Nigeria born, London raised DJ Chillz's newest single "Hide It" showcases her deft touch on the boards as she crafts an energetic banger fused with house, afrobeat and tribal elements.
Musically you can easily tell she knows her stuff as the lush production stays the course with an infectious groove and subtle synth changes but it never gets too busy to be enjoyed. To sum it up, she is not trying to do the most on the song but rather create the best vibe everyone can latch on to.
Born in Nigeria and raised in London, DJ Chillz indulged her passion for music from an early age. Listening to the likes of Fela, and 90s music paved the way for her career. She went to college to learn music and how to mix and blend sounds together. After that she spent all of her time following other DJs and carrying vinyl for them. She then earned her stripes in 2009 as she started getting her own air play. Making low-profile mix tapes for friends, despite having a degree Business Management and Computing, the main ingredient in Chillz's life, will always be music. As Chillz explains, "For me any chance that I can get to promote music I jump on it. Music connects the soul. Music has the power to change and empower others. Music can create peace and unity. Music keeps evolving and so will I."
Her love for music is relentless and her passion for blending Afrobeats and Bashment with Hip Hop, RnB, Dancehall and House have led to her being nominated for three Best Female DJ Awards over the last few years. She explains, "It's not just my love for music, it's my passion. I eat, breathe, dream music. That is why it goes beyond liking, and beyond a hobby. Music is my way of living. Music is vital to my life."
Big ups on the release of your new single "Hide it", tell us how that track came about?
Thank you. The hide it Track came about when I was going through my drum samples and I heard the toms and they sounded similar to the funky house sounds that I grew up listening to in the UK. Where I then began thinking of singles like Dennis Ferrer - Hey Hey or Gracious K - Migraine Skank. I instantly wanted to recreate the energy that those singles brought to the dance floor when I included them in my sets. But put my own spin on it especially with the percussions.
What inspired you to make music and what was the first piece of music you made?
It was a combination of things, to be honest, as a DJ it's a natural progression to break down music that was initially created or produced. However, I was hesitant to fully explore Producing until I lost my dad. Losing someone close to you mentally puts you in the mind frame that you are on limited time. Thinking back to the first piece of music I made, Even though it was really basic, lol like I think it was a simple kick, snare and hi hat pattern with random music but to me, it was a major achievement. I was like yeah I'm a producer now.
What aspect of the music making process excites you most, and what aspect discourages you the most?
Being in the zone is the most exciting part of the music making process for me. Like I could spend hours on one track or churn out loads of ideas. When I feel like that I really don't like being disturbed and my phone goes off asap. There is nothing about the process that discourages me I honestly love making music, mixing it and the performance aspect too. Literally, Every thing I do revolves around my passion which is music.
How did your parents take the news about you venturing into music full time?
I think my dad would have been cool with it, to be honest, he was very laid back and relaxed about life. Growing up he always supported me. My mum supported me in a different way, she was always about me getting my education out the way first. Even during, my time at Uni I was djing and exploring my journey into music. Now I know she is ok with it, mainly because she now buys me things in relation to music recently she brought me headphones to DJ with. That's her sign of approval.
Any interesting/cool memories of Nigeria/ how often do you visit?
I didn't leave Nigeria until I was 7-8 years old I think. So I remember quite a bit growing up. I remember the family house in Sabo Yaba before the fire. I used to go up on the roof and watch everyone at the Yaba market I think that's what it was called. Downstairs my mum had her nursery school and my dad had his surgery on another floor. But the roof was my favourite place to go, it was like a flat surface roof and you could see quite far off in the day and at night I can't really describe it, but it was stunning. I think that's why I like going to high points in places and just watch the views. lol, I actually live at the top of a hill now and I can see the north west part of London strange.
Being an independent artist, which is the one factor, above all else, that you currently desire most (increased music distribution, better quality production, more media exposure, more club and live performances etc…)?
I personally feel more time to be creative or explore my creativity. Being an independent artist you have to do everything a record label would have done in-house, as well as creating the music aspect. So I would desire more time to be creative.
What would your friends say they appreciate the most about you?
That I am a supportive friend and my work ethic.
How has your practice changed over time
I am more confident exploring different sounds or trying out different transitions. Oh yeah, now it's split between DJing and Production practice if that makes sense.
Does your mind ever wander when you perform in front of a crowd?
No never. That's actually a key thing for me to use the music to connect with the crowd. I would often say to people that there is almost a psychology to DJing and reading the crowd.
How important is an image?
Not really. Don't get me wrong I care about my appearance and like to dress well, but I wouldn't go over the top to maintain an expensive wardrobe or lifestyle.
Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?
Recently this year, I believed that I had a sure thing to the point that I got relaxed and then boom it was taken away from me. That feeling was the worse because I knew deep down I had no one to blame but myself. So that defo inspired me to get back and focus.
What's your scariest experience?
Last year August a lorry went into the side of my car and literally dragged me across the motorway. That was very scary because, after the initial hit and shock, I realised, that I couldn't do anything until the lorry stops moving. Yeah, that was scary, I had no control at all.
Name something you don't love, and why.
I think this is more of a pet peeve but it jars me when people don't cover their mouth when they cough.
What's your most embarrassing moment?
A couple of years ago I was djing at a new years party and I was a little bit tipsy. I was proper in the zone hyping the crowd and I can't remember if it was another DJ or emcee but someone pulled a cable out and the room went silent. Normally I would have been cool and know what to do, but I was tipsy with everyone's eyes was on me and shouting "what happened to the music". I think I was blank for a few mins or less, it felt like ages though.
Never again, I am always on point when I am Djing.
What is the opposite of opposite?
I have never been a fan of riddles, lol just tell me the answer. Is it the same?
If you try to fail and succeed, which have you done?
You have successfully failed
Briefly, enlighten us on what to expect on your upcoming EP?
For the EP you can expect a fusion of House music elements blended with African tribal sounds and uplifting vocals.
Is there anyone you'd like to acknowledge for offering financial or emotional support?
Big up to my mum, my sister, my best friend Chyna and family who have put up with me and supported me. Never doubting me.
Any last thing you'd like to share with the rest of us?
Thanks for taking time out to interview me. Try not to overthink everything, just enjoy life.