Dig this: Two Caucasian males from separate cities meet up at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts to study African American Studies and Social Anthropology. X amount of years later, both graduate with bachelor degrees in their topic of choice and form a group called Chester French. D.A. Wallach and Maxwell Drummey began to make music in their dorm room.
D.A. is from a city best known for beer and home of rapper Coo Coo Cal and Maxwell springs from a city best known for baked beans and the most familiarized emcee is Benzino. Although they wear loafers and classic American shirts and ties, both can carry on, in a conversation about Lil’ Boosie’s flow or Maroon 5’s soulful lyrics.
Named after the all-American sculptor Chester French, both grads enjoy innovative, refreshing music that captivates individuality. Although they could easily be mistaken for stereotypical depictions of upper class nerds who drink tea at noon, Chester French has recently signed a deal with Star Trak/Interscope making them label-mates to Snoop Dogg and Roscoe P. Coldchain.
With casual lavender sweaters and traditional “preppy” apparel, the two are not hard to separate from any other two students on a Harvard campus- yet they’ve managed to get almost every major Hip Hop producer on their side. The guys with the Beach Boy sound and a twist of urban flavor are this week’s DXNEXT. Trust us on this one.
Hailing from: Milwaukee, WI and Boston, MA
Current works: Finishing up the last few tracks of their album in Los Angeles.
Connects: Pharell, Chad Hugo, Kanye West, Jermaine Dupri, and Kenna.
Past collabs: Kanye West on a Fall Out Boy track, about to hook up with Rico Love and have attempted to contact Coo Coo Cal.
Life outside of music: They’re excited to produce for other acts in various genres including Hip Hop, Country and what ever else people nod their heads to. Up until June, they were really focused on their full time jobs and being students at Harvard. “Luckily we have this opportunity to focus on music exclusively, right at the same time we finished college,” says D.A. After college, both musicians decided to move out to L.A. Their free time is used looking for a place to live, working on their music and getting the record done.
Life before the music: “I got heavily into music when I was like five, so I guess I can’t really comment,” says Max. D.A. was also into music as well as politics.
Career sum up: “It’s been crazy because we’ve been completely unknown. We weren’t even playing for two years, then we went into going underground…people weren’t hearing the music we were making or we weren’t playing any shows or anything...Our career so far, has been us trying to cook up some classic shit completely under the radar,” Max adds, “Yeah, we were completely underground…like in the basement,” D.A. follows up by saying, “We’re about to drop some major bombs.”
Three words to describe the music: “Crazy, Sexy, Cool…you know? TLC,” says Max.
Discover the music: You can search on Google and type in “Chester French.” Myspace is currently their “center of operations.” They’re also working on the most, “futuristic website that any artist has ever had,” D.A. talks about the site, “They might have to wait until 2008 until it comes around so they can experience this power, but right now on the Myspace we have some tracks and people can communicate with us on there, too.” Their Myspace page is: www.myspace.com/chesterfrench.
What Chester French brings to Hip Hop: “If there’s a movement that we stand for, it’s about breaking down barriers. Just by the virtue of the people we fuck with- Kanye, Pharell or any of those people- the value that they see in us is the fact that we don’t make music like them,” says D.A. He goes on to say, "Up until now, people have been making music in boxes. You maybe had some Rock to Pop crossover shit, but for the most part, the same people who listen to Lil’ Boosie aren’t the same people listening to Maroon 5 or Coldplay. I’m not saying that they should be…The way we look at it is, music is music and people are people…for Hip Hop fans we want to turn them on to other stuff, but still be appealing to what they’re used to.”
Message to the people: “I think we want to make it cool to be creative again and to be interesting and to like lots of different shit and be goofy. It’s okay to be yourself. We just wanna let people know that it’s okay to be themselves. I think everyone feels that they have to be a stereotype and that’s not what we are at all. There are artist that have done that for us…like Outkast.” says D.A. Max just wants people to listen to their songs.