The start of the new year brought a veil of promise and potential for many, but few artists were looking to ride the high of a new decade more so than DC native CHOMPPA.
With a Deadbeats EP planned for this summer, which helped him land bookings at Shambhala and Summer Camp, 2020 was looking like the year the young bass producer was to make a name for his project. Already touted highly by his artist companions as well as those from Zeds Dead’s flagship label, his rise seemed all but inevitable.
While pandemic-related hardships have derailed those plans, it’s not the first time the producer has pivoted his career in a new direction. When he was 16, around the time he began taking music production seriously, he became inspired by progressive house acts like Hardwell and Afrojack before eventually diving into future bass production as Midas. Burnt out with the direction of his original project, he realigned his style and emerged with a new name, CHOMPPA, a bass project that would give him a creative breath of fresh air.
"'Subconscious' was the first bass music I ever worked on,” said CHOMPPA, who spoke with EDM.com ahead of his SummerEyes Festival performance this Friday, July 3rd. "This was in September of 2018. What’s crazy is the second track I started for CHOMPPA was 'Bloq', which just came out on my EP last month."
While shows may be off for time being, CHOMPPA is still looking to make waves by debuting new music and streams. As mentioned, he dropped his Flabbergast EP on Deadbeats in June and this weekend he’ll performing an all-original audiovisual set at SummerEyes alongside ill.Gates, Truth, Shlump, Esseks, Mersiv and Tripp St.
"Lots of incredibly talented artists in the mix, check them all out for sure,” said CHOMPPA. “I’m so happy with how the whole thing turned out. Can’t wait to premiere [this set] at SummerEyes!”
SummerEyes Digital Festival is a digital partnership between MP3DU Magazine and Unitea Music, hosted on EDM.com's Twitch channel. The event is raising money for Black Lives Matter, Campaign Zero, and Until Freedom.
EDM.com: First off, thanks so much for taking the time here! 2020 was supposed to be a big year for you with several notable festival appearances and bookings lined up prior to COVID-19. Can you tell us about your pandemic experience and what you’ve been doing to stay productive musically?
CHOMPPA: Thanks for having me! When the pandemic first hit, I was super inspired to work on new music and got a few tunes started that I’m excited about. After a little while of being home, maintaining the same routine every day between classes and music got pretty mundane. I started to lose motivation.
Recently, I’ve been designating specific times to focus solely on music, which has been helping a lot. Another thing that keeps me productive is doing sessions for one specific purpose other than producing, purely sound design sessions for example. Those will usually either spark some new idea or leave me with a handful of sounds to use the next time I sit down to produce.
EDM.com: How far back does music production go for you?
CHOMPPA: I started producing in GarageBand when I was 13, but didn’t really do it as anything more than a hobby until I was about 16. The 2011-12 progressive house guys like Hardwell, Avicii, and Afrojack were who initially got me into production. I was making future bass for a while under the name Midas, but eventually that project started to get bland and lost its direction.
EDM.com: When did you first decide on the CHOMPPA project and direction?
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CHOMPPA: "Subconscious" was the first bass music I ever worked on. This was in September of 2018. What’s crazy is the second track I started for CHOMPPA was “Bloq,” which just came out on my EP last month. The name and initial branding idea came together around the same time, toward the end of that year, but the brand image has been revised a few times since the beginning.
EDM.com: Was there a specific moment or breakthrough you had when you knew it had potential?
CHOMPPA: When Subcarbon said they would release my first attempt at bass music, I was shocked, but when Ganja White Night brought me out to play it at Camp Bisco, it was surreal. At that point I definitely had more confidence in the future of the project.
EDM.com: You’re performing at SummerEyes alongside a talented bunch of artists. Who are you most excited to see?
CHOMPPA: Excited to see Chee’s set, his music is insanely unique. Also looking forward to Tripp St., Smoakland, SuperAve., Kumarion, and Abelation a lot. The list goes on, this lineup is stacked.
EDM.com: Tell us about your set. What should fans expect?
CHOMPPA: It’s a 30-minute debut, custom audiovisual set. The visuals are based on the Flabbergast EP’s idea of the three different “characters” (sabertooth, flytrap, and chattering teeth) representing the three songs. Lots of incredibly talented artists in the mix, check them all out for sure. I’m so happy with how the whole thing turned out. Can’t wait to premiere it at SummerEyes!
EDM.com: Are you debuting any new music?
CHOMPPA: Yes! I have five new tunes in the set that I’m really excited for everyone to hear: a few new collabs with TVBOO, SuperAve., and Bawdy, plus a couple of originals as well.
EDM.com: What can fans expect from you going forward? Any releases coming soon?
CHOMPPA: Nothing’s set in stone at the moment, but I’ve been holding on to a lot of music for the last year or so. I am working on some new stuff that goes in a bit of a different direction than what I’ve released so far. I’m hoping to get a bunch of them out this year, but some may not see the light of day until 2021.
EDM.com: What are your thoughts on these livestreams and what they’ve done for the electronic music community?
CHOMPPA: I’ve loved attending them, and I’m looking forward to being a part of this one! Nothing beats a live show, but the alternatives so far on Twitch have exposed me to a lot of new artists I wouldn’t have normally seen. I think they’ve been great for the community, it’s a completely different experience watching the visuals up close instead of having them not as visible in a regular festival setting. The chat also adds to the allure of the digital world. These online festivals wouldn’t be the same without them. In all honesty, it seems like they are the new reality for the foreseeable future.