channel tres: self-empowerment that makes you move your ass
Dropping one of the best EPs of 2018, we got Channel Tres to make us a mix and tell us about his Elton John cosign.
Channel Tres’s eponymous EP is one of the most unexpectedly brilliant records of 2018. Released mid-summer, for many the bouncing five-track wonder came out of nowhere, with a only a handful of tracks and remixes to his name. Traversing disco, funk, house and techno, it's 15 minutes of vibrant, dynamic dance music that reaches its apex at Controller -- a hypnotic blend of Detroit house beats and his own, celestial vocals asserting that he is now, as the title suggests, in control. It’s hard to say otherwise. Sitting somewhere next to Peggy Gou and Yaeji, above all Channel Tres’s sound is a clever balance of different elements; old and new, energetic and soulful, or put simply “Self-empowerment that makes you move your ass,” as he describes it.
Which is probably why he’s got this mix so right. Combining the sounds that inspired his work, it’s the perfect soundtrack the end of you week. Below, we asked him a little bit about his recent come-up, his cosign from Elton John and what he’s got planned for the future.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background and upbringing? I was born in Lynwood and grew up between there and Compton. I grew up playing drums in church and I was raised by my great-grandparents.
How did you get into music? My great-grandparents brought me a drum set when I was five. I set the drums up in the garage and when I broke my sticks I played with spoons from the kitchen.
What music did you grow up listening to? Gospel, Motown, hip-hop. Will Smith. I was a big Will Smith fan. Is that weird?
What led you to sign with Godmode? We have like minds and I know we're going to do some great things together.
Have you experimented with different styles and genres before releasing your EP? I’m always experimenting with different genres. It keeps me fresh and keeps music interesting for me. Experimentation is usually what leads to my greatest ideas.
How long did you work on it for? About six months.
What were the key musical influences behind it? LCD Soundsystem, Moodymann, Isaac Hayes, a bunch of German reggae techno dudes.
How would you describe your music to someone who’s never heard it? Self-empowerment that makes you move your ass.
How do want your listeners to feel? I want listeners to feel inspired, like they can tackle any problem that they have in their personal life. Like they can go 100 with whatever assignment the universe has for them.
How did you feel about Elton John endorsing your track the other day? Very inspiring. He’s such a genius and I’m honoured someone like that even knows me. He FaceTimed me last night for this show he does. I think he was on a yacht somewhere.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learnt since starting out in music? Don’t let nobody tell you you can’t do anything, and practice your ass off.
What do you have planned for the next few months? Getting ready for my first tour in Australia and working on new music. I've been watching a bunch of James Brown performances and trying to get down this one karate looking move he does with the mic.
Chanel Tres is touring Australia this November, tickets available now.
This article originally appeared on i-D UK.