Staffs Live caught up with the BBC 1XTRA DJ Charlie Sloth on his UK live tour. It was after his hectic set in Fiction nightclub, Hanley where we got a chance to ask him those exclusive questions every Grime fan wants to know.
It was before the show that I first got in touch with Charlie to request a short interview and he replied via a DM (Direct message) on Instagram to “just pop over” when he wasn’t busy.
After his set I headed over to the VIP area where Charlie and his friends were partying. They were clearly celebrating after a successful show. Charlie was sat down in one of the booths blowing hoops with his electronic cigarette when I approached him.
As a grime fan myself this was a huge moment for me. I was meeting one of my favourite DJ’s but also one of the leading pioneers of the genre itself. Grime is often associated with controversy so as a well respected personality host, Charlie’s voice has always been very influential.
He was very friendly and approachable as we got chatting. I was interested straight away to find out what inspired his passion for music. “I always loved the N.W.A. they we’re my favourite group whilst growing up,” he said.
The N.W.A is an American hip-hop group that was founded in the 80’s. Charlie explained how the explicit lyrics often got him into trouble at school. He said: “I fell in love with hip-hop at about 7-8 years old, and since then music has just been my life.”
I thought it would be wise to ask him about current Grime music, as that is Charlie’s main passion. We got talking about his favourite Grime artists of 2016. With no hesitation he answered: “Bugzy Malone and Stormzy.” After a minute of thinking about it he also added on, “Kano.”
We went on to speak about some of the controversy in Grime that has taken place recently. I asked Charlie if he thinks that his show ratings go up because of rappers and their feuds. He replied: “My shows always been the biggest, I don’t need beef for ratings.”
It was the perfect time to ask Charlie how he felt about rapper Chipmunk lyrically attacking him on his own show this summer. “I don’t mind about that, I’m a grown man,” he said, “If he’s got something to say I’d rather him say it there to my face, than on another station.”
During ‘Fire in the booth’ the most famous segment on Charlie’s show. Rappers who are worthy enough, get a chance to share their strongest lyrics. It was the August 20 when Chipmunk came onto Charlie’s show to do a part 3 Fire in the booth.
During his performance Chip accused Charlie of editing an interview with Charlamagne, another famous DJ. He claimed that harsh words were apparently said about certain UK rappers and that Charlie edited bits of it out. Charlie explained, “There are just some things that the BBC refuse to put out.” He reassured me how he was not responsible for that.
In a turn of conversation, we got speaking about the future of the Grime genre. I was really curious to know which Grime artist Charlie thinks we need to watch out for in 2017. “AJ Tracy! Man’s sick, he has mad bars and charisma, he’s got it!” Perhaps we should all keep that in mind and see how accurate Charlie’s opinion is this time next year.
My final question of the night – who does he think is the most skilled Grime lyricist? He couldn’t spit the words out fast enough: “Wretch 32!” Watch his Fire in the booth, it’s crazy.”
“What about Akala?” I asked for my own guilty pleasure.
Charlie laughed: “Yeah, he’s definitely up there too!”
It was a complete delight meeting Charlie Sloth in person. I must admit it is kind of strange meeting the face behind the voice. Although it’s fair to say if you already like Charlie Sloth on the radio he is a thousand times more epic in real life!