Born and raised near Detroit, Michigan, and now based in Phoenix, Arizona, Cameron Falsetti aka CHANES has just released an limited-edition, long-playing cassette entitled Renegade Hands, on Insect Records that’s available now at FatBeats.com (digital only at Amazon.com). CHANES has worked with Moe Dirdee, Miz Korona, Guilty Simpson, Kurupt and currently finishing an LP with MC Invy Da Truth. DJ and producer, House Shoes personally picked the tracks for this tape and the selections range from crushing boom-bap to jazzy introspective.
CHANES answered a few questions for GLM about his musical background, influences, and aspirations. Here’s the video for the single, “The Known” produced by Insect Records.
JW: While you’re school in Phoenix, how is the beat-making/producer community there?
CHANES: I’ve been pretty low key since I’ve been out here. The scene from what I hear is mainly Downtown. The school I’m at out here is filled with beat-makers and programmers, but the majority of them are from out-of-state. From what I hear, the scene is pretty small as far as hip-hop goes.
JW: What’s your musical background?
CHANES: I was never classically trained. I picked up everything I know this far, from personal experience. Being around talented and skilled people who passed their knowledge my way as I was coming up.
JW: What instrument would you be interested in taking up?
CHANES: I would still to this day love to pick up the guitar. I love incorporating it in my compositions. It brings in an element. A feel, that you can’t get anywhere else. Someday I’m going to make it happen.
JW: How long how you known Shoes? How did you two meet?
CHANES: I’ve known Shoes personally for about three years now. We worked with the same circles in the Detroit music scene. He was always someone who inspired me. Dude is extremely talented with a great ear for music. I reached out to him in early 2010 to see if he wanted to be part of the “Experiment in Instrumentation” instrumental LP that I was getting ready to drop. He was down from the get go. The rest is history. We’ve been family ever since.
JW: Name of couple classic influences on your music? What is it about their music that influences you?
CHANES: Oh man. There’s a lot. I’m big on vibes when it comes to crafting my instrumentals. Frank and Dean will always stay an influence. They have a vibe in their music that is untouchable. Also, the earlier Busta stuff with the Dilla production will forever be timeless. And the earlier Slum Village joints. Fantastic Vol. 1, had a great swing and feel to it. You can’t find that anywhere else. These joints are always in rotation.
JW: What new artists are turning you on at the moment?
CHANES: I’m always listening to something random. I was listening to Action Bronson for a minute. Some Toro y Moi. My friend OnCue has put out some awesome music lately. That’s all I can think of off the top of my head. I’m usually listening to some old psychedelic shit.
JW: What’s your newest equipment/software? What your’s favorite equipment/software?
CHANES: The most recent addition to my setup is the MicroKorg. It is one of the coolest keyboards that I’ve worked on. The vocoder is awesome. And the way you’re able to tweak the sounds. Epic.
JW: Outside of music, what are you passionate about/a huge fan of?
CHANES: I really believe that one of the major keys to life is balance. I’m in to creating visuals. About to start trying to get in to short films. I’m a fan of always mixing it up.
JW: Congrats on the new tape. What else on the “front burner” for you?
CHANES: I plan on putting together a compilation tape to drop later in the year. Also, an EP mini series of beat tapes to release soon.
JW: Everybody needs a recharge and artists especially so. What your favorite activity to clear your head and gain fresh inspiration?
CHANES: One of the best times for me to brainstorm is when I go running. I’m not sure why. It’s almost like meditation for me. Also, I’m always inspired by other peoples art. Whether it’s a painting, a record, a short film, etc. Inspiration usually comes when you’re not consciously chasing it. You never know.