HHW: How did Kanye West and Andre 3000 first hear your music and take a liking to it?
Chilly Chills: Soulja Boy was playing my song “Poppin In Here” and he was showing ‘Ye the music. Then I got a text saying they wanted me where they was at. I met them, and I was very humbled to be around that energy. That was the beginning of the next level for me. It really just helped me feel good towards people I deal with in the city. It’s amazing how people don’t believe until someone bigger than them believes. I knew I was dope before meeting them, but it was attention getting for people who didn’t believe and for people who didn’t know. I’m grateful. When you’re in the world, you got sheep and wolves. A lot of time the wolves are looking down on the sheep following the herd. That meeting was confirmation that I was doing what I was supposed to be doing. Anything I make is in the air of what I grew up listening to.
HHW: A lot of people have seen your face and never heard your music. You are featured in the anti-smoking Fresh Empire campaign.
I’m involved in that because I’m all about the youth and I am the youth. I was more than thrilled to be asked to get involved. They are doing something positive by piercing the underserved communities and given them knowledge and providing platforms for artists to do more. My grandfather died from lung cancer. Me and my dad didn’t have a relationship. I would have loved to have more time with my grandfather. But since he died from tobacco use, it was a divine sign for me to be involved with Fresh Empire. It’s a non-tobacco campaign that promotes the opposite of what tobacco promotes. They are creating an atmosphere for young people choose wisely. It’s like this generation’s “Above The Influence,” but there is more swag involved and they are more involved with cats in the music industry. A lot of kids are out here smoking cigarettes and Black & Milds. A lot of very young kids man.
HHW: How did going to college impact your approach to music, if at all?
Chilly Chills: I Went to school for a year and semester. It opene my mind to everything. As ironic as it is, i had to go to Alabama to learn that. You have to be yourself but realize that not everybody is going to be like where you’re from. Sometimes coming from the hood we get blinded to things. I graduated early and went to college at 17, I was really blessed. My mom forced me to go to college. I thought college was the government was forcing me into debt. But it helped me. If I didn’t go, I might be stuck in a situation where my mind isn’t as open as it is now.