Interview: Chinwe

Chinwe standing against a painted brick wall

Hello Chinwe how are you?  
I’m good thanks, you?

I’m very well, thank you very much for asking!
You are a singer songwriter and producer from London; how did it all begin for you?

Music was always around when I was kid. My mum played piano and really wanted me to learn an instrument. I started violin when I was like 5 – I hated it! lol but it was my first experience of making music and it taught me a lot in terms of theory and stuff, so I guess it wasn’t all bad. When I was a teenager that’s when I started playing guitar and messing around with production trying to figure it all out.

Who did you listen to growing up?
I went through a lot of phases growing up, so I think I listened to a bit of everything from 90s Hip Hop to folk and everything in-between. There was always Reggae, Dancehall and Afro Beat playing at home and at family parties. And when I was little I remember being obsessed with the Spice Girls.

Congratulations on making the Fresh Faves 376 with your single Intoxicated. How does it feel?
Thank you, it honestly feels great! I usually make music on my own so it’s really nice to know that there are some other people out there who like it too.

What’s the story behind this song? 
I actually wrote the song during lockdown and I would say it’s more about escapism than it is being in love. It’s about the feeling of yearning for a different reality that can lead to infatuation – whether it be with an individual, a high, or a time and place.

How have you kept yourself going during lockdown?
I’m more of an introvert so I don’t think I’ve found it as hard as some others I know have. There’s so many things I’ve always wanted to do (most of which I still haven’t done), but yeah, just keeping myself busy has been key – whether it be making music or trying new things I’ve never had the time for before. 

You’re from East London, a part of the city that’s vibrant in creativity, what are your three favourite things about East London?
Hmm that’s a hard question, it’s changed and is changing so quickly I have a love/hate relationship with it. I do really love the live music venues though – it’s great to have so many places locally where you can go and watch such broad a range of artists. There’s always something going on so you’re never really out of options or things to do. I’ve definitely missed that during lockdown.

You produce your own music, how does your writing process begin?
I usually start in Logic with a chord progression – I’ll mess about on synths or guitar and see what I come up with and lay it down. Then I start building the rest out – drums, bass etc. Lyrics usually come last for me.

You’ve gained a lot of support, especially from our own Tom Robinson, and Complex magazine, how does it feel? 
It feels amazing and I’m super appreciative to everyone who’s supported me so far! I hope it helps my music reach more and more people.

What’s next for you? 
I’ve got another single coming out October 16th called Broken Glass and then I’m hoping to release my debut EP early next year.

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Chinwe in a playground

Del Osei-Owusu

Del is a songwriter, producer, keyboard player arranger and musical nerd from South London, Del comes from a gospel music background but listens to anything, everything and nothing. Read More

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