Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Chuck Inglish was always around music. He moved to Chicago, which led to the formation of the Cool Kids alongside Sir Michael Rocks. Having worked with artists such as Travis Barker, Curren$y, Big Sean and many others, Inglish has always kept his name relevant in the game. Now residing in Los Angeles, Chuck recently released his album with Blended Babies titled “Ev Zepplin” in April of 2016. Chuck Inglish is not a rapper or a producer, but a musician.
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Mike O’Keefe: I want to start off talking about your hometown and growing up in Michigan. Where exactly did you grow up in Michigan? How was it growing up there?
Chuck Inglish: I was born and raised in Detroit, and lived in a suburb outside of Detroit through high school and middle school. I’m a Detroit-area kid and I moved to Chicago to go to college and spend about 11 years there. My childhood was definitely visual. I went to a pretty big elementary school with the Detroit Public School System. I don’t have any horror stories. Honestly, I caught a good era to grow up in Detroit. It shaped my formation as a man, and the things that I’m into. The Midwest is a very cultured place, it’s not marketed like that, but its has a lot of this [stuff] that gives it slang. A lot of that comes from the Midwest.
MO: Now that you live on the West Coast, how is it adjusting to a new way of life? What would you suggest a first-time visitor to see out on the West Coast?
CI: I mean the West Coast is just different with the weather, you know like the pace too. The day seems a little bit shorter, because it takes forever to get anywhere. Other than that, it’s just pace man. Pace and weather, that’s what I moved here for.
CI: Yeah, I would just tell people to explore it. The West Coast is a few states, I mean its California, Oregon, and Washington. Just in California in general, the state has so many levels to it, it’s like it’s its own country.
MO: Yeah, I know what you’re saying. Describe the excitement leading up to “The Sounds Like Summer Tour”, and is traveling something you enjoy?
CI: I’m a very level, chill person. I stay focused, because this is something that I planned out. I wanted to have a summer run to introduce some of our music and it gives people that listen to me or follow me a chance to actually see the last two, three albums I put out. Or, just see a performance. I haven’t had the opportunity to do that. I’ve done a couple of spot dates. I did some shows overseas. But, I’ve never really had it structured to build out what I’m doing right now. The excitement comes from keeping it moving and having a lot of things to do. Traveling has just been a part of my life since I was like 22-23 years old.
When things become normal, they become your routine. You either adjust and make those things enjoyable, or you get stuff on your nerves. I just choose to see the positives. I find their to be a lot of time, there’s a lot of time between gigs in one place and another place. There’s several ways to get there. It gives you the opportunity to travel with work if you see it that way. Being from city to city, I tend to explore when I come to places and I find the natives. I try to find where the best place to eat is. I’ve gone to a lot of places by myself, not because I don’t like being with other people, but you can’t really make too many quick decisions if you want to go here or there to navigate a city. Can’t really do that with an entourage of people. I’ve been doing that my whole life.
MO: That’s awesome. That’s probably one of my favorite parts about traveling, just getting involved with the culture and seeing what each place has to offer. You can tell the difference between each city. There’s a different feeling you get every time you go somewhere. Are there any cities that you performed in that stand out in terms of crowd atmosphere? Was it in line with the city’s nightlife?
CI: I really liked Denver, as far as if they like something, they like you. They are really there to see you ,which creates the show. They have a whole different culture within that city. The recreational marijuana is legal and it feels like there’s a lot more cultural appreciation for music. I, as an American, I love beauty, I love the cities here. I love home, really. When it comes down to it that culture shock is what excites me. When I go to other countries, if there is a language barrier between me and the guy I find that cool, because you have to find another way to communicate to humans. You don’t really understand each other if you don’t appreciate that.
MO: That’s amazing. I think that actually ties right into my next question, because I feel like music is a way of communicating no matter what the language is if you hear good music, people are going to like it. How does music and travel fit together?
CI: It kind of fits seamlessly, they just aren’t direct partners with each other. They don’t really equal the other at all, but while traveling people will catch a new song on a road trip or you have a playlist going through the airport. You get to a new city and there’s a song that’s playing. You go out to the club and this is what this city is listening to. They are like indirect compliments if I could put it that way. It’s like they go together. One can exist without the other for sure, but together they make both of them easier. While traveling, listening to music definitely makes your journey more visual.
MO: Absolutely. Was producing, rapping, and being involved in music something you always wanted to do? Or was it an evolutionary process?
CI: I always knew what I wanted to do, I just don’t string it into 3 or 4 days. I’m not a producer that raps, it’s hard for a lot of coverage outlets to understand that with rap it’s only been told with one thing. Its not one thing, in the same category as like what would Stevie Wonder do. No one’s called him a producer/songwriter, he just wasn’t. I can think of a few things musically, and I just like to be viewed as a musician. I have a love for writing. I produce other songs for people, but that’s just a hobby that can pay dues really well. I really like music for myself.
MO: That’s awesome. You’re pretty much creating everything so that’s amazing, I appreciate that too.
CI: That’s basically what I do, I just create things and I like to watch them flourish and I create more.
MO: What does seeing and experiencing different cultures mean to you?
CI: Life. The experience on Earth, and if you really don’t have it then you’re not really closing yourself off. It’s not like you’re doing something wrong, but everybody has a confusion at what they think there life’s purpose is. The experience you don’t even have to mention, you know who you are. You’re supposed to see, explore, try to be scared and not be scared. Obstacles are relative, you know what I’m saying? If you don’t see them as such they are not really there and if you see something that’s just a little wall you have to climb over it, it’s not really an obstacle.
MO: For sure, run into obstacles and you just have to overcome them. That’s very true.
CI: To me, a lot of feelings can create their own problems. You know, given they don’t know too much about how strong your mind is and things like that. When you travel you get to actually experience different speeds of life, different cultures. The marketplace of world and things are just a little bit different. You know, you go to a different country and everybody’s off work at 4pm instead of 8pm. Some cities when the sun is out everyone’s out, and then when the sun is down everything is closed. There’s some cities where everything is open and cracking 24/7.
That balance is needed. It’s needed to really just enjoy being here, because if you look around and focus you really think things are [messed] up, then you’re [messed] up. If you go outside your door right now and look at the sky and stare at the trees, what’s really happening? If you didn’t have a phone, or didn’t have your computer what’s really happening. And, if it is happening does it really concern you? If it does then do something, and if it doesn’t don’t worry about it.
MO: I hear you on that. The only thing I can say to that is through this conversation I’ve learned something, and that is awesome. Lastly, what’s next for Chuck Inglish? I see the ALS parties are awesome, I would definitely love to get out to one of those.
CI: Yeah, I got this tour and then at the end of the tour at the end of the summer I’m putting out my next album called “Watercolors”.