To brazilian elevator music diluted with 1920s Jazz to muffled conversations underneath soft beats and piano melodies, Sean Christian creates soundtracks of supreme pleasure under his alias, Chuckee.
A kid at heart, Sean’s humble attitude and appreciation for the mundane manifests an old romance for nostalgia, ultimately influencing his style. Music being his top priority, he joined the independent record label, Exhume Music, but he also dabbles in film, VHS and more recently, cooking.
His music has transitioned throughout the years and with his recent release, Honey Butter beats, Sean proves he can maintain his individual sound without stagnating in repetition. Constantly evolving, Chuckee keeps impressing our ears with tasteful tunes each beat produced.
Yo, my name’s Sean but y’all know me better as chuckee, the orange soda bandit, pimp coat charlie and a whole lot of other silly names. I just turned 19 a few months ago and I hail from Dream Land (like in the Kirby games). I got a lot of hobbies and I’m starting to get into cooking.
How did you get into producing beats?
Haha, that’s actually a really complicated answer. My family had always raised me up on a ton of different music so I’ve been surrounded by music my whole life. I got into DJing way back in the day when I had my deadmau5/Skrillex phase around 6th grade and for some reason it led into me getting into French house music and The Phantom’s Revenge. From there, I started making vaporwave around 10th grade, which I will never let anyone listen to for as long as I live. I remember one day seeing ESPRIT DJing with an SP-404 on one YouTube video, once I found out what it was, I just plunged head first into the hip hop scene. I started making beats with a cheap, little MPD18 I got for my 15th birthday, the rest is history.
How would you describe your style?
Nowadays, I just make whatever sounds good. I always look for cuts with a lot of jazz or coolness or just something that makes it sound super interesting to my ears, so I guess eclectic would be a good word to describe it. I try to keep my beats simple and fun to listen to, y’know? Something you can throw on in the background while you study or skate, or something you can take time aside and take it in entirely.
How long have you been with Exhume Music?
It’s been a really long time now, haha, I want to say about two or three years? I remember the day they came to me and they told me they thought my beats were good enough for a tape to be on their label. I was so excited, I said yes without realising that I didn’t have any new music to release! Thankfully, the LP that they did release ended up being one of their most listened to albums on their SoundCloud page, so I think it worked out good in the end. I’m still looking forward to the day me and my labelmates can make a giant collab album.
Who heavily influences on your music?
I’m really inspired by guys like Dibiase and wun two, Lord Finesse and Damu the Fudgemunk, even guys I only see on YouTube like MAARTN and stlndrms. I try to learn from their techniques and add them to my own for a new flavor and style. I use a lot of old ways of making beats, even though for a long time I made beats with FL Studio and Ableton. Only recently, I started producing with MPCs and tape decks and things of that sort.
Has music given you the opportunity to connect with people around the world?
Yeah! I’ve met dudes and girls from New York and California and the UK, even from Louisiana and Africa. It’s mostly through SoundCloud, but I’ve met some good friends and fellow beatmakers and singers through my music; shouts to JoTruth and Zeitgeist. It’s unbelievably cool.
Ah, that’s tough. I’m really into the Soulection crew and jersey club music, but I’ve been discovering a lot of different artists that range from old and new. I listen to a lot of David Snell and Twin Cabins, mostly ’cause I have moments when I’m in a 2009-Twilight-soundtrack mood. Also El Jazzy Chavo who makes really nice jazzy beats.
Favourite past project?
Gotta be The Bedroom Tapes. Back when I was in my “lo-fi hip hop” stage and still used FL mainly, I made it in about two weeks. It could’ve been way better but I like listening to it, just to see how far I’ve come.
Do you still have your first song?
Of course! I keep all of my old beats, including ones I can’t ever listen to again because they’re so garbage. I think it was “sweet tarts”. Funnily enough, I sampled that from a beat another dude had done ’cause I figured I could do it way better. Since then, I kinda have a rule to never sample something else another producer has, unless it’s like a remix or it’s for like a tribute. Like how I did my vision of the Bonita Applebum beat.
What’s something that you’re currently obsessed with?
VHS camcorders. I love, love, love VHS tapes and the quality of video they have, man. Homemade tapes and stuff like that, really make me happy. It’s like the perfect sweet spot between more expensive older techniques, like Super 8 film and digital video, which, in my opinion, doesn’t really have a character to it. Unless we’re talking about Sony VX1000 cameras. I love those.
Do you have a soft spot for older technology i.e. film, vhr, vinyls, tapes?
I collect records and cassette tapes. I have a huge collection of VHS tapes back at home. It’s gotten to the point to where I reach for my Walkman in the morning and forget my phone on my shelf! My record collection isn’t gigantic, but it’s nice. Plus I back it up with the literal ton of cassette tapes I have too, so I’m happy. I just bought my first MPC so I think I’m gonna start buying old samplers and things of that sort too, just to experiment and see what I can do with them.
Why do you think there’s an increasing market for these types of items?
Mostly because people are seeing that there’s value in old things, beyond them just being little toys or whatever for hipsters to show off. The underground scene has been messing with VHS tapes and records and old grooveboxes for decades now. I think it’ll be that way until the end because we love using things people throw away and making something cool and beautiful from it.
What are your thoughts about pop music and the culture surrounding it?
Honestly, I don’t listen to hardly any radio music or pop/Top 40 type of music. It’s all kind of same-ish to me, and that’s not just restricted to rap. The culture of pop music always puts me off because it seems so shallow and vapid, y’know? People seem to be focused more on how a person dresses and who they hang out with and who they know, instead of their music and their art. I’m not saying this doesn’t happen in the underground, but it happens a lot less than it does in the mainstream, at least in my experience.
What is music for you?
Music is a soundtrack to everything. I write to it, I skate to it, I take pictures to the mood of whatever music I’m listening to, I pray with it bumping in my head; everything in my life is touched by music somehow. I can’t imagine life without it.
Finally, what are you currently working on?
I’m working on a project that’ll blow your minds. I can’t wait for you guys to hear it.
Check out Chuckee on Soundcloud