YOUTH Spotlight: Che Lingo

“Hip hop contributes to the soul and storytelling elements, Grime contributes to the flows and delivery and the Reggae contributes to the groove of the music and the inclusion of live instruments,” explains Che. “The jazzy, future beats lane is one I'm planning to explore more with my music throughout my songs. It's exciting and has good energy in its pace and variety without losing its core, which I find is similar to me as an artist.”

Indeed, staying true to his core, while experimenting with musical genres is what makes Che’s music so compelling. Does he see his own potential to influence the future of UK Rap? “More so than UK Rap, I want it to influence UK music, and I believe I can. I'd love to put together a pivotal album that changes opinion and gets people thinking and more confident about experimenting.”

Following his 2015 debut EP TRIP (The Risk Is Proof), Che returned earlier this year with the explosive ‘Channeling The Waves’. Produced by highly acclaimed producer SJ Reid, this track perfectly embodied the fusion of styles that sets Che apart from other artists.

In a genre that is really saturated with artists, it can be difficult to stand out, but Che prefers to focus on doing what feels right to him, than any specific attempt to stand out. “Standing out isn't your job. Those who relate and resonate will come to you when you're in your element; being the best you can be and enjoying it will always do more for you than trying to focus on standing out, per say.”

And yet, stand out is something he consistently does. Timeout Magazine named Che Lingo as one of the most stylish new comers in London, a reflection of the recognition Che Lingo is earning, not just for his music, but as an influential fashion icon. Further evidence of this Che’s inclusion in an upcoming campaign for ASOS.

“I used to cut up my clothes and add bits to my outfits to make them a little more unique,” says Che of his unique style. “I can appreciate a well put together outfit and I've had image/body confidence issues due to bullying as a child so I always felt the need to try extra hard and stay avid and intune with myself and what works for me in fashion as it changes.”

The bullying that Che faced growing up in South West London hugely influenced the artist he would ultimately become. He took comfort not just in music, but in anime, games and fashion – things that became a huge part of his cultural make up.

“I talk about the awkward space I felt like I was in, in my lyrics, a lot. I use my ‘comforts’ (found through others identifying my ‘flaws’) to amplify my identity now. It’s a long game, but a worthwhile one, that can start just with a little time and a simple question: What makes you happy?”

It’s a simple concept and one we hear repeated time and time again. Find the thing that you’re most passionate about, work hard at it in a way that’s true to you and success will surely follow. Che Lingo is living proof that passion plus hard work equals success.