While most Philadelphia musicians credit their hometown with helping them score gigs, drummer Noah Beresin of Chiddy Bang appreciates his roots for its musical diversity.
“I think where Philly helped us the most was in raising me as a child and exposing me to jazz and hip hop and punk rock and disco and all kinds of weird s–––,” Beresin said.
Beresin, who spent the first few years of his life in West Philadelphia while his mother earned her Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania, met his bandmate, Chidera “Chiddy” Anamege, within his first few months at Drexel.
Chiddy, a rapper on the rise, was impressed with Beresin’s beats and began collaborating with him.
Nowadays, the duo is wrapping up a college tour with Diplo, which began March 23, and is soon headed to London to promote its first studio full-length album, “Breakfast.” Beresin is by no means shy about accepting credit for the album’s title.
“It’s reminding people that it’s the very first meal and there are so many hours left in the day,” Beresin said.
The album, like breakfast, is a beginning for the band. Who knew a meal could be so poetic?
“Mind Your Manners,” a song off of the album, was featured on MTV’s Buzzworthy blog and is gaining popularity, most likely from its catchy children’s choir-esque hook weaseling its way into the minds of many. However, things are not always what they appear.
“Actually, it is not a children’s choir,” Beresin said. “It is two [girls] that are in a band called Iconopop, a relatively underground electronic duo from Sweden.”
“I just kind of worked it a little bit so it sounds like little kids, but it’s actually two very lovely, talented Swedish girls,” Beresin added.
Although still young – Beresin and Chiddy are still 21-years-old – Beresin is already masterful at mixing.
Chiddy Bang was approached by those behind the new iPad app “Mad Pad” to make a video demonstrating how the sampling software works by re-recording all the sounds necessary for Beresin to make the “instrumentals” behind Chiddy’s fast-paced rhymes.
With closed eyes, it’s hard to distinguish the iPad version from the studio recording. The video is so fun that the app might seem like a recreational game, but Beresin sees greater potential in the new technology.
“Anyone that makes music should get an iPad because it has already changed the game,” Beresin said.
Beresin is always at work on new rhythms, claiming to create at least one to two new beats a day. Of all the beats he creates, he said Chiddy chooses to use only 15 percent to 20 percent of them.
Although he is currently traveling to promote the new record, Beresin is still fond of his upbringing. He and Chiddy performed at the Liacouras Center for Welcome Week in August 2011.
“All of the Caribbean food trucks in West Philly are banging,” Beresin said.
But Beresin added that he has more memories of his hometown neighborhood than those that involve food.
“One time in West Philly, the cops held us up because they thought the black half of our band was trying to rob the white half of our band at the ATM,” Beresin said. “It was such a Philly moment. We were like, ‘Nobody’s getting robbed – we’re just trying to get money so we can go buy a beer before we play some college basement show.’”
Regardless of his band’s brush with the local law, Beresin urges younger generations new to the area to treat it with respect.
“I’d like to remind all the college kids that Philadelphia is a city for people, too and not just a place for people to have a big ole college party and throw up all over and throw your beer cans all over. Be nice to Philadelphia and it will be nice to you.”
Jenelle Janci can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.