Single Review: Exchecker - 'CLUELESS'
Cheshire-turned-Nottingham hip-hop group bring a new feel with their latest track.
An emerging talent within the Nottingham hip-hop scene, Exchecker, made up of lifelong friends Cameron Chadwick (vocals) and producers Sam Oakley and Will Scrowther, bring classic hip-hop into the modern era with their latest track CLUELESS. With UK hip-hop developing an association with harsher, aggressive beats through the development of the grime scene, Exchecker challenge these stereotypes with their latest single - bringing a more chilled, relaxed and calm rhythm combined effortlessly with expressive, meaningful vocals.
"Without doubt, the combination of Cameron's excellent vocals shared with the top-class lead production of Sam Oakley brings a mellow feel, already a big hit with crowds."
Sadly, in the current era it is not always common that audiences pay total attention to what is being said. All too often, listeners find themselves drawn in by a beat, half-heartedly register some words over the top and fail to engage with a track beyond its face value. Admittedly, when I first heard CLUELESS, I found it intriguing, so I did just that. It wasn’t until a few times through that some of the lyrics began to register, unveiling a whole new meaning to the song. CLUELESS is more than your typical UK hip-hop track, it is a story brought to life through music ("And I don’t know a thing about her, I guess that’s how she wants it to be”).
Cameron is no stranger to the stage, having impressed at Nottingham’s most famous music venue Rock City, and more recently, a DJ set at The Mic x Amnesty gig at The Bodega. It was no surprise to me to hear that he’s been touring the open mic and acoustic circuits of Nottingham, performing the new single since August at a range of venues across Nottingham including JuiceBar, Pepper Rocks and Bunk. Without doubt, the combination of Cameron's excellent vocals shared with the top-class lead production of Sam Oakley brings a mellow feel, already a big hit with crowds.
Alongside his keen interest in politics and social issues, the frontman is guided by his wide-ranging music taste; from country to hip-hop, he enjoys everything except "most new indie bands", and it is clear that his broad and open music taste influences his writing. Particularly guided by the diverse likes of country's Luke Combs and underground hip-hop's Atmosphere and Brother Ali, CLUELESS helps bring traditional hip-hop flavours to a modern audience.
"Exchecker challenge stereotypes with their latest single - bringing a more chilled, relaxed and calm rhythm combined effortlessly with expressive, meaningful vocals."
It is important we take a reality check, as it can be easy to forget both Cameron and producer Sam are still university students, subsequently balancing plenty of other commitments alongside their growing music presence. Given the exuberant quality of the song, it may come as a surprise to hear it was recorded at the University of Salford studios, where producer Sam Oakley has studied since 2017. Having released a strong variety of songs over his music career to date, each unique to themselves, it must be said this is a personal favourite of mine. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Exchecker's new single CLUELESS on all major streaming platforms.