Chilli Gonzalez: Let’s Mix Everything Up

Text: Vangelis Kamarakis | Link:

Gonzales or Chilly Gonzales, as he is known nowadays, is considered one of the greatest cult personas of ontemporary pop scene; or actually that would probably be classical music, or maybe rap or even alternative..
Confused? Same goes for his dedicated followers throughout the years as Jason Charles Black, his real name, is a musician unlike others, an artist incapable of only one thing: fitting under one genre.

His involvement with piano playing dates back when he was just three years old. At an early age he was considered one of Canada’s, his native land, most promising jazz pianists. And did we actually say jazz? Just about when his career seemed to take a classical approach,

Gonzales went on creating Son an indie group that released two singles and was regarded a fresh and funky version of Elvis Costello. However, soon Gonzales’ plans took another shift turn: he moved to Berlin in order to become the greatest Jewish rapper of all times (!!!). Something he actually accomplished during mid ‘00s by establishing himself as the creator of the world’s most genuine hip hop, a view shared amongst public and critics. His own view however was different as he changed once again to classical composing with the 2004 album Solo Piano.

This was followed by a pop period with the release of the great Soft Power as well as a Grammy nomination for his collaboration with good friend Feist. Gonzales himself couldn’t care less and he then set to breaking the Guinness record for the longest solo performance. Something which he managed to achieve in May 2009 while remaining on stage in Cine13 in Paris for a total of 27 hours, 3 minutes and 44 seconds.

Without a doubt, Gonzales is one of the most striking musicians alive and in case you are wondering why this column is about him, then the answer is simple: recently, Gonzales together with mates Erol Alkan and Boys Noise, have released some of this year’s most remarkable pieces. We suggest listening to singles ‘Never Stop’ and ‘I am Europe’ by Phantasy, Gonzales’ own label, and be rest assured you will not resist getting the album. Produced by Erol Alkan and Boys Noise, it already features in this year’s best.