Cold Chizzle, an artist from St. Lucia who promotes Creole culture in London

Romell Marquis "Cold Chizzle": "I listen to all the musical rhythms and I see that they all have a bit of Creole inspiration"

For years, Cold Chizzle has been working in the shadows as a beatmaker for many artists. This shy young man, born in London to St Lucian parents, has just collaborated with Triniboi Joocie from Trinidad & Tobago on “Sa Fèb”. This song is a hit in the Caribbean and Great Britain. The video was released this Monday, June 15, 2020.

Romell Marquis aka “Cold Chizzle” is a subject of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. He was born in London, 31 years ago to parents from the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, he was raised in the British capital and always lived there ; of course he discovered other countries, especially in the Caribbean, but it was only for short stays.

His artist name “Cold Chizzle” was given to him by his father : “When my friends and I started DJing – I was 10 years old – nobody had a stage name. My father, who is a carpenter, thought Cold Chizzle would suit me. It’s a tool used to break anything, so that name sounds a lot like me. But no matter what my name is, I’m the only one who can do something in life to give meaning to that name. If they wanted to, they could even call me basketball. I started making money DJing at the age of 19”, he said.

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This sacred “feeling”!

However, young Romell did not want to be content with playing songs by artists behind his turntables. So he began to take an interest in composing as well. “It’s true, I’m a beatmaker 3.0 (laughs). At the time, my older brother was a producer and he worked with a lot of artists from England, the USA and so on. I was tired of listening to other people’s music, everybody was on different waves, I started making sounds. When my brother was away, I sat in front of the computer, I did some “riddims”, some things and, as time went by, I started to feel comfortable with what I was doing”, said the artist.

What many call “inspiration”, Cold Chizzle calls it “feeling”. Before going into the studio, he is already totally immersed in this so special “feeling” which allows him to know exactly the musical colour he is looking for and to work faster. “There are old tracks that I call “timeless” because, since their creation in the 70s, 80s and 90s, people keep listening to them, you can change them, you can “sample” them to try and redo the “feeling”. I don’t want to copy other people’s “feeling”, I do what I know how to do”, explained the London beatmaker.

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A beatmaker for many artists

And his work is popular because many artists come to his studio in London or contact him through social networks to discover the latest sounds he composed. Among them are : Triniboi Joocie, Hypasounds, Motto, Ninja Dan, Blackboy, Sly, Cocoa Nuraya, Brother B, Shoo Ya, Jonas Keeves, Jay Budz.

Today, the reserved young man decided to take the microphone to express himself in front of the audience. To undertake this new adventure, he chose his twin brother in his famous “musical feeling”. This is Triniboi Joocie, a very well-known artist from Trinidad and Tobago who lived in England and whom he has known for about ten years. “When I was writing for different artists, I had to sing them the songs so that they understood how to perform them, they told me I was singing well (…) At first I was very shy, I was ashamed, I’m someone who doesn’t really like cameras and crowds, but I feel more comfortable now (…) Triniboi makes music with the same “vibes” as me, it’s magical, with him the music runs like water in a river”, said Cold Chizzle.

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“Sa Fèb” became a hit

Today, the two artists are happy because their track “Sa Fèb” which was released on May 8 was very well received in the Caribbean and in Great Britain. “It’s weak” is the literal translation of “Sa Fèb” but, as we know, from one land to another a Creole word or expression does not have the same meaning. “In Saint Lucia, “Sa Fèb” means “it’s nothing”, “it’s not serious”. The decision to record this song came from Triniboi Joocie. We both wrote the lyrics of the song but I’m the only one who speaks Creole,” the artist said.

It should be noted that, even though Cold Chizzle has always lived in England, he has a real passion for his parents’ mother tongue, Creole, which he learned to speak with English. Today, through his music, he enhances the Creole language, the sounds of Creole music which he considers a richness.

And from London, the composer is very interested in the musical evolution in the Caribbean. “Creole is my culture. At home, my mother, my brother, everyone speaks Creole in addition to English. Triniboi Joocie comes from Trinidad and Tobago, over there only older people speak Creole, but the artists know the influence of Creole in all musical inspirations nowadays”.

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From left to right: Cold Chizzle, Motto and Mr Migz

A strong Creole influence in music

And he added : “I listen to all the musical rhythms and I see that they all have a bit of Creole inspiration ; Haitian artists perform trap, hip hop, konpa, zouk, soca and that influenced. Everybody is after the sound of Kassav’, we’re looking for the same feeling and Triniboi came to asked me how to translate “it’s nothing” into Creole. At the moment there’s a “tcho spin” in Saint Lucia and artists are travelling all over the Caribbean. Here in London, we’re looking for your inspiration, your listening in Guadeloupe, Martinique, Guiana, Saint Lucia, Dominica, all the Creole countries”, Cold Chizzle explained.

When the DJ-beatmaker-singer talks about “tcho spin” (DJ and his turntables), he is talking about all those Saint Lucian artists (Motto, Mr Killa etc.) who are currently dominating the soca music market after having been long sidelined because their music was too “ruf” and less melodious than that of Trinidad and Tobago…

In any case, after “Sa Fèb”, Cold Chizzle, the Caribbean man from London, will continue to explore Creole culture to find the “feeling” and compose other hits.