It’s been eight years since multi-platinum artist Chingy ignited dance floors with his first hit single, “Right Thurr.” In recent years Chingy has taken a break from being in the spotlight to deal with several personal tragedies but he is nowhere near forgotten. Having played roles in two movies, Chingy has been busy working on and releasing singles from his upcoming album, No Risk No Reward 13. While preparing for a show in Las Vegas, Chingy recently discussed whats going on in his life right now and what fans can expect from him in the near future.
Parlé Magazine: It’s been almost four years since you released your last album Hate It or Love It, tell us what you have been up to.
Chingy: I’ve been working on my new album, No Risk No Reward 13 as well as just finding myself and defining my style. Music has changed a lot over the past few years so I believe it’s necessary to adjust in order to make music the fans want to hear. I see No Risk No Reward 13 as the rebirth of Chingy. I want to show fans another side of my music. I’m working on an album but I’m really focusing on releasing singles to increase the awareness of my music. If I need to release single after single instead of releasing the album, that is what I will do to reacquaint fans with who I am as an artist now.
Parlé: Since the release of your last album, you’ve started a new music label. How did that come about?
Chingy: My label, Full Dekk Music Group, was developed as a collaborative effort to start an independent label. One of the first projects on the label was creating No Risk No Reward 13 to see how things would go. We’ve released two singles, “Super Hero” and “Paper Man” and so far, things are going well.
Parlé: Having been an artist on two major record labels, walking away from those labels was a risk. Now managing your own label, what is the best lesson you’ve learned in the music industry?
Chingy: I think one of the most important lessons to learn in the music industry is to understand who your real friends are. There are a lot of people who may be around you just because of the money or the fame. It’s important to surround yourself with positive people who are accomplishing things and who want to see you succeed.
Parlé: There’s a lot of buzz around your single, “Super Hero”, where you are talking to the ladies. In your single, “Paper Man” you are letting everyone know that you are still handling your business. What else can fans expect from the upcoming singles on No Risk No Reward 13?
Chingy: I’ve been working to define my individual style and vision and I believe it is reflected in the music. I feel better mentally, physically and spiritually so I’ve brought that to the music. I still make love songs so there are some messages in the music about men appreciating their women. I’m also still bringing party and club hits but with more substance in the music. For example, there is a song on the album called “No Risk No Reward” that talks about motivation and the fact that if you don’t take risks, sometimes you can’t receive a reward. You must be able to take risks to obtain success and reach your goals. Overall, fans will see some Pop, Hip-Hop and conscious, reality-based music.
Parlé: Something that your fans may not know about is your commitment to social responsibility. How did you get involved in the “Heroes in the Hallway” campaign?
Chingy: After I released the single “Super Hero,” a school in Virginia heard it and wanted to use it as the theme song for their movement to bring awareness to bullying in the schools. Personally, I’ve always been committed to giving back to the community. With bullying, I don’t think people are aware of the effects on the victims. Depression may occur and some unfortunately may turn to suicide. I feel it was important and I am glad to help.
Parlé: Talk to us about the USO Tour in Kuwait. How did you get involved with that?
Chingy: I felt it was another opportunity for me to give back by entertaining military personnel who are serving our country. This tour gives them a chance to party and take a break from their reality in a fun way.
Parlé: With so much volatility in the music industry, we’ve seen artists with one-hit wonders and others that obtain success and are gone very quickly. With four released studio albums and working on your fifth album, what keeps you motivated and connected to the music?
Chingy: People around me are always an inspiration due to their love of the music and they help me to generate ideas for music. But it’s really the passion and drive I have for my music that keeps me connected. I recorded my first song in the studio at 8 years old and I’ve taken it seriously since then. Making music is fun to me so I aim to translate those feelings into the music.
Chingy is taking calculated risks. He is not rushing his album and wants to reconnect with his fans in a genuine way — this is often not the norm in the music industry. From rapper to record executive, Chingy looks good, sounds good and is ready to share his new outlook with the world, one single at a time.