The word 'eclectic' can't often be justifiably applied to artists, but one exception would be songwriter, producer, singer and rapper Jason Charles Beck, commonly known as Chilly Gonzalez. Did we mention he's also a virtuoso pianist and musical genius"
Born and classically-trained in Canada, his compositional and performance skills have since taken him on a journey across genres and the globe. Now residing in Germany, Gonzales has managed to immerse and express himself in a number of styles to great success, something very few other artists can claim to have done. In his early albums from his period in Berlin like The Entertainist and Presidential Suite, Gonzales' musical talent was exhibited through electronic beats and humorously intelligent raps. Close listens to these albums reveal an intricacy in the production, a genuine sense of melody in the choruses, and raps by the pun-slinging Chilly Gonzales that command an involuntary smile and a knowing nod with almost every line. These albums also featured collaborations with artists like Feist, who have since become successful in their own right.
In 2000 Gonzales released the first of his two Solo Piano albums. These records stripped everything back, crystallising Gonzales's melodic and harmonic talents in a series of often poignant piano miniatures. Augmented in his live shows by 'Pianovision' projections, pieces like 'Gogol' and 'Overnight' from Solo Piano and 'White Keys', 'Kenaston' and 'Rideaux Lunaires' from Solo Piano II reward the listener with strong melodies, wistful chords and colourful introspection. The albums were acclaimed by critics and fans alike, even attracting some unlikely love from rapper Drake.
After breaking the world record for the longest solo piano concert at over 27 hours in 2009, Chilly managed to release the upbeat, genre-defying Ivory Tower as well as a return to his accomplished rapping and producing on The Unspeakable Chilly Gonzales, the first 'orchestral rap' album. Meanwhile, Gonzalez somehow found time to collaborate with dance music legends Daft Punk on their album, Random Access Memories.
As a pianist, producer, rapper, educator, entertainer and composer Gonzales continues to evolve and cement his position as a true musical genius.
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