David Chief is a producer -- and DJ -- who has grown into an important part of the BTV hip hop scene. His Soundcloud has always been worth checking, but it was last year's "them trees" tape that really cemented his rep as an ace beatsmith with a gift for lo-fi bangers & blaps. With the release of his latest tape, "rejections," and his contributions to the new Sasha Travis (also known as Notation) project, "Ego," it was long past time to interview the man. Dig it.

VTHH: Who were your big influences when you were starting out on production? Has that changed much since?

David Chief: I always listened to hip-hip growing up, but once I started using Soundcloud I found some of the early lo-fi producers like bsd.u, rsnz, grimm doza, deadxbeat to name a few.  The scene has grown a lot since then, but these are the OG's that influenced me to start making beats.  There's way too many talented producers to list, but Radio.Wavs is a Soundcloud label I'm a part of, and a  good place to check out a lot of them.   

VTHH: Do you feel like regular DJ sets are important to your process as a producer - or are those two separate worlds to you?

David Chief: DJ'ing gives me an opportunity to meet a lot of people.  I've met some of my best friends who are artists through doing shows/gigs, but they are two different worlds in a way.  You can't always go to a club or bar and play lo-fi, but I mix it in when I can.

VTHH: Is doing cassette releases a matter of opportunity & demand, or does that format hold a special place in your heart?

David Chief: Getting on cassette was one of my goals when I started making beats.  It really gives your beats a certain vibe. Cassettes defiantly hold a special place in my heart.  Next step is to get on a vinyl though.

VTHH: It seems like you've gotten a solid workflow down and your releases are getting more frequent. What's on your horizon for the rest of 2018?

David Chief: I've been trying to release more projects rather than individual tracks.  In my opinion it creates more of a buzz when you release multiple tracks at once.  I'm still not releasing as consistently as I'd like though, but I'm working on it.  I'm trying to continue driving traffic to my Spotify lately, as Soundcloud seems to be slowing down a bit.  I want my first million on a track for sure.  Also that vinyl release I mentioned is a big goal for me.  Be on the lookout for that.

Justin Boland