Chuckie’s leading mixing skills and distinctive productions not only show an indispensable complement to the Dutch dance industry, the international dance-scene has also been giving him a warm welcome. Driven by ambition, enthusiasm and pure passion for music, his characteristic set makes the crowd go wild and his many productions reflect his true visionary in his craft works. Nowadays, Chuckie still continues to surprise the crowd with his mind-blowing style and his story is yet to continue. Born and raised in Paramaribo, Clyde Narain devoted himself completely to music and had played many records from a young age. He started out by deejaying at friend-related events, but would soon be known for hyping up many clubs and events as deejay “Chuckie”. He successfully proved his skills to be true and his innovative and energetic mixing skills are still making him one of the most popular artists of the moment. Crossing various genres, Chuckie has put his stamp upon the music industry and he still grows into a high mark in the international dancescene. The Music v House with lots of climaxes, various elements of surprise-effects and explosive beats. Chuckie has been described as the “The King of Mixing” many times and his unique style pumps up the crowd easily. A large amount of events and clubs have been welcoming his performances and Chuckie’s characteristic deep housesets are becoming more and more popular by a diverse global audience. Being the musical all rounder he is, his producerskills are well-respected and his recent “Toys are nuts” (with Gregor Salto) and “Guess What” (with Hardwell) are currently still climbing high on the charts. Check out the player for the latest releases such as “Let the bass kick”, “Any noise”, “Rides” and “Pong to this”.
Hello! Can you tell us a bit about yourself? Like, how did you get into performing and producing?
I started as a DJ at the age of 15. My high school best friend was a DJ and he got me into it. I started playing at birthday parties and later in the club scene. Because records were always sold out, I had to borrow records from other DJs and record them or sample bits and pieces. That’s how I slowly got into producing music.
Presumably you started out DJing with vinyl. When did you switch to digital systems, and what has been your path from those days until the present in terms of the gear you have used?
Indeed, I started out with vinyl. I converted to CDs when the first proper CDJs came out around 2005. I went from playing with CDs to playing with USB sticks. Up to this day I’m playing with just a USB stick. I tried playing with formats like Traktor and Serato but I don’t like the fact that I have to carry too much stuff around so I’m still playing with just a USB. I do have Rekordbox on my Macbook Air in case I lose my USB stick. I think that I will be using Rekordbox via my Macbook Air more and more because the CDJ’s has a lot more features when you use it that way. With producing music, I started with Protracker, then I went to Fasttracker, Acid Pro, Cubase SX3 and finally ended up with Ableton, which I’m still using.
Let’s talk about your new track with the Colombian music icon, J Balvin. How did that conversation start with him and how was the process from start to finish?
So, first of all, I was writing this record with a musician from Aruba, named Jeon. We had the hook, and the song basically ready, and the language spoke was his native language. So we had that record, we had that demo. Both of us thought that it was great, but it’d just be for that island, because it was in that native language. He then went to New York for some project, and ran into J Balvin, and played some music for him, and was looking for something new, something fresh. He thought the whole track was great. Later on, I didn’t realize, while talking to his manager, that I’ve known him for ages. It was really meant to be. I was really happy that I could really help kickstart Jeon’s career, and at the same time I have a very unique record in the Latin scene, and also that I could get in touch with a really old friend again. The situation was a win for everybody.
Wow, that’s really cool!
Yeah! My whole idea was that I really wanted to help out this Aruban kid. He’s such a talented musician and a great songwriter, so I’m glad that his first song was an international success, “Machika’, and has gone on to produce tracks with other artists, including J Balvin. Jeon has almost a billion views on Youtube now or some number like that.
It’s really cool how all of that comes full circle with you guys together.
It really was meant to be!
What is/was the single most significant point in your career that felt really important to you?
Well there’s a bunch of them, but I’d have to say that the most significant point was when I made “Let The Bass Kick”. In the beginning, it wasn’t even my intention to create a record that’d go global. I was just focused on my sound, and stuff I was doing. The moment I released that record, was a very important moment for me. That song was also a significant point in the history of Dance music. It gave people a chance for dance music to actually be heard, because of how big it became. That track gave dance music a fresh breeze too. There was nothing out like that record.
What is the most fun part about being you? And what are some of the coolest experiences you’ve had in your career?
The most fun part about being me is the fact that I’m a very versatile DJ, and i like different sounds. I do electro sets, I do tech house sets, I do underground sets, but I also do hip-hop, and open format, or even disco. When I play in New York, when its a festival, they come for electronic music so that’s what I play, but when I’m in the club I just get my hip-hop on. Before I turned into a really well known electronic music DJ, I played hip-hop and got nine awards for being the best hip-hop DJ in Holland. So to me, still playing hip-hop in all these clubs is great. I think some other DJ’s are jealous that I can do it and pull it off.
Having been a pioneer of the Dirty Dutch style of House music, where do you see the genre going in the near future?
I think that style, that particular style, which they eventually named and labeled it as a genre, I think it was just part of the musical evolution of electronic music. The reason why people are always recognizing it is that it was also one of the main ingredients in shaping the sound of what we call EDM. So do I see it, is there going to be a comeback for a certain sound? I don’t know if there is going to be a comeback for a certain sound, but all I know is that it was a big part of shaping the sound as we know it. You can look at artists like Deorro who have seen massive success by taking that sound to another level in his own way. But even if you look at R3hab’s latest remix of the Calvin Harris/Dua Lipa record, that’s definitely that sound again. So it will kind of always be there.
Do you have plans on bringing back a radio show or something similar in the future?
Oh 100%, but with all the possibilities, I feel like the current format of radio is kind of outdated. I think in the future, especially how people are more playlist minded, it’s going to be like the radio shows, it’s going to be like podcasting, but just in a different form. Time will tell but I definitely feel the urge to play the latest songs I’ve found on the internet or on Beatport and all these websites. That’s one of the joys of being a DJ, so I’ll definitely do it.
If you could go back in time and tell yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
It’s really hard to say, but I would have started as a radio DJ. Because if you’re from the Netherlands, or any local scene, to kind of break out that local scene first, when I’m talking local I’m just talking about your area code, it’s easier when you’re a radio personality. I would have definitely told myself “yo, you idiot, start at the radio.” We were always looking at guys like Funk Master Flex, DJ Camilo, you name them from back in the day. They were all big radio DJs, Tony Touch, there are so many. But that is definitely something I would have told myself, “start out as a radio DJ and take it from there.”