Chalie Boy may represent the small areas of Hearne and Calvert, Texas but there’s no doubt that his talent is big. In 2000, he made his rap debut on local hip-hop group The Freestyle Kingz’ mixtape with Dirty 3rd Records’ DJ Bull. He signed with Dirty 3rd records and continued to build his buzz. By 2004, he was ready to branch out on his own. He dropped his first solo mixtape, Makin’ My Way, which sold a respectable 20,000 units. Still it wasn’t until 2009 when many were officially introduced to Chalie Boy when he broke into the mainstream with his smash summer anthem, “I Look Good.” It was such a huge hit, making it into the top 50 on the Billboard Hip Hop/R&B chart, which opened up the opportunity in September of 2009 for him to be signed to Battery/Jive Records. It’s been a long journey since that point. Chalie Boy remains humble through it all and remains eager to give the fans the music that they yearn for. Read our full interview below to see what Chalie has been up to.
Parlé Magazine: Let’s rewind back a little bit. I know you started in the church choir singing but, before that, what inspired you to want to sing in the first place?
Chalie Boy: Music itself. I would hear a sound and mimic it. I’m not musically inclined with an instrument but anything I hear in my ear, I could pretty much have a musician play it back.
Parlé: You were inspired by artists who fused Hip-Hop and R&B like Nate Dogg and Big Moe. What other artists would you say played a part in your style of music?
Chalie Boy: De la Soul, NWA, Public Enemy on down to T.I., Busta Rhymes, Eminem, Luther Vandross, Chaka Khan, Kirk Franklin… you know I listen to whatever caught my ear that sounds good. It wasn’t just a blend of rapping and singing. I liked listening to Scarface because he was such a good story teller as well as Bun B. I liked listening to Busta Rhymes because he was a lyrical rapper but he was animated.
Parlé: So you’re just a fan of music, basically.
Chalie Boy: Yeah if it affects me, I’m going to listen.
Parlé: In 2009, you released your song, “I Look Good”. I don’t think anyone was able to sit down or not at least snap their fingers or move their heads when that song came on. How did it feel to know that so many people loved that song?
Chalie Boy: That particular song bothered the mess out of me. Not the song, per say but it’s simple. It’s not very lyrical. It takes some thought to tie everything together to become rhythmic but if everybody can relate to it and feel it- people will love it. But for it to be a national representation of me, I was proud of it but not as proud as most people would say to be honest. It hasn’t died down in certain areas. It’s still one of the hottest songs in some regions. I’m very proud of that. But for it to have been the biggest representation of me–I was happy but I was on edge that it would not necessarily bring attention to my name itself–my brand. That’s why when the remix was made I showed the other side of me.
Parlé: What opportunities did “I Look Good” open up for you?
Chalie Boy: It was my co-sign. The song is what pushed off my name itself. When bigger heads that I had spoken to prior to my single started hitting the radio-they were like, “We know this guy”. It showed that I was serious and not about jokes and games.
Parlé: Tell me about your new single, “Thick Fine Woman.”
Chalie Boy: My mold is if it’s gets the women moving, guys are pretty much followers. I’m an artist, I am an entertainer. I can create what’s needed to be created but I normally don’t make music a certain way so I lose any type of fans. If a song is needed to be made, I’m going to do my best to create it, but be true to myself. When I first got the track (“Thick Fine Woman”), it was clubby but also bouncy and groovy so when I put the concept together it just sounded like it was going to be a nice good club fun record. I got a couple of popular artists from my region–Lil Ronny MF, No Shame and Fat Pimp. Those are the guys that I saw come up on the Underground and they have a big following and a lot of respect. I figured it was time for us who hadn’t got on a song to get on.
Parlé: The quality of your voice, your style seems versatile. It seems like you can do a ballad. How was the process recording the record? Were you all in the studio at the same time?
Chalie Boy: Actually, we were all in separate studios. We didn’t link up. I laid down everything that I needed and I just told them the format of everything that I was looking for. When they sent it back, I placed the vocals how I saw fit for the song and the end result is what you hear.
Parlé: Do you have a clue of what your next single will be?
Chalie Boy: At this particular time, no. It’s funny that you mentioned ballads. My most recent mixtape has the single, “Thick Fine Woman” on it, but there’s also some R&Bish songs. One in particular, “I’ll Be There.”
Parlé: Are you working on an album now? If so, how far along are you in the process?
Chalie Boy: I have a bunch of tracks created. I have no idea what direction I’m going to go and whatever comes out with me is whatever comes out.
Parlé: Will there be any features on the album?
Chalie Boy: I always go with the flow. Whatever it is, is whatever at the time. If it seems like it’s a good fit, if I can reach out and get connected with artist and sometimes if I get impatient and decide not to wait on people returning my call and management-it’s no biggie with me. I know how the business is. It’s no anger-no dirt on my shoulders and no dirt off my shoulders. I just keep it moving.
Parlé: Was there ever a time before your exposure when you wondered if you would ever make it in the music industry?
Chalie Boy: Honestly for me, I never got ahead of myself, I never got cocky. I never was anything other than a person wanting to be heard. Truth be told, I’m still that type of person. I have a talent. A part of that talent is getting people’s attention. I know I have something. I just wanted to be heard. I try to never put myself into a box. My whole goal is just to be heard. “I Look Good” got me on a national level to be heard. BET, MTV, a lot of statewide and local radio stations, a few overseas television shows. But it’s still a lot more of the world to be touched. All I want to do is be heard. If it’s heard I have a chance for feedback whether it’s positive or negative; it’s been heard and it’s being talked about.
Parlé: What would you say to a person who’s music constantly gets turned down and really wants to give up on music?
Chalie Boy: Charlamagne Da God was one of the first guys to say that he didn’t like my song. I know it reached you (is what I was thinking). Don’t give up because maybe your favorite artist doesn’t like your record. Ask him why. Figure out why what you put together isn’t working. Your song is a part of your brand. Your music is a sponsor for yourself. Your music travels across the nation way before you get to touch a piece of that nation. The embodiment of your work speaks for itself. When “I Look Good dropped and the video was out it was on the charts and people weren’t watching BET or MTV people were like, “Who is the guy that sings this song? I like this song.” And some people saw the video and was like, “That’s the guy that made that song?!” It’s positives and negatives with everything. You have to take everything that you can and take it as constructive criticism and build off of it. Take what works and move forward.
Parlé: Let’s play a round of “Getting to Know” Chalie Boy. What is your favorite food?
Chalie Boy: Shrimp pasta.
Parlé: What is your favorite thing to do when you want to have fun?
Chalie Boy: Go to the movies or relax and play some video games.
Parlé: Are you a reader? If so, what type of books do you like to read?
Chalie Boy: I’m not so much a reader anymore. I would like to get more back into reading. If I do read, I’d say right now its comic books. I like drama, science fiction, I like a little bit of everything.
Parlé: What is one of your most embarrassing moments?
Chalie Boy: I’m not going to say I was embarrassed but, I’m 5’5″….. I was doing a show in Austin and these steps were high and I had on pair of shorts but I didn’t have my belt tight. Again, I’m 5’5″ so I had to step up but I couldn’t so I had to sit and roll up and I was like, “That’s probably going to be embarrassing later.” I still got up and did my thing.
Parlé: How often are you called “Charlie” instead of “Chalie”? And does it annoy you or do you just laugh it off?
Chalie Boy: No I never really laugh it off because it’s my name and if you continue to let people say your name wrong then you’ll continue to be called the wrong name. There’s no “r” (in Chalie).
Parlé: What else can we expect from Chalie Boy?
Chalie Boy: For those that don’t me or the little that you’ve heard of me, look into my background and tell me whatever I haven’t done already that you’d like for me to do and expect me to do that.
For anyone who wants to contact me for a show; you can contact my manager Brian at 512-731-5842
If you’re looking for my music you can go to chalietunes or itunes or you can go to dirtythirdstore.com or www.chalietunes.com