For the past decade the internet has fostered the birth of music scenes all over the country. We point. We click. We rock. We move on. But a successful boom with real staying power has come directly from Chicago. The energy radiating from these young artists reaffirms their fire inside. There’s just something about the Chi that fuels creativity and a bit of healthy competition. One of the young men quietly building his brand and buzz in the heart of Chicago is Chandler London. Teamed with Stefan Ponce, he released The Science Of Sleep at the tail end of 2011. On Science, London crafted a project showcasing his ability to capture love, loss, and the general confusion accompanying coming of age in the studio with a microphone, pen, and a pad. Chandler recently took some time to kick it with Shiny Glass Houses expanding on the state of affairs in his city, good weed, how The Science Of Sleep came to be, and what’s next on his journey.
I hear tons of music on a weekly basis. Yet your work has stayed in my constant rotation since early 2012. You have a unique angle that I hate to call “real” for the sake of sounding cliche, but you’re making genuine art. Seems like the only thing you hide behind is those shades. So fill in the blanks, Hi, my name is Chandler London and I….?
CL: Hi, my name is Chandler London and I smoke really good weed. I rap sometimes too.
Your first project, Science Of Sleep, sounds cohesive as if you had a vision in mind. Tell me about putting it together.
CL: Creating the The Science Of Sleep was a fun and interesting time yo. This was my first time meeting and working with Stefan Ponce, and my first time meeting the incredible crew at Classick Studios. Just a lot of new shit all together. I remember Stefan sending me these incredible beats and all I wanted to do was not let him down. It really challenged me as a writer and an artist.
You worked exclusively with Stefan on Science, are you two collaborating on anything new?
CL: We definitely have things in the works. Hopefully I’ll be able to show everyone soon.
One of your new tracks, “Diamond Girl”, takes a slightly different turn. It’s unmistakably Chandler London, but there’s a southern screw to it. Is that where your sound is headed, or are you experimenting a little bit?
CL: I don’t see it as experimenting really. To me, its more like I dig this beat a lot and I’m going to write to it. I’m picky when it comes to what I write to. A lot of what I write comes from what I’m feeling at the moment and what I feel and see in the beat. “Diamond Girl” is different though. Its dark and romantic at the same time.
What are the things you need in the studio to make a song appear out of nothing?
CL: In order to make a song appear I need potent marijuana, a bunch of incense burning, and I need to be alone to create.
You love good weed. So, papers, blunts, glass pieces, GPen? What’s your preferred method?
CL: I’m going with the Trippy Stick. Hash oils knock you on your ass yo. Dabbing is pretty extreme too. I do really like bong hits though. The GPen is really dope too for smoking flowers. You can also never go wrong with blunts either. Edibles are another favorite of mine. Man, I like it all.
Ok Chandler, you’re in charge of Lollapalooza this year, and you’re like fuck it, this fest is now ALL hip hop. Who are you inviting? Who’s worth the spins in your rotation?
CL: Ahhhhh. My invites would go to Andre 3000, Jay Electronica, DMX, but only if he performs material off of his first three albums, Kid Cudi, Kanye, and ShowYouSuck. He has the best live show in Chicago.
Where do you want to be by this time next year? Is there a timeline for Chandler London?
CL: I can’t think that far ahead yo (laughs). I’m living in the moment, and right now my only focus is the new project and how I can make that better than my previous work. But a European tour this time next year would be pretty dope.
Violence and negativity seem to be hovering above Chicago, but in the same breath, your city is coming so correct with the creativity from you, ShowYouSucK, Auggie, Nick Astro, Chance the Rapper. How much of Chicago goes into your work?
CL: Everything that I experience in Chicago goes into my work. When I’m writing, I’m on the CTA or I’m riding my bike through Pilsen. I get inspired by the art I see and by the people I meet. It definitely has an impact. Take “Disasterology” (from Science For Sleep) for example, there’s no way I could have written that song if I wasn’t living in Pilsen. There’s no way I could have written that song if everyday I didn’t see a picture of J-DEF. J-DEF was an aspiring rapper in the Pilsen community who was shot and killed the day after his 19th birthday. Good or bad, I see it and I break it down in my head so that I can express it through my music.
When can we expect another project?
CL: Soon! Very soon.
Last but not least, what’s your drink of choice?
CL: Whiskey and lemonade all day yo.
Head to http://www.datpiff.com/Chandler-London-The-Science-Of-Sleep-mixtape.295195.html for a download of Science Of Sleep, and keep up with Chandler on Twitter @Chandler_Yo. You can check out all his singles and features at https://soundcloud.com/chandler-london. Click below to hear the brand new track, “The Drug3.3”. Keep your eyes peeled for his next project, Requiem for a Dream, coming soon!