A Personal Interview with Chief Aleel

“When it came to creating Gnarly , I had no clue how i wanted it to sound at first. i was getting off track from my normal formula of making music due to a lack of focus and consistency. I had a lot of songs half complete but was nowhere near satisfied where i wanted them to be.

At the beginning of 2016 it seemed as if life was working in my favor and then a few months after I got back from SXSW I found myself facing relationship problems , legal troubles and also battling with depression and anxiety.

It was one unfortunate event after another and for along time i kept it all to myself. I use to be the type of person who would chose to hold everything in and self destruct rather than reaching out and asking for help.

I started experimenting with harder drugs and isolated myself from everyone. I became very paranoid and getting adequate sleep was impossible. In September my recklessness finally caught up to me and i was arrested for drug related reasons and spent a few days in jail.

In the midst of all this, my true inspiration for Gnarly was slowly being formulated.

I left jail with a plan to get my shit together and completely stopped taking drugs. I had come to an important realization that my freedom and clarity was more precious than any type of high a drug had to offer. I found myself reading, writing and learning a lot more about producing. it was very therapeutic and helped construct a lot of the lyrics for Gnarly.

I took a large break from social media and started hitting up more events in Houston. The more shows i went to and performed at the more inspired i became. I saw a lot of things I liked and also a lot of things i didn’t really care much care much for. (bootleg trap music and dry hating were a couple of those things)

One particular subject i picked up on in a lot of conversations was that Houston’s support system between its artist’s was in the gutter, the irony of it was at many of these events I went to people seemed to be having a ton of fun and having a good time while others seemed too caught up in themselves to support artist or even mingle with the people who showed up

In my opinion, I think Houston has the potential to succeed in this new day and age as much as Chicago, Atlanta and L.A have.

Houston is so big that for some dumb reason people feel the need to segregate themselves by subdivisions or small towns and label which parts are considered “Houston” and which are not. These type of labels leave a crabs in the bucket mentality on the city and puts up social barriers making it harder for everyone to come together and get along

That alone gave me the jumpstart to get back in the booth and start networking with other artist and producers in the city.

Not only did i want to bring Houston closer, i wanted to find a way to invest in its future art so I got connected with the Houston Art Alliance and decided to gives all the profit i make off my album from iTunes , Bandcamp Google Play and Amazon music and donate it to them

I get inspired by artist like Kendrick Lamar, Dr Dre, Jay-Z , Tyler The Creator and Pharrell because as they grow older their brand and music grow with them

They take their time with their craft and also find ways to benefit and give back to their community which makes them legends in my book and inspires me to follow in their footsteps.

There’s too much talent in my city to let it all go to waste and i’ll be damned if i let that happen, life is short art is forever.”

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