Challan Carmichael

Klimper Boy

My name is Klimper Boy and I’m situated in Hamburg, Germany. People gave me my alias name because, to ‘Klimper’ in German is when you play the piano in an exciting way. I’m known for being a musician that is requested by different studios for assistance on certain sections, like; “could you figure out what line that is”, “could you arrange some strings for me, could you do harmonic work on this and that”.

How did you come to work with Challan Carmichael?

I met him through Lars Mellow from C.L.A.S.S Production, who rented one of my Studios. Challan was in the studio with Lars and I was working in the other Studio. One of my Studio-Mates made the contact and said, “Hey do you have some songs for Challan?” I went over to the other studio, played him some beats and he took some of them.

How many tracks have you created with Challan?Klimper_boy_1_edit

We are working on a couple of songs at the moment. For our next Session I’ll create a sketch for the beat, then we’ll communicate about how it’s going to develop and what the feeling will be. For example he sent me an idea that he sang, so I will figure out the feeling and some chords, we will talk about it, and hopefully it will be as great as the other songs; We have many recording session booked in for the rest of this year, its exciting.

What are your thoughts on Challan and his music

First of all he’s a really nice and positive thinking guy and the soulful, R&B kind of music he is creating is great. We’ve only met a few times, just one long day in the studio together but had a good time; he’s a funny guy.
I don’t know if you’ve been to the studio and had some awesome time with people you’ve never met before; just a connection because of doing music together. Sometimes it doesn’t need words to explain; just the vibe in the room while you’re working. We really had the vibe and made it work. It’s always an intimate thing I think, a sensitive arrangement of working together, you always show a lot of yourself when doing music and I think that we’re heavily both into it. It’s not like just going into a bank and opening an account, it’s like really bonding together making music. It was really great, and just as great as doing music with all the other guys I’m working in projects with.

How did the tracks come about?

He (Challan) wrote over Instrumentals I gave to him, he came over [to Hamburg] to record and really had a challenging day in the studio; I think that day he finished three songs in a row. Alexandra Prince, a great singer, was with us as well and did some vocals.

How did you get started as a producer?

My father is a drummer and long-time musician so I started doing music very early; maybe when I was around 3 years old. I just jumped on everything that we had in our kitchen, hitting plates and stuff and got into percussion-lessons when I was 8. We had a piano in my parents place and I’d play it constantly. I went to what we call, Conservatorium, a music school, and was there for 7 or 8 years playing in different jazz-bands. Then in the beginning of 2000 I left and began to DJ.
Around November 2005 I made my first songs on the computer.

What genres of music do you have the most passion for and why?

I’m into a lot of music. I’m into the music that my parents played me when I was growing up like Michael Franks, Paul Simon, Black Sabbath, Pat Metheny and Earth Wind and Fire; whatever they played at home. I’m really into Hip Hop, RnB and electronic music though.

What gives you inspiration to create music?

Most times I just have a melody or some harmonies in my head. I sing and beatbox into my iPhone. When I go into the studio I’ll sit down, listen to what I’ve recorded and figure out the harmonies. Most of the time I’ll start with the harmonies and melodies because that predetermine the rhythm and the beat; I’m ‘Klimper Boy’; I always start on a piano.

Do you work solo or in a team?

Sometimes I work on my own, but mostly in a team; so everyone gives the best of their ideas and we mix it up. It’s basically getting the best out of a song. A song tells you this and that, and to figure out what is it [the perfect combination of sounds, beats or instruments] is what makes you a professional.

 What do you consider your finest skill of production to be, or do you have more than one?

Maybe it sounds strange but I think sometimes I’m good at this and the other day I’m good at that. That’s a hard question! I think if it’s that easy to tell you what I’m good at or what I’m not good at, maybe I would be a lot faster at what I’m doing (laughing). I’m a musician so I think I’m good at the musician part. I´m a really good team player I’d say.
Are there any artists that you think you’re music would be suited to?

There are a lot of guys I want to work with. In England, I would really love to work with Peter Gabriel; I’m really inspired by that guy. Another I’d really like to work with is Floetry; they are one of my biggest inspirations from back in the days. There are a lot of Rappers I’d like to work with. It’s really inspiring what the guys from TDE (Top Dawg Entertainment) are doing, I’m not sure who is my favourite but maybe Schoolboy Q and Kendrick Lamar are great. There are loads of artists I’d love to work with, but also to learn from.
What are some of the hardware and software resources that you use in your production process?

Klimper_boy_2Mac Pro computer, a UAD 2 octo-card; a lot of plugins, and terabytes of samples; Signals are going through a tube mic or a SM7, into a BAE or an Avalon pre-amp. Signal passes through an Apogee AD/DA converter and an 8 channel SSL (Solid State Logic) Mixing Desk. We listen to Klein und Hummel-, Genelec-, and Ns10 Speakers.

I work with several sequencers because different projects are suited for different sequencers. Years ago I had a Korg M3 but now use VST’s and Plugins including Spectrasonics products; Stylus RMX was my first drum machine I brought, really good stuff. Also, Waves, Native Instruments, and I love Addictive Drums.

Do you make music for any other forms of media? (TV, films, radio, gaming, etc)

Yeah, I have done some stuff for events like movies, animation, and musicals. 2 years ago I did some stuff for Dance Academy, a production from ABC Australia a Teenager- Dance-Series.

Where have you visited in the world, or your favourite place?

I haven’t been to too many places in the world because my holidays is buying a new Plugin or Instrument J. It might sound strange but I’m in the studio 300 days a year. To bring it to your point, the last time I was on holiday with my girl was 2002 in Spain, so that was the last time I left the country.Klimper_boy_3

So you’re a hard worker?
Maybe I’m just a playing kid, you know, if you open the child’s room and throw a few new toys in now and again, maybe the kid stays there for a long time. But yeah, this year we want to go on holiday, but we’ll see how much work is in the studio.

What is your take on music today?

My opinion is that music, what I’m hearing right now in the charts and independently, is great. I think there is a lot mixing and merging of different genres and that affects the style of music listeners. Back in the 90’s, I felt the different genres were more separated from each other, but now I see that they are mixing, creating ‘sub-genres’ and it’s not so important to stay focused listening to one genre.