Interview: Getting To Know Rising Dutch Afro House Talent Chaleee

DJ/Producer Chaleee from The Hague, NL, is making waves in the afro-meets-electronica scene, with his tracks gaining momentum thanks to support from Grammy Winner Black Coffee and other top artists. Since his first release in 2020 on Doug Gomez’s Merecumbe Recordings, Chaleee has performed extensively across Holland and built a growing catalogue of immersive Afro-flavored soundscapes, showcasing his evolving craftsmanship and ambition to spread his signature sound.

We caught up with Chaleee for a deep dive interview following the release of his latest work, a stunning remix of Aytiwan, Kaudron and Nes Mburu’s ‘Es Vedra on blossoming Belgian Afro House imprint Deep In Your Soul.

Your unique blend of Afro-flavored sonics has gained a lot of attention. How did you first get into producing this style of music?

From the age of 21, I came into contact with Afro House. Boddhi Satva was a new artist for me who really attracted me to (ancestral house & afro tech), and I started producing myself at the age of 23!

Your latest release was a remix for Belgian Afro House imprint Deep In Your Soul. What can you tell us about it?

The producer and label owner, Aytiwan, asked me to do a remix for his label! He first had another track for me that I could remix, but it was only later that I heard the sound of his own track with Kaudron ft Nes Mburu, and I immediately asked if I could remix that track because it had something special.

Your tracks have received tremendous support from industry heavyweights like Grammy Winner Black Coffee. How has this support impacted your career and artistic vision?

The impact it has made is very special to me. Together with Sammi Ferrer (Por), we started producing tracks last summer for ourselves to use. Ultimately, all these tracks were played by Black Coffee in Hi Ibiza, but also in other places around the world. We were then approached from all over the world to share our tracks, and the support was enormous.

You’ve performed at various venues across Holland’s major cities. How has DJ performance influenced your approach to music production?

As a music lover and someone who was also in the audience and who works as a DJ, I know exactly what I want, and that is that my tracks should have energy and emotion.

How do you stay true to yourself in a constantly evolving industry?

I make music for myself, and Afro-House has a certain sound that you don’t hear anywhere else and can easily produce. And if you make music for yourself, you will always stick to your own sound.

How do you see the fusion of Afro rhythms and electronic elements evolving in the music industry, and what role do you aim to play in this evolution?

I think it’s good, but it was always there; it just never got picked up, and now it does. I think and hope that I am an inspiration to other people and that I can convey the Afro sound to others.

What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced as an artist, and how have you overcome them?

For me, some of the records that have yet to be released were quite a challenge. These are also collaborations with Enoo Napa, Da Capo, Caiiro and Shimza, to name a few. These are also the people I really look up to. The best way for me to achieve this is to always say and think that you can handle this. We are all humans. If any person can do it, then I can do it too, and that’s how I think.

Can you share some insights into your creative process and how you keep your music fresh and innovative?

I like to listen to music, and this can be anything from jazz/soul/RNB/hip hop/house, etc., but movie soundtracks also give me inspiration, and if there is something special for me, then I sometimes try to use that in my songs. To keep my music fresh, I try to get enough rest and sleep. I know for myself that if I don’t do this, I won’t be able to create anything.

What can fans expect from your upcoming releases and future projects?

I already revealed in 1 of the previous questions that I have a collaboration with Enoo Napa, Da Capo, Caiiro and Shimza, and I won’t reveal anything else yet, haha ​​😄 I like to make music, and when I do this with people, I am already listening to their music for years. That gives such an amazing feeling.