i-DJ: chiamu

Filtering dancehall through a European club sound, here's your Friday funtime mix.

by Frankie Dunn
25 November 2016, 4:49pm

26-year-old Chaimu first caught our attention with an addictive bootleg of Palmistry's Lifted that has since sadly vanished from his Soundcloud. Born, raised and based in Milan, the DJ and producer is part of We Riddim, a collective that he describes as "my crew, my party, and my soundsystem," and one which has been throwing parties in the fashion capital for the past five years. 

Chiamu picked up the dancehall bug from NTS and Radar radio, and filtering it through a European club sound, has channelled the love into impressive reworks of Frank Ocean's Ivy, DJ Snake and Bipolar Sunshine's Middle and Beyonce's Hold Up. Having recently dropped his first original production, Enemies Riddim, featuring vocals by Swing Ting and Mixpak's Trigganom, we called on the young Italian for a Friday fun time mix. Stick it on and meet him below.

Hi Chiamu. What the music scene like in Milan then?
Milan is alive and a lot of things are going on right now. There's a thrilling underground electronic scene leveraged by acts like Lorenzo Senni (who recently signed to Warp), Still, Primitive Art. The biggest wave right now that actually become mainstream is that emotional vocoder rap with Ghali, Sfera Ebbasta and Dark Polo Gang. It's directly linked with the South of France rap scene - there's something interesting in it, a Mediterranean touch.

What is it about dancehall that you love and what got you into the genre?
I got into dancehall thanks to British web radio stations like NTS and Radar. I was into club music, running a label called Weird Club. In that scene there were strongly riddim influenced producers such as Murlo, Dubble Dutch and Dre Skull, and that was the bridge I think.

How do you decide what to remix? Do you just select your favourite songs?
Nope. Usually I get charmed by the vocal lines of a song. Take for example Middle by DJ Snake... all in all I don't like that song, but the Bipolar Sunshine vocal line is amazing, also pitched!

How did you and Trigganom come to work together?
I'm a fan of Trigga's label and crew Swing Ting, from Manchester, so I just hit him up on Facebook. He's such a talented artist, we worked from distance, and we were so fast! I have many new original tracks coming up and I hope to collaborate with him again.

What was the first album you ever bought?
Probably 5 by Lenny Kravitz in 1998.

What would your dream rider consist of?
Tom Cruise as a driver, cat therapy before the show, good gin.

What movie do you think your music would best soundtrack?
I'd love to soundtrack a Terry Gilliam movie, Brazil for instance.

Your house is on fire. After loved ones, what do you save?
My books and my sneakers.

If you could wake up tomorrow having gained a new ability, what would it be?
I wish I had a good voice! but I'm off-key as fuck.

What is your greatest ambition?
To have success, self-esteem, time to stay with my family and my friends

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