Copenhagen-based producer CHLLNGR (aka Steven Jess Borth II) made his name remixing massive people such as the likes of The XX, Primary 1, and M.I.A as well as getting involved with Cubic Zirconia, Spoek Mathambo, and Teachers. Blending bass-heavy slowed-down rhythms with melodic vocals meant surprising soundscapes in CHLLNGR's debut album, "Haven", where deep sub-bass rings out throughout the tracks making for eerie atmospheres. His own vocals used in the title-track were chopped & screwed alongside the likes of Coco O. of Quadron and Dragons of Zynth's Aku and Jessica Brown on the album. Dazed premiere the new video for his single 'The End' featuring Aku in a dark and sombre environment.
...your secret talent?
I can literally eat Mexican food anytime of the day any day of the year, especially burritos. I can't and won't ever get tired of them. It may have something to do with the fact that my mother is Mexican.
...your worst vice?
When I am not writing music, I tend to spend too much time on the Internet. There are times when I know that I should be finishing up a tune and I will put it off to look and see what other people are doing on twitter, pretty ridiculous if I think about it.
…the story behind your name?
I had gone through a few name ideas when I started this project and CHLLNGR really stuck when I was brainstorming with a friend one day. I wanted to have something that wouldn't be associated with a particular genre and could be ever changing along with the sounds that I am experimenting with. I also think it is good to (challenge) myself and also the listener with different rhythms and progressions throughout the course of this project and see where that leads musically.
... your favourite sound?
My wife and I are expecting our first child any day now and whenever we go in for a checkup they amplify the babies heartbeat inside over a loudspeaker. The first time I heard it I was in shock and awe, it was such a crazy experience. It sounds a bit like a small motor boat cruising across a lake, amazing.
...your worst fashion secret?
Oh wow, I am just gonna put this out there... so when I was in grade school I was a HUGE fan of the Oakland A's baseball team whilst at the same time I thought that the MC Hammer style pants were cool. My favourite outfit in this shameful period was a bright green A's Starter Jacket and black and white hammer pants. Hopefully no one will ever steal those pictures from my parents house. For the record, the hammer pants weren't as baggy as you picture them in your head, I swear.
...your favourite website?
I think the google search engine is quite helpful.
... good for breakfast?
There are a few places in California that serve AMAZING breakfast burritos with eggs, fresh salsa, potatoes and cheese. So good.
...the best thing about where you're from? Since moving to Copenhagen from California I would really have to say that the weather is what I miss the most. I was in shock when I realized that in order to do anything during a snow storm here you literally just hop on your bike and ride through it to get to where you are going. So yes, the sun is one of the best things about California.
...at the top of your shit list?
Passive aggressive behaviour!
...are you listening to now?
I recently just jumped back into my Stevie Wonder "brown albums" collection from the 70s. It amazes me how he can write a pop song that so many people sing along to, but structurally a lot of the tunes are actually super complicated. Oh yeah and the fact that he plays a majority of the instruments on the albums is ridiculously awesome.
How would you describe your work?
I think that one of the most influential people for me musically is King Tubby. His work will never be forgotten and what he has done for the evolution of music in general will never be fully realized. I try to apply the techniques of dub into anything I do musically and would definitely say that is the foundation of my sound. I also try and incorporate analog gear with newer technology to create a certain aesthetic.