Cholombian‘s ‘Cruel Shell, Tender Flesh’ is the next offering to the Introducing series. We chatted to Mitch about what has influenced his music, what he listens to now and more – and in doing so, uncovered a seriously talented producer with an EP on the way and bags of promise for the future.
– Hi. Can you first tell us a bit about yourself outside of music?
Hi. My real name’s Mitch Stevens, I’m a 21 year old student studying Music Journalism in Southampton right now. I like to think i’m a cool guy to be around, i’m pretty extroverted. I feel like i’m on a dating site! Haha.
– What and who have been the main influences to your production?
A lot of stuff from my life and my surroundings find their way into my music. It’s not a conscious thing, and you can’t really detect it in there. The stronger I’m feeling something, I usually find that my writing process is a lot easier and more cohesive. I get inspired by other people’s music a lot too. I’d never bite someone else’s style, but there’s nothing like listening to something great to get the creative juices flowing!
– Which artists, of a similar style to your own, are you into at the moment?
Music’s in a really cool place right now I think. Musicians aren’t discriminating against any genres and there’s so much cross pollination and so many hybrid genres and artists coming out of the woodwork. I listen to a lot of hip hop. In terms of rappers, I’m loving Flatbush Zombies right now, Haleek Maul has great, dark beats and his flow is crazy, and Kitty Pryde‘s pretty great too. Most of her stuff is produced by Beautiful Lou. I love the Raider Klan stuff, particularly SpaceGhostPurrp and Key Nyata. I love Holy Other too, and Clams Casino, and Ryan Hemsworth and Shlohmo. Then other producers I work closely with, mainly my collective, HVRT KRV (Retral, Sangam and FOG). They’re all so incredible. We’ll have a collaborative mixtape out before the year is over.
– Do you DJ much? If so, what do you play that represents the Cholombian sound but is dancefloor ‘friendly’?
I DJ a lot, since the live shows have been booked more, my DJ sets have taken a backseat but I still have my residencies and I’m definitely still available to be booked for a DJ set! When Djing, I usually start fairly close genre wise to what the guy before me played, then I move into a mix of old school and newer hip hop and litter bits of house in there. I like my sets to keep cohesion, so you’ll definitely see a theme in them, although I never plan a set before, it’s all off the top of the head!
– Is there ever much of a temptation to angle your music more towards the club environment?
When I’m writing, I never consciously set out a vibe. I never force anything, I couldn’t enjoy making it if I did. I’m not the kind of guy to go out and sit in the corner by any means, I’m the opposite! I’ve worked in nightclubs for years and maybe that could explain why I don’t really make ‘club’ music. Maybe it’s just catharsis away from that environment.
– Tell us about the release you have coming out this September.
I have a four track EP called ‘Reunion’ coming out on 17th September. It’s a bit of a departure from the last release (Before You, It Never Snowed EP). They’re more ‘whole’ songs than just beats. I have vocal contributions from an amazing singer called ATLAS on one track, she’s from London. Then one from a rapper called Chippy Nonstop on there too. She’s about to get crazy big, if she isn’t already.
– What else can we hope to see from you over the next 12 months?
After the release of this EP, barring any major changes, I’ll be pushing myself out there massively, DJ sets, Live shows, everything! I want people booking me for those so get in touch. I’m producing for a lot of rappers right now too, and i’m hoping people can hear when that’s me. I just want to progress and push this sound. I’d love it when people tell me they identify with my music, thats the best thing, so more of that!
– A quick word on the track you’ve kindly given us, is it pretty typical of your production of recent times?
I’ve had the sample in my head for so long, and I was just going to give away something I had laying around, but I thought I’d make something out of this idea. I personally love the track and i’m hoping that everyone else does too. I’m constantly trying to evolve whatever I sound like, so while it’ll obviously have traits of my sound, I’m hoping it isn’t too similar or samey to everything else!
– Finally, please complete the following sentence: Get Some…
..one to listen to Cholombian. Then let me know how you feel about it afterwards.