At sixteen-years-old, Chester Watson has already buzzed around the blogosphere and has proven to us that we should be keeping him in our radar. He is a double threat, producer and rapper, and neither of his talents outshine the other. He released his Phantom mixtape, which consists of 21 tracks that are mostly produced by him, at the age of fifteen. The mixtape sounds a lot more mature than mixtapes, projects, albums, and whatever that artists in their mid-20’s are releasing. We got a chance to talk to him about his inspirations, his collaboration with producer Psymun, his upcoming project, and more. Check it out:
Who is ‘Chester Watson,’ and where are you from?
Well Chester Watson really started off as just a rap name but it’s sort of personified into something bigger. Like no one even calls me my real name. So it’s who I have become. I’ve found a lot more out about who I am as Chester than I had ever had as Monty.
You first started getting a buzz around blogs when you were around fifteen. At what age did you first start rapping and producing?
I started producing and rapping at the same time. It was about 2 years ago right when I started High School. My bro Shane and I had just started Nu Age, New Age back then, and I was into techno very electronic music so that’s where I started I suppose.
Which emcees and producers inspired you the most to become the artist you are now?
DOOM, Earl, Mos Def, Madlib, Tyler. The more lyrically animated people I’d say. Most of this list self-produces so yea haha killed two birds with one stone.
It seems that you produce a little more than you rap. Do you enjoy producing more and what is your set up?
I definitely enjoy producing more than I do rapping. It’s more physical than rapping is. Right now I’m working with FL Studio and an MPK 25. I also use Logic pretty often.
Not many emcees come out with their first mixtape consisting of mostly their own beats at your age. How long did it take you to finish Phantom and what goal were you trying to achieve with it?
Phantom was like my second rap mixtape, third tape in total. I was actually supposed to drop a different tape called “Alchemy” you may have seen pictures, but there’s a good chance you haven’t. Phantom was sort of like a spark of the moment tape. My homie Comme had let me record alchemy at his crib and then after a while he just didn’t mix it. He told me “Yo this is garbage.” So I took it to heart and I reevaluated myself. That’s around the time I had really gotten into DOOM and Madlib’s work and so they were a big influence on the vibe of the tape. It took me about 2 and half months to write the tape, but like 2 days to record it ahha In that song Gumball I give my homie JJ “Runna” a shout out because he was there to help me record “Carnie” and “Phantom” both last minute.
I was really just trying to find myself as an artist, and see where I was after “Alchemy” was a bust.
You came out with a track, “PicBascassquiato,” with producer Psymun. Very dope collaboration. How did it come about and should we be seeing you two working together some more in the future?
Thanks man haha Psymun is my homie. He’s actually been sending me beats for a long time I just haven’t released those tracks. He’s one of the main producers of my next tape “Tin Wooki”. He and Art Vandelay are the main producers and then there are tracks from a tape “Anura” that I was supposed to release, but got interrupted with the SN idea, that aren’t produced by them.
What project are you currently working on and when can we expect it?
Yea the next tape is “Tin Wooki”. It was supposed to drop August 30th but I had to push it back because it wasn’t finished. There is still no date for it but I want it to be released this winter.
Do you have any other projects lined up after that?
I don’t have anything after this. I take like year-long breaks in between tapes. It’s a really bad habit in the public’s eye but I feel dropping tape after tape after tape, doesn’t allow much progression to show. Also my projects are usually lengthy so people get a nice set of music at one time.
The artwork for “PicBascassquiato” and “Chop Suey” both have artworks as intricate sketches of different faces. Did you draw these and what is the theme revolving around them?
I did draw these. I love making art in all aspects. The PicBas artwork is a self-portrait / picture of the Tin Wooki (me), but it has a mix of artists. There is the nose inspired by Picasso’s self-portrait and the Basquiat-esque crudeness.
The artwork for Chop is an Ogre.. haha! You’ll understand when the tape is out. I can’t really elaborate on that one.
Any collaborations that you hope to get in the next year?
A collab with Shlohmo would be epic. He’s one of my favorite producers. DOOM, Madlib, Chuck Inglish, Earl, Tyler, Mos Def, Slick Rick would be a nice collab too. I can’t think of any more.
Any final comments?
EveryDejaVu is awesome. Thank you for asking these questions haha I really enjoyed answering them. Check out some more of the Nu Age homies. Comme, Kanisono, Lucky Limani, Caleb Crowe. More music to come! Check out my sponsor http://www.corruptyouthclothing.com/ We have a collab hat coming out in the winter!
Definitely keep your eyes and ears out for Chester Watson and the Nu Age crew. Check out Phantom if you haven’t yet over at DatPiff.