DJ Chedo (Come Up Show) [Interview]
London, ON – DJ Chedo is happier than he’s ever been; and why shouldn’t he be. In 3 short years he’s engineered, The Come Up Show, a hip-hop radio showcase based in London, Ontario broadcast twice weekly on 94.9FM and TheComeUpShow.com. He’s taken that concept and transformed it to a successful blog site, staying current in Canadian and international hip-hop trends and culture, while continuing to share music from Canadian artists. DJ Chedo’s even orchestrated video interviews with artists like Raekwan, Rick Ross, Maestro, J. Cole, Melanie Fiona and Famous.
Chedo’s consistent and tireless work ethic is evidence of his passion and belief in hip-hop in Canada. He finds fulfillment in sharing his idea of outstanding music with everyone; from his radio show listeners every Monday (midnight – 2 a.m.) and Saturday (6 – 8 p.m.) to those reading his blog daily to the legions of viewers tuning in to watch Chedo ask challenging questions to big name rappers and singers in today’s music scene. He’s come up a long way…
HipHopCanada: How did you get started with The Come Up Show?
Chedo: I wasn’t hearing that kind of music anywhere in my city, the kind of music that I listened to everyday and was a part of my life. That sparked my passion to share music with people. I’d be in the cafeteria and people always wanted to listen to my CD player saying I got dope joints, so that’s when I started. My first time slot was 2 a.m. – 6 a.m. every Wednesday. This was about April 2007. Not too many people tuned in because of the time, right [Chuckles]. But I got to play the music I love and I enjoy the most, and my passion to share music and artist people might not know.
HipHopCanada: It must have been difficult to share in the beginning with not too many people listening?
Chedo: To me, the worst thing is to know music and love music and not share it. You have to share it. And radio gives me big outlet to share with everyone. Like life has turned in a positive way for me. I’ve grown in so many ways, learned so many things, gotten so many contacts, networking, promotions. I’ve never been this happy in my life and it’s because I’m pursuing my passion. And it takes a lot of sacrifice. I mean it really takes a lot of sacrifice. Like I’ll tell you, When the semester started I couldn’t do the 2-6 time no more, so I started doing Mondays from 1:30 in the afternoon to 3:30 p.m. The only thing is was I had a class that started at 3. So what I had to do was pre-record the last 45 minutes of my show. I’d start the show at 1:30, jump on the bus [at 2:45] just make it to my class while my show’s still playing on the radio. It was insane.
HipHopCanada: So what would you say was your first “big break” that really got people interested in what you were doing?
Chedo: The video aspect took “The Come Up Show” to next level. My interview with Raekwon was a big interview. I interviewed him when “Only Built for Cuban Links [pt. II]” was coming out. The interview got posted on Wu-Tang’s website and we never looked back from there. I got to interview J. Cole and Wale back stage at the Blueprint 3 tour. Now “The Come Up Show” bigger than just a radio show. It’s a radio show, music blog, and video interviews.
HipHopCanada: You took your show to the next level. What do you think the Canadian industry needs to do to go the next level?
Chedo: I think greater promotion is the first challenge. It’s not easy. It’s so hard, so so hard. I feel it for these artists. A lot of people won’t answer you. But I think more outlets need to be out there. We need real infrastructure, real labels, real management. All the media and blogs and people like me need to come together to create a united front. We need to support these artists. Like a lot of artists want to do shows here in London but no one knows them so the promoters won’t support that. More people need to be aware. Promotion! Once that starts, then the music will take care of the rest.
HipHopCanada: Do you think artists need to do a better job creating opportunities for themselves?
Chedo: It always starts with the artists. No one cares as much about the music as you do so it should always start out with the artist. Artists can’t just be into music; they need to be producers, graphic designers, shoot their own videos. Like the reason Rich Kidd is a producer is because there was no beats out there for him. Now he’s one of the best producers out there. It’s necessary. This is a life- long thing, or should be a life-long thing. If you’re not willing to do more there are people out there who are doing it. I also feel like the artists are not doing it right. Your craft should definitely be most important, but now you have to do everything. Like me, I started in radio, now I do interviews, I do promotions and marketing plans for artists. And all self taught because I really needed to learn. I had to get my show out there so I was like ‘what am i going to do?’ Now I have a video production team, a few bloggers, graphic designer, people who do my website. They believe in what I’m doing and they see the passion. That’s what artists have to do. When other people see the passion, they’ll want to join you. if you’re the number one driver of what you do it’s the best situation. It’s going to be a very difficult journey if you’re not doing more because everything is so saturated. People are going to be very particular about what they listen to and download.
HipHopCanada: Who are some of your favourite interviews?
Chedo: D-Sisive was a unique interview. I knew it was going to be different before I even did the interview. That interview was a lot of fun. I said in the interview, “I think you’re weird” [Laughing]. Everyone is weird in their own way, but D-Sisive was entertaining because of his personality. My interview with Boi-1da was great. I spent like 2-3 hours on research and find out everything. Like Boi-1da had his first child, so I asked him what it felt like to be a father. I ask questions people won’t usually ask, but then I find out something special or unique about that person. Like life wasn’t going well for 1da, then he started going to church and reading the bible and his life turned around. Now he’s a Grammy nominated producer at 23. But it’s very rare for people to read bible and for it to have an influence on their life.
Then Malice from Clipse. That interview went on past the 15 minute time limit. The label guy was like ‘this is a great interview but we got to cut it short.’ Malice was like, “Naw lets keep it going.” I asked him about his bars. Like he’ll have lines about cocaine, and then put verses from the bible, so I asked him about that. I had to catch my breath after that interview. I just sat down for like ten minutes when we were done. I haven’t released it yet, but you’ll see. The Boi1da interview isn’t out either.
HipHopCanada: Anyone else?
Chedo: Maestro was also a great interview because he taught me things about life, not just himself. Like some people are humble, some people are not. And not being humble comes down to insecurity. He told me a story about when he went out to the Kardi shoot, and he had feelings like “this should be me“. But he had to put his ego in check and say, “this is my brother let me support him.” You need to grow past those feelings.
HipHopCanada: Do you feel Canadian artists are too humble? Is it a hindrance to their success?
Chedo: I think it depends. Hip-hop artists have to be over confident. You’re not going to be a fan if an artists is like, “I’m okay, I’m alright.” Hip-hop is competitive. It’s like, “I’m the best at what I do, I’m the best, listen to me, this is what I do“. Some artist are dope and say, “I’m dope.” Other artists let the music speak for itself. Those artists take a long time putting music out, doing shows, and let the people decide. Artists like Famous who really has great marketing, and I’m not saying he’s cocky. He has great personality and if you can self-promote its better in music. If you want to stay completely to yourself that’s on you.
HipHopCanada: Do you feel Canada and Toronto in particular is the next major market to find new talent?
Chedo: Yeah bro, I believe that, bro. I’m so excited at the amount of music I’m getting and the quality of music. 3 years ago I was getting crap. Songs didn’t match up. If I played a Snoop song, I couldn’t play a crap Canadian song, it doesn’t keep up production wise. But now is the best time to be involved in Canadian music, especially hip-hop. With all the college shows, local music blogs and websites like HipHopCanada, I’m really excited for now and the future. Now I don’t gotta search for Canadian hip-hop, I gotta search for American hip-hop. But that’s what “The Come Up Show” is about, it’s about discovery and new artists. If the music’s good people will listen even if they don’t know the artist.
The Come Up Show airs every Saturday from 6-8 pm and every Monday from midnight – 2 a.m. on 94.9 CHRW and http://www.TheComeUpShow.com.
Written by Kern Carter for HipHopCanada