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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Artist Of The Week – Chadeo
Monday, April 30, 2007

Like a lot of kids, Chadeo’s musical tastes were influenced by his parents, most notably his father, but unlike a lot of kids, music was the only way in which they could relate. Chadeo’s father suffered from Agoraphobia, an illness that caused him to become very anti-social, there was less and less talked about between the two. There were, however, memorable sessions spent listening to old jazz records. As Chadeo grew up his love of music grew with him. He learned all the ins and outs of production after taking a job at Horizon Music Studios in West Haven, CT, where he ended up working with the likes of K-Solo and Bobby Brown. At this point Chadeo was working non-stop, but this came as no surprise to him as he notes, “when I decide to do something, I put every bit of my mind and soul into it. I lose track of everything else around me, and involve my whole self into what I’m doing. This, to me, is the definition of passion.” Today I’m sitting down with Chadeo to discuss that passion, as well as his upcoming project with Adeem from Glue, and who this Mr. Grynch character of his is.

Adam Bernard: You’ve worked on a number of projects, start off by telling me about what you have coming up with Adeem from Glue. How did you two link up and how will this project differ from his effort as one half of Glue?
Chadeo: I met Adeem through my friend M-One (Jay). One night while bouncing from bar to bar Jay played me some of his songs, and I was hooked. I love a lyricist that creates songs with meaning and content. There is a loneliness in Adeem’s music that I connect with. I guess being from a small New England state creates that strange disassociation with some of the outside world. For a while I was DJing at this club in New Haven called Funktion. I asked Jay to get in contact with Adeem and see if he would perform. We did that show on April 1st and our slogan was “Don’t Be An April Fool” It went off great! He has an excellent presence on stage and relates real well to the crowd. After that I brought him in to Horizon and we recorded one song together. That song is my favorite song I’ve ever done. Since then we stayed in touch and last year he sent me an a capella of his song “A Lot to Say” which is on their recent Fat Beats Records release Catch As Catch Can. I took the a capella and made my own beat for it. They are currently performing that remix on their new tour. Adeem recently IMed me and asked me to produce some songs for his next album. This is one project I can’t wait to get started on. We haven’t discussed content yet, but I’ll tell you that one of my goals is to do a song that brings him back to the old school, use some classic samples, and have him lyrically just have fun with it. I would like to find a way to make him commercially viable while still keeping his roots in the underground. I think one difference is the music will not be as dark. As much as I love what they do I’d like to open the boundaries a little.

Adam Bernard: What's your production style? How do you approach creating a beat?
Chadeo: I guess I’m old school. I like my samplers. I wish Pete Rock and Primo were still the top producers in the game. Drums are the most important part of a Hip-Hop beat. My first approach is figure out the drums. I don’t stick to any one style, I like to experiment with a lot of them; looping, chopping, slicing, whatever. One thing I like to do is after I chop up my snares and kicks, I’ll layer a drum loop underneath it, and shift around the hits to set up the groove. This does two things: one, it creates space between your drum hits. It helps to create that ambient sound that chopped drums don’t have, and two, by shifting the hits to fit the loop that is buried underneath, you make the drum pattern sound more natural, and not programmed. There you go kiddies… today’s lesson in drum program 101.

Adam Bernard: What inspires you musically in 2007?
Chadeo: Hmmmm… Jameson! A bottle of Chianti and some fava beans? My daughter definitely inspires me. Right now I’m reading a lot and I’m trying to use the structure of stories in written word, and translate them into how I musically tell a story. I like the way Chuck Pahlaniuk tells a story. The only problem with reading his books is that you walk away with a rather pessimistic view of the world. When it comes to artists, Apathy! He’s an animal on the mic. There isn’t an MC out there right now that can handle him. He has developed so much from his early days. If you’re reading this Ap, we got to do a song together!

Adam Bernard: Do you have any moments from your past that make you pull a Homer Simpson and go D’oh?
Chadeo: I’m not sure of the year, but I know I was somewhere between 19 and 21 years old, when I met Skeff Anselm. My friend Malachai and I were going into The Bronx on a regular basis working out of his studio. Skeff had these two beats that we loved, and wanted to spit off, but he kept saying they were for Brand Nubian or some shit, and of course he was trying to get paid, so in retrospect I understand. So instead we started working on this other beat and I have to admit I wasn’t too into it. After several sessions working on this thing we ended up scrapping it because neither of us were feeling it. Fast forward another year and De La Soul has this song featuring Mos Def called “big brother beat” and I’ll be damned if it wasn’t that beat that we just “weren’t feeling.”

Adam Bernard: Finally, tell me about your dual personalities. Who is Chadeo and who is Mr. Grynch? Which personality is more likable?
Chadeo: Ah the name I love to hate! The name Mr. Grynch came about many moons ago. I used to live in a cave at the top of a mountain, and these pesky little fuckers in their village below would sing these God awful songs all day… sorry, acid flash-back. Yes that name came from my sadistic side, my dark side, sorry George Lucas but I had to use it. Back in the days of illy-blunts, acid and lots of whiskey. Chadeo is basically me, the same guy who answered these questions, the too-smart-for-his-own good nerd that loves books, beer and beats. Mr. Grynch is the obsessive part of me, the depressive side, all of my anxieties, and pent up hatred that boils over every now and then. Mr Grynch is the guy who pisses on your car door handles for taking his parking spot. He is probably also the guy that will hand me the first class boarding pass to looney-ville, where everything is bright white, and padded. But he really is a nice guy!

For more Chadeo check out myspace.com/mrgrynch.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:47 AM  
  • At 4:29 PM, Blogger chadeo said…

    Being the egotistical prick that I am, and since there are no comments about my more than interesting interview, I am going to comment on myself.

    Here we are, a year and a half later, and still this friggin Adeem project isn't finished. I accept the blame for being such a perfectionist.

    So for the minimal few that actually give a tenth of a fuck about what I have to say, the project is nearing completion, and we should have material to annoy your eardrums before the end of the year.

    And oh yeah... the album is amazing to say the least!

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