First I heard of the multi-talented Chicago producer The GTW, aka James King, was a 2010 release called Don’t Smoke The Cigarette. The album was an highly engaging combination of hip-hop, R&B, and electronic elements produced mostly by himself and a few friends, “Half-way Freaks” being one of the stand-out tracks. Those productions, paired with King’s distinctive voice and thought-provoking, sometimes playful, lyrics set The GTW aside as something special.
I was lucky enough to meet and work with James around 2011, and let me say, his presence is as large and as great as his looming stature. In other words, there’s something about King that kind of takes your breath away. Possibly it’s his boundless creativity, his keen style, or just how sure he is about his craft. We formed a bond based on mutual artistic appreciation and I’ve kept up with him since then.
Originally from Nigeria and growing up as a young transplant in Chicago seems to have built an amalgamation of styles now intrinsic to Kings approach, something that he likes to call, “Chigerian.” His latest endeavor is a rework of fellow Chicagoan Tink, ”When I’m Lit.” It’s highly successful in that it far surpasses the original, it demonstrates King’s rolling tribal beats, and hints at his R&B and Chicago house influences.
Keep up with The GTW at his website and explore his other sounds via SoundCloud - there’s so much there to love.