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Artist of The Week: Charlie Heat

Charlie Heat is an American producer who’s been connected with some of the music world’s best and brightest. Gaining credits from icons past and present, it’s easy to see that Charlie is not only here to stay but also to leave a mark worthy of being remembered for generations to come. From his signature Latin drums, and horns to his legendary tag lines from classic video games, his sound is unmatched, original and truly one geared to stand the test of time We got the opportunity to sit down with the New Jersey native and captain of House Of 99 Records about everything from his early musical beginnings, to his rise, and what’s next in the pipeline.

What was your first taste/experience with music?

I was born into it. My dad plays the piano drums and trumpet and I grew up in the church so it was always around me one way or another. 

What made you wanna pursue a career in the industry?

Honestly the movie drum line sparked everything. I was playing the drums and piano for school but was more into basketball. But after I seen hip-hop music played live in that capacity that was my only focus.

Once I got to Clark Atlanta University the production side really just roped me in from there. [Laughs]

How did you hone your skills? Explain your musical background…the instruments you learned coming up, if any.

I had drum lessons coming up and also learned piano from my pop and by ear. But outside of that just making a lot of really bad beats until they became good.

How did Kanye catch wind of you?

Virgil came to a Uzi show in Philly and that’s when me and Uzi were going crazy in Philly. Went back and played Ye the Uzi songs and the rest was history.

Before TLOP, what were things like within your career?

Hard to say. It’s all been a blessing to be honest. The hard parts and the lack of recognition made me strive to be greater so I loved that place as well as now.

You were the only credited producer on TLOP track list. Can you talk about how that felt in that moment, being at MSG for the runway show/listening party? 

Stapled me in history alongside the greatest overall music creator of our time. Couldn’t have imagined it.

How did it feel when you got that Grammy nomination in the mail?

The internet moves a little too fast so the excitement wore off A LITTLE. But when I initially found out it was a feeling you don’t forget.

Outside of Kanye, you have quite the list of people that you’ve worked with; Madonna, Kehlani, Travis Scott, Lil Uzi Vert,Ty Dolla $ign… just to name a few. What it’s like being the person those people call to get a good beat?

It’s just humbling. I look up to all of these people and the fact they respect my talent and work ethic enough to share and collaborate on a vision is crazy.

Are there any Jersey/Philly influences that you try in keep within your music?

Of course. From the musicality of Dre & Vidal to the anthems like just blaze and the heat makers. I pull from everywhere.

You use a lot of old and modern equipment like the MPC…why? And what effect does it have on your sound?

Honestly I get bored really easy with the same textures and sounds. I can only do about 5 – 10 beats the same way/sounds/process so I got to switch it up. MPC also got that slapppp.

What’s been the biggest challenge in maintaining longevity and building a legacy within the industry?

Patience and being open-minded. Never wanted to be that guy that can’t get out of his own sound. 

What is the plan for Charlie Heat & your label House Of 99 records?


Any words of wisdom for the younger generations looking to follow in your footsteps?

CH: Don’t stop working. Ever.

Stay tuned to Milk for more rising stars.

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