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Artist Spotlight: Chase and Status
Biography
As one of the most successful British bands of the last decade Chase & Status have achieved widespread notoriety and universal respect for their achievements. Consummate professionals as both selectors and producers, Will Kennard and Saul Milton, along with MC Rage, epitomise all that’s great about UK electronic music. Together they’ve channeled their passion for the nation’s hugely influential rave culture into four highly-acclaimed, best-selling albums, an incendiary live show and a wide range of endeavours that have established them as an unstoppable force. Their fifth album, ‘RTRN II JUNGLE’ marks their 16-year milestone and cements their position as one of the UK’s most electrifying bands.

Lauded by their peers, elders and fans across drum’n’bass, dubstep, hip hop and beyond, Chase & Status maintain an unsurpassed level of diversity and professionalism thanks to their consistently high work ethic and genuine love for what they do. This is a unit that is fueled by authenticity, promoting good vibes and high energy from the studio to the big stage and on to dance floors worldwide transcending race, class, age and gender to bring everyone together. Merging influences from UK rave, sound system culture, hip hop, RnB, dancehall, grime, punk and a myriad of other musical styles, Chase & Status have an extensive back catalogue of genre-defining, trailblazing productions and showstopping collaborations, setting the benchmark for contemporary crossovers.

From 2003 onwards they made their presence felt on the DnB underground with a series of triumphant EPs and support from the scene’s top tier, including luminaries such as Fabio, Grooverider and Andy C. Their first release landed on DJ Zinc’s influential Bingo Beats label, with dance floor smash ‘Wise Up’ setting their stall out from the get go. A slew of releases followed soon after, snapped up by labels such as Kreative Mindz, Renegade Hardware and Breakbeat Kaos. Even in this early period Chase & Status explored a range of styles with confidence, culminating in one of their biggest early hits - ‘Love’s Theme’, which was heavily supported by Fabio on his Radio 1. By 2007 they’d released their debut EP on Ram Records, featuring the timeless ‘Hurt You’ - a driving, emotive cut that dominated the clubbing landscape throughout the summer of 2007 and beyond.

Their first LP, ‘More Than A Lot’ was signed to Andy C’s label Ram Records. The album, which was released in 2008 sold over 100,000 copies, achieving gold status with no major label support. Three years later their double platinum follow-up ‘No More Idols’ pushed them into the mainstream domain with chart successes including their top 5 hit ‘Blind Faith’ (with Liam Bailey) and ‘End Credits’ featuring Plan B. While, the album itself was the second best-selling album by a British band in 2011, hitting No.2 in the UK album charts, earning them a Brit Award Nomination for ‘Best British Band’.

The band’s ability to traverse a variety of musical styles became even more apparent on album number three ‘Brand New Machine’. Featuring collaborations with Nile Rodgers, Pusha T and Major Lazer, among others, the album further demonstrated Will and Saul’s diverse palette and showcased their innate talent for exploring a range of genres with authority, authenticity and precision. Their fourth studio album ‘Tribe’ brought in a selection of UK features, including Craig David, Emeli Sandé, Shy FX, Slaves and grime stars Bugzy Malone, Kano and Novelist. Again, the LP was a vehicle for their dexterity, delivering 17 cuts that explored a wide range of moods and textures, fully representing the British sound. Besides their own productions, they have been involved with production for superstars like Rihanna - who credited the duo with being intrinsic to her 2009 LP ‘Rated R’, Rita Ora’s No.1 UK hit ‘RIP’, Dizzee Rascal’s ‘Sirens’, Snoop Dogg, Alexandra Burke, Rita Ora and many more. Their studio exploits also include work with Stargate, Tinie Tempah, Kylie Minoque and Tom Grennan with remixes for Jay-Z, Akala, Nneka, Plan B, Example and many more.

Their universal appeal has led to consistent national and international radio support - including an paralleled seven Radio 1 A-List singles from ‘No More Idols’. Avid support has come from radio’s most influential tastemakers including Zane Lowe, Annie Mac, Mistajam and Charlie Sloth. On stage Chase & Status have notched up a long list of global festival bookings and tours across the planet. In 2009 Chase & Status began crafting their renowned live show which they debuted at the BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend that year. Their live set up includes the legendary Andy Gangadeen on drums and enigmatic front man, Rage on the mic. The show featured an exhilarating mixture of lighting, video and guest appearances from vocalists including Plan B and Tinie Tempah as well as Delilah, Liam Bailey, Maverick Sabre and Mali who all appeared on ‘No More Idols’. The live show continues to draw in record attendances through five sold out UK tours, a headline performance at the O2 Arena in London and an unforgettable headline slot on The Other Stage at Glastonbury - not to mention three sold out European tours, two sold out US tours and a slew of headline festival appearances across the globe, from Coachella (USA) and Pukkelpop (Belgium) to Rock Am Ring (Germany), Benicassim (Spain) and Stereosonic (Australia). All the while, they have retained a credible approach to their music, firmly entrenched in the underground club culture from which it’s inspired.

In November 2014 Chase & Status won Red Bull’s Culture Clash event in front of 20,000 fans at Earls Court, forming Rebel Sound with jungle legend Shy FX and reggae maestro David Rodigan. Competing against Skepta and Boy Better Know, A$AP Mob and Jamaican heavyweights Stone Love, they took the top spot with a plethora of exclusive dubplates and video transmissions, employing a long list of industry personalities to join their cause. The victory was streamed to over four million viewers worldwide, showcasing the band’s inventive approach and reinforcing their standing as experts in their field. The following year they embarked on a grime-focused project, working with an all-star lineup of MCs for their ‘London Bars’ EP. The series included Giggs, Novelist, Frisco and Bonkaz. Each single was accompanied by its own video, with all four linking together to form one full-length 16-minute film.

Their latest album project ‘RTRN II JUNGLE’ has been heralded as a cultural movement, celebrating 16 years of the duo, paying homage to the music and surrounding culture that inspired Will and Saul to set off on their path to glory back in the mid-nineties. As the pivotal decade comes full circle, with today’s younger generation embracing the fashions and music of the era, Chase & Status evoke the feeling of that vibrant period from the early to mid-nineties when jungle music first appeared, revolutionising the rave scene in the UK and, eventually, all over the world. The four opening singles illustrate the project’s core ethos – with the hard hitting “Retreat” ft. Cutty Ranks echoing in your ears long after hearing, the euphoric “Heater” feat. General Levy, “Delete” feat. Burro Banton, the heavy VIP of “Big Man Skank” and, most recently, ‘Program’ featuring Irah. Work on the album has been meticulous, with trips to Jamaica to spend time in the studio, recording original samples at the source.

Parallel to their work on the LP, the band have curated RTRN II JUNGLE raves in London, with a huge street party at Notting Hill Carnival and a sell-out show at the Printworks in November 2018, which included jungle legends Randall, Brockie and MC Det, DJ Ron and the mighty Saxon Sound. Channeling the original spirit of jungle, Chase & Status again demonstrate their production prowess - this time presenting a clear cut insight into their history and celebrating a remarkable period in UK rave culture.

Chase & Status are one of the definitive British electronic music bands of the 21st Century, continuing to make an exceptional contribution to the culture they love and adore on a never ending quest to set dancefloor alight with their unstoppable energy.