Chrome is a UK Dj, MC, Producer and Record Label Owner and we’re honoured to have him as a member of The Forty Five Kings.
1.Tell us about yourself and your history as a collector, DJ and MC. What drives you to continue?
I first got introduced to HipHop in the same way as many others around my age in the UK from watching the Buffalo Gals video on Top of the pops. I soon got addicted to the music and was inspired to try and rhyme and scratch on my Mums record player.
My record collection days started at the extremely young age of 5 after my older sister gave me a copy of ‘Rock n Roller Disco’ compilation LP on K-Tel. I was so impressed with the cover and the amazing music on it, from tracks like ‘Money’ by the Flying Lizards and ‘Death Disco’ by P.I.L which somehow made my young ears ping haha!
I then decided for my birthday and Christmas’ from then on that I would like to have records. The following Christmas my Mum also got me a ‘Frisco Disco’ record player with speakers (that had lights in them), a chunky pair of kids headphones and a microphone, and that was it I was away.
Immediately I was on a mission to find records every time we visited the town centre. I lived in a tiny town in the midlands UK called Stone. It had 3 possible places to find records. The back of a newsagents called ‘Martins’ where I would get a few things namely my first Adam and the Ants records (I was a big fan), my first Madness LP alongside some Shaking Stevens, Bucks Fizz and Now compilations haha!
It wasn’t til the age of 10 when I moved to Norwich that I realised record shopping could be so much better than I had witnessed. As soon as I got myself a paper round it was on.
I haven’t really looked back.
I started taking rapping seriously around the age of 12 when I, alongside my older brother found a DJ in Norwich called DJ Sure Delight. We immediately bonded through Hiphop and started making music under the name of Def Tex. We had a fun career with lots of awesome gigs supporting the likes of De La Soul, BDP, Cash Money and Marvelous amongst many others, and then being signed to Virgin / Ten records.
Many years of releasing records and touring came to an end in 2007 which is when I started my solo journey as Chrome and later joined forces with longtime friend Illinspired.
As for my ability to carry on with making music, I just have a deep passion for creating the music that I grew up listening to. I will always enjoy it I think!
Lots of new music and projects lined up.
2. How long have you been releasing 45s? How many have you released and are on? Why release 45s?
The first 45 I released by myself was the ‘Dopamine hit’ (Smoove remix) on my No Half Steppin label.
We’re now on number 3 which is the ‘Rockid Sound Machine’ Bboy funk 45. So it’s a relatively new thing for me stepping into this world of “running a label”.
I’ve been on around 10 or so different 45 releases, mostly as a Chrome release, some as a feature. The first one was a DefTex 45 called ‘Sing Sad Songs’ on Monkey Face Records, there was 500 pressed I think.
I find releasing 45s nice and easy.
A quick turnaround it seems, and easy to ship and transport!
3. I know you do a regular Friday night radio show on futureradio.co.uk called ‘The Chrome Funk and Soul Show’. Tell us about the show, how long it has been on, why did you start it and what is the concept behind it? I also notice you feature regular guests who always seem to step up with killer mixes for the show?
It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for many years. Back in 2007 I finished a 2 year Diploma receiving a distinction in creative music production. A part of the course was radio programming which I loved and got stuck in and received a ‘National Programmer of the Year’ Award.
So I have since been looking at securing a weekly show of my own. The opportunity came about last year with my local community station. I had an interview with the station and after pitching my idea they came back to me saying they wanted someone to run a Funk and Soul show so I grabbed it.
My thinking behind the show was to represent a lot of new and upfront music from around the world that has some kind of connection to Funk or Soul, which is why you’ll hear a lot of music that is not strictly Funk or Soul sometimes, haha, but I always involve a big section of the show dedicated to classics and unearthed gems.
I started in early March 2020 just before Lockdown happened, so I’ve only actually been on air from the studio once, the rest of the shows have been pre recorded from my studio.
I’m really looking forward to getting back to being in the radio station studio. I really enjoy preparing each show and researching new music each week, and receiving promos from labels and artists.
I’m just dying to get back out to DJing with a crowd especially with a lot of the new music I’ve discovered over the last 6 months or so.
The Guest Mix is a part of the show that I absolutely love.
It’s amazing hearing people’s selections and the delivery of each mix.
I’m always on the look out for more so if you’re reading this and fancy a go then hit me up!
4. What does the future hold for you as a DJ and MC, particularly with the ‘New Covid 19 normal’? How has Covid effected what you do?
It’s definitely been challenging times in regards to being a DJ and an artist. I had a weekly residency which was a big part of my income taken away plus 4 other monthly nights gone, and lots of function work postponed until 2021 which is frustrating.
As an artist I was just reaching a point with my band where we were getting things lined up for a summer of gigging with a booking for ‘Latitude’ festival amongst others which was a let down too. But we have been busy working on an album under the project name of ‘Chrome+’.
The real positive of course is that Covid has allowed us as a unit lots of time to write, produce and record. The LP has production from DJar One, Mr Fantastic and remixes provided by Smoove and Steve Jeffs.
The great thing is that when live music begins to happen again in venues, we have a full new live show ready to roll.
We’re currently just speaking to a few labels to figure out how to release it. Watch this space!!!
5. Would you like to add anything else and also share some links?
Just to add some shout outs to everyone who has been buying my music and supporting the No Half Steppin label. And to all the guys I’ve been lucky enough to gig with, Illinspired, Deftex, Super JB, A Civilian, Tom H, DJ Just One, all the B line crew, Naked Ape crew, Burning Anger, Suspek, Mantis Chapter and to anyone I’ve forgot I’m sorry haha.
Also to all the DJs who have been playing my music a massive thank you, there’s more on the way soon.
If you haven’t heard it and want to check it out then visit – chrome.bandcamp.com
Also follow me on FB, IG and Twitch @therealdjchrome
Thank you to the Forty Five Kings