Chiddy Bang discusses nickname, reasons for success

Since its start in 2009, band Chiddy Bang has been bringing a new vibe to hip-hop through its eclectic mixes of indie and alternative music. Consisting of Chidera “Chiddy” Anamege and Noah “Xaphoon Jones” Beresin, Chiddy Bang, in its new album “Breakfast” has successfully reached a huge fan base despite being young talent.

Chiddy Bang currently has multiple college concerts lined up and the potential for more singles to drop. The duo performed at the Canopy Club Wednesday night along with Diplo as part of a concert series hosted by AXE. The Daily Illini had the chance to talk to Beresin about what his band’s music is all about.

*The Daily Illini: You guys met and started in college. How has your relationship with each other and your music evolved since then?*

*Noah “Xaphoon Jones” Beresin:* It’s evolved because we’re more comfortable with each other now after about three and a half years. As with any initial relationship, you’re trying to get to know each other at first. We’re more comfortable with correcting each other and weighing in with our opinions now. We try to focus on each other, and now we’re traveling and meeting new people. There are amazing new ideas, and you take all that and balance it with the person that you work with. Meeting more people gets more complicated, but we’re more self-reliant and confident.

*DI: The nickname Chiddy comes from Chidera — Noah, how did Xaphoon Jones start?*

*NB:* My friend Pat made it up and told everyone that was my name when I started college (at Drexel). I didn’t feel like correcting a million people, so I grinned at it and people kept calling me that. I try to have a pseudo name for every project.

*DI: How do you like playing in a college town?*

*NB:* We played at Madison last night, and that was the start of the college tour. It’s really fun since we’re both 21 and the music we make is for ourselves and the people closest to us like our peers, which is what we do most often.

*DI: The style of your music is very interesting — a sort of mix of indie, hip-hop, and alternative. Why this style? What do you think makes your music unique?*

*NB:* Chiddy does all the writing, and I do the beats. Everything comes from different musical ideas; when we come together, that’s why we sound like we do. My mom and little brothers like it, and that’s enough for me. No matter what, there has to be some spark of energy.

*DI: “Breakfast” has been called one of the best albums of 2012 thus far by Entertainment Weekly. How does it feel to have your efforts be recognized in that way?*

*NB:* It feels good that people like it. My grandpa really praised the album. It’s something that we’re really proud of, which is what’s ultimately important to us.

*DI: “Opposite of Adults,” one of your biggest songs, strives to reminisce about the good times of childhood. What are some of your favorite childhood memories?*

*NB:* I loved block parties on the streets, barbecues and basketball. Philadelphia is a no-bullshit city.

If you’re a musician in New York, it’s who has the best PR. If you’re a musician, you have to be badass and that’s how you make it. Philadelphia is straightforward.

*DI: Why do a lot of aspects of this album have food-related analogies?*

*NB:* It kind of happened by accident. We had a lot of fun with that, but it’s important. The whole day starts with breakfast.

In terms of the theme, it’s honestly what Chiddy’s feeling. It’s his introspective vibes and what’s going on in his head that determine the content and theme. I make hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of beats and he uses about 20 percent of them. He has an eye for what people will want to hear, and he makes the call for what goes on the album.

*DI: What do you have coming next? Any new singles; are you continuing with a tour?*

*NB:* There will definitely be a lot more singles. The album is hugely in the hand of cards of our manager and label. They decide what’s played, but more could be coming out. We’ll have a headline tour this summer. For now, we’re continuing the college tours.

We’re also very passionate about free music online because that’s what basically started us.