Steinhardt sophomore and California native Nick Charger is a self-proclaimed vocal artist, producer, engineer, sound creator and poet — he is out to prove that he has the champion sound. Charger started his musical training with drums, and by the age of 17, he already dropped his first mixtape.
WSN sat down with him to discuss his multi-talented ambition and creative musical outlook.
Washington Square News: Where are you from?
Nick Charger: I’m from the Bay Area [of] California, south of San Francisco in this little place called San Jose. I was born in San Francisco, but now I live in New York City, so I hit up both coasts.
WSN: How has moving to NYC with your West Coast background influenced your music?
NC: Starting out in the West Coast, I grew up on the hi-fi beats and the Bay Area sound that they were poppin’ off with when I was over there. When I moved to NYC, I really stepped up my game in terms of lyrics, bars and chopping up samples, which [has] hip-hop roots.
WSN: Who are some of your favorite musicians?
NC: In terms of who I just love to listen to on my way to school or skating down the street, I bump Joey Bada$$ all the time, [as well as] Travis Scott, Chance the Rapper, Kaytranada and Mac Miller.
WSN: How would you describe your sound specifically?
NC: I think one of the things about my music is that I create records of all types of different sounds, but it always revolves around hip-hop in terms of the percussion and the drum sequences that I create. The message that I like to get across in my music is high energy at the end of the day, whether I’m talking about sad breakups or just ballin’ in the club. It’s always high energy, high intensity. My life is always fast-paced and I like to show that in my music.
WSN: In a sense, you like to translate your life directly into the vibe of your music?
WSN: Has the recent political situation affected your creative outlook?
NC: Absolutely. I live right on Union Square. I see protests every week, and that gives [me] inspiration to write music that either is a narrative on what’s happening or simply to give you energy to go out there on Saturday night when everyone is fighting for Black Lives Matter, for LGBT rights [or] fighting against the Muslim ban, which has directly affected a lot of my friends and family.
WSN: How has this immigration ban affected you?
NC: I’m from the Bay Area where there’s a high concentration of people from Iran [and] from a lot of the places that our current president has mentioned in the immigration ban. I actually have a friend whose father cannot come back to the [United States] and meet his family because he’s stuck in his home country of Iran with a work visa and absolutely legal ways of coming back. But because of this ignorant ban, [my friend] can’t see her father again.
WSN: Back to the music, are you currently working with a label of any kind?
NC: I’m working with [the NYU student-run] West Fourth music group. West Fourth really started out as a bunch of NYU students who have a passion for music. Because we know each other so well, we’re like a well-oiled machine. We just started up but we’re making big moves. You’ll see us in the future, you’ll see us.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Feb. 6 print edition. Email Connor Gatesman at [email protected]