|Chew Fu & Mr. Will-W.|
Born in Amsterdam, raised in South America, but through and through a New Yorker, Chew Fu Phat (né Peter Jack Kardolus) quickly has climbed to the top of the Dance Music elite. Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Far East Movement, Mariah Carey. They've all been
Remixed... Refixed by the DJ/Producer. Above this, many don't realize that he is actually a trained Saxophonist who holds a Masters Degree in Music. He has openly admitted that he began producing Dance Music only after seeing a girl he liked on the Dance Floor. He knew after seeing the reaction it brought out of her, that this was the type of Music he wanted to make.
At the end of June I was invited out for drinks by Chew Fu and for one night get to partake in "The Chew Fu Experience" at controversy-marred, but now relaunched The Barn in Toronto's Gay Village. Enjoying a Cranberry & Vodka his Business Partner J.Fraz (John Frazier) had concocted for me, we sat down to chat before his eagerly-awaited Set with Youngstar mbc label mate J-Cast (Jayson Castor).
Upon chatting, it became apparent to me that opportunity was anything but handed to Chew Fu on a silver platter. He admits having to "hustle his way in" with J.Fraz on a chance meeting that occurred while he had been studying in Amsterdam still. After convincing J.Fraz to give him an opportunity to help out on a project being recorded then under Quincy Jones' record label Qwest Records, it was clear that both of them had stumbled upon something of a special partnership. From there, Chew Fu decided to relocate to New York City and there's been no turning back ever since.
In the Dance Music circle, he first gained recognition releasing what he has coined "unofficial Refixes" of current or potential hits tracks to DJs, Tastemakers and Bloggers. Before long, Record Labels and Artists were contacting him to re-work their tracks. Case in point, Rihanna & Co. were so pleased with his work that Chew Fu was commissioned to re-work her Rated R album into Rated R: Remixed, released this past May. Out of humility, he clarifies that it isn't his place to criticize others' music but instead it his job is to "give the listener a truly unique sonic experience." J.Fraz praises him time and again for his ability to take something that isn't broken and "fix" it. Hence, the term Refix.
On working with the hottest act in Pop Music right now - Lady Gaga - Chew Fu expressed his appreciation for the full creative control she gives: "I love her because she's down with whatever and lets me do my thing." At the time of this interview, he was busy at work on her then-rumoured fourth single from The Fame Monster, Monster. Unfortunately, its Refix still has yet to surface and such is the case in an ever budget-conscious Music industry. He expressed disappointment in his H.A.T.E.U. (Chew Fu Stop Hatin' Fix) for Mariah Carey never getting a proper physical release after plans for her Angels Advocate Remix album were ix-nayed by Island/Def Jam. Prior, his Refix of her Foreigner cover I Want to Know What Love Is, aided her in reaching number two on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs Chart.
As he arrived on-stage for his Set, the crowd responded enthusiastically at the rare opportunity to see their favourite Celebrity DJ spin a complete set of his own work. Despite this party being marketed much to a Gay demographic, his fan base appeared diverse, yet unified by their fondness for a Fix.
Since that visit to Toronto, his popularity has taken him from Vancouver to Hong Kong in recent months. Kinetic, as J.Fraz would call it. He continues to churn out the goods, easily exceeding 200 Refixes over the past year alone. A huge fan of Social Networking, Chew Fu keeps in touch with his fans with updates on Facebook and his official website.
After a v. late night, I recall waking-up the morning after our interview to a flashing red light on my Blackberry. After checking my Inbox, I noticed a lovely message from Chew Fu expressing gratitude and pleasure in meeting me. A gentleman, indeed.
Chew Fu was wonderful enough to autograph a couple photos for Mr. Will-W.:Pop Maven readers. If interested, feel free to leave a Comment with the name of your favourite Refix by him.
Deadline: December 1, 2010 midnight. All are welcome to enter.
(Photo credit: Mr. Will-W.)