One To Watch: Chuck 20

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With a feature on Channel 4‘s Four To The Floor, Little Simz‘ hundreds of thousands of online plays, love from the likes of Mos Def, SpaceAge is going from strength to strength. With Simz falling in as their natural leader, this does not take away from the talented individuals she has bought through. One such artist is Chuck 20, a 22 year old North London rapper, whos influences of grime, electro, hip hop and rap fuse together in his music to create an unmistakable style and flow.

It’s been noted by Chuck [Chuck is an abbreviation for Chuckles – dont ask!] himself that he got involved in music from an early age [around 13], and was influenced by his older brother, who whilst growing up was a grime artist at the time and would encourage him and his cousin to write bars. Growing up in the 1990’s/2000’s gave Chuck a plethora of music to grow up to, from the classic hip hop and rap from the US as well as the birth of garage and grime in the UK and the emphasis on production and lyrics.

“[I was] always thinking these lot are sick.. I’m going to spit better than these lots….. It always changed but my main influences were people from the UK like Skepta but also people like Biggie as well….”

He first met Little Simz when he was 11 and the two became great friends. Although their friendship wasn’t based on music, they grew up with it and throughout their relationship, build a unique chemsitry on the microphone that is hard to create artifically. The ’20’ in Chuck’s name reflects being in his 20s when he decided to take making music more seriously and alongside Simz, Josh Acre and Tilla, SpaceAge was born. From early on, the group saw themselves as a family and focused on pushing each other and helping everyone to develop.

The longer we spent together and the more we got to know each other, the connection just grew stronger. After our aspirations turned out to be kind of similar.

Understanding the talent they had, Chuck 20, with SpaceAge bought out a string of successful tracks including ‘3000x’, ‘Guess Who and E.D.G.E’On every one of the tracks that feature all those involved, you can tell that each is giving their best and their is a sense of fun and energy through both their lyrics and the way that they are delivered. Following the single drop ‘No Pressure’ back at the turn of the year, SpaceAge released their debut EP The Theory Of…. The surprise release played as a perfect introduction to the quartet of Simz, Chuck, Tilla and with production from OTG, VNSN, Prezident Jeff, its no surprise that the EP has been streamed over 100,000 times.

With each individual being incredibly talented, it’s not a surprise on the impact that being part of SpaceAge has had on Chuck 20 musically.

“It’s helped me challenge myself … I feel like I’m around literally by the best rappers… It’s a sick thing being surrounded by people who can push you and help you grow”

While SpaceAge is respected by Chuck 20 as his home, he’s also not afraid to take risks and venture out into solo territory. In January, Chuck began production and writing of his first solo release entitled Experimental Art Of A Moonchild and dropped tracks from the projects in June and August of this year. Both track, ‘4am High and ‘Turning Worlds, not only showcased his ability to own a microphone and construct tracks but also showed us his versatility with sounds as the tracks had influences of electro, garage, rap and trap. With many great artists, it seems like the process all came naturally;

“4 am high I was in my bedroom I was very sober… *chuckles* It was 4 am, it was literally that I heard a beat and I was writing to it.. Feeling mad inspired… Turning worlds… I wrote the hook first, listened to what I was saying to the hook, that’s when I approached the verses..”

The Experimental Art Of A Moonchild EP dropped earlier this month and was reviewed by many media outlets including Certified UK, The 405, and i-D. With a mixture of hard hitting lyrics switching up to that trippy spacey vibe and features from Space members Little Simz & Josh Arce as well as Loner Muaka & Mirra May, Chuck delivers a very strong first project shows what he can do by himself, including standout track ‘Where We’re Livin’. Chuck 20 also teamed up with Shy Luv for a remix of Armand Van Helden‘s ‘You Don’t Know Me’ on Monki‘s BBC Radio 1 show, showing another side to his personality in the process.

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