I mean? Swizz Beatz, Timberand, Missy, like those are the kind of things that I was really interested in music wise. Biggie Smalls, like those are the things I was listening to in the 90s. So I wanted to bring that same feeling back in this new modern era but not do it in a corny way because everybody has been trying to do it, you know, what I’m saying?
CB: High-end luxury and fashion in general are a huge influence in your music. Would you credit the touring you did in the late 90s with exposing you to high-end fashion? If not what sparked your interest?
VC: As far as fashion goes, I was doing it way before the music. I was on Fashion Ave. with Cartier Court when he was doing |B| Unique which was a skate brand that they did. I was involved in a lot of the designing and things like that, they brought me into this world and through there I started doing different showrooms like Swagger in Japan and Tokyo and I got to meet different people like Jeremy Scott and Marc Jacob just moving around the city and shit like that. We got to the point where we were doing music so it was dope to reconnect with those same people on a real level. It wasn’t like, "Yo a label forced us together or someone thought it was cool for us to take a picture or some shit." Like we genuinely was doing it.
CB: How would you describe your personal style? And what is one thing every man should have in his wardrobe?
VC: One thing everybody needs in their wardrobe is a Rolex, I think, not with ice -- nothing tacky -- just a nice little piece you can start at the bottom like a vintage Date. Just for like three or four racks. And work your way up. (laughs)
CB: As hip hop and music generally becomes easier to create and get heard, how does Vinny Cha$e and the Cheers club set themselves apart from oversaturation of new music?
VC: We set ourselves apart because we are the best, period. We are the best out of the new class. We feel that no one new that’s coming up right now makes better videos than us, nobody makes better songs than us in the city and nobody is genuinely connected in this fashion world like we are. That is just our approach to it we just here doing what we really do, and to other artists out there, when y’all frontin we can see right through y’all, you know what I mean? It's just that simple.
CB: Have any labels approached you and are you looking at signing? Or staying independent?
VC: Independent artist. Cheers club is my company and my label. It’s the company that I do with Cartier Court. He is also a shareholder and Kid Art who is also a shareholder. We have a private investment that makes the whole thing very lucrative for everybody and that’s how we moving about and the only thing we’re looking at is joint ventures and we got a few things on the table so the next few months will be very interesting.
CB: The Internet & social media have blown up in the past couple years, would you say it has played a pivotal role in your career and how?
VC: I mean definitely, if it wasn’t for social media and the Internet, I wouldn’t have felt I could do this myself. I would have felt that I needed a whole bunch of people that is not really necessary. Like a lot of artists that came up before me like Lil B just watching him blow up, not really his music, I wasn’t moved by his songs per se, I was just moved by his moves, you know what I mean? Came to New York and sold out SOBs and it’s just crazy and I think like, "Wow, this dude did this all on YouTube." I just wanted in. I saw dollar signs and I wanted them.
CB:Your career is just beginning; can you tell us what you have planned for the future?
VC: For the future I got my hands on a lot of design projects 'cause I feel like not only are the top designers cool but some of the best designers of the world are the up and comers that you have never heard about. So I am bringing a lot of people to the forefront and also I have a collabo wth Dope Cuture and Fresh.I.Am, The people who make the FUKK hats that you seen on people like me Trinidad James, Soulja Boy,people like that. We coming out with a Cheers collab with them it’s going to be pretty interesting. I got some things coming out that I’m doing just for London because they show us super super love out there so we’re doing limited, limited runs for them but we got to keep that on the low.
CB:What is one thing you want EM readers to take away and remember about Vinny Cha$e?
VC: I mean if its one thing, it wouldn’t be one thing but, I just want you to know that everything that we do is going to be quality -- it’s always going to be done with an eye to detail and we are the best in the city and nobody can prove us wrong. Nobody is doing what we are doing and we are just doing this to push the culture forward. To add to what’s going on.We are not here to take anything from anybody, we are not here to step on anybody's toes. We fuck with everybody in Harlem and everyone in New York, shout out to Dipset.
CB: Thanks man those are all my questions I really appreciate you taking the time out to speak with us.
VC: Dope man I really appreciate it that’s love right there, and enjoy the rest of your day.