We’re excited to introduce the world to CallieFlip here at UG Digital for our #WHOGOTNEXT series! Callie, who hails from Brooklyn New York, has definitely been ding his thing in the music world, and has been building his brand for the past few years as an artist and engineer. With a musical history running through his bloodline beginning with his father, his destiny is pretty much set already. As he works to add the finishing touches on his long-awaited EP, he took a few moments to sit down and talk with us about how it all began for him, as well as all that he has going on.
U.G. Digital Mag: I know theres so much going on for you, so this is really amazing. Thank you so much.
Callie Flip: No problem man.
U.G. Digital Mag: Where does the name Callie Flip come from?
Callie Flip: The name Callie, I got it from my homeboys in the neighborhood. I’m from Brooklyn NY, and I still live in Brooklyn. My style and everything was so laid back and so chill, and I smoked a lot of weed (laughing). They just started calling me Callie one day. Another engineer I was working with said I should spell it with two L’s to represent the twin towers. I thought that was kinda dope. Then he said putting the flip on there showed that I was representing the both sides.
U.G. Digital Mag: Your story is similar and parallel to so many people because of your passion for music. The biggest difference was the connection through your father and what he did for MTV, and obviously being in New York. Given your separation from that briefly because of your parents’ divorce, how were you able to remain connected to music?
Callie Flip: I’ve been around music my entire life, and I couldn’t really leave it alone. I’ve been into it since I was 5 years old. I wasn’t able to DJ anymore because I didn’t have the equipment. I just needed another way to express myself.
U.G. Digital Mag: How did you reconnect to it all?
Callie Flip: After everything went down, I was probably about 8 or 9. I listened to a lot of Jay-Z, and a lot of Biggie, and my mom never stopped me. She had bought me like a surround sound stereo system that went really loud, and I’d just be in my room, all day. I didn’t really want to go out and play, or go to the park and play basketball like the other kids. I literally sat in my room blasting music all day. My mom never had a problem with it. I guess she was used to my father playing music all the time.
U.G. Digital Mag: The reality behind it is music is an outlet. It keeps kids out of trouble and is a way to express themselves. I think back to my childhood, and the music I listened to. Back then, it was more like NWA, and that sort of thing. With today’s music, it’s definitely not the same, but kids do identify with music, and it’s an outlet, so that’s probably why she never stopped you. It kept you going in the right direction.
Callie Flip: I loved it so much. Then on the weekends, I spent time with my grandmother on my father’s side. I have a bunch of uncles and aunts. One of my uncles picked up on DJ’ing, but I actually taught him how to DJ. He bought the entire DJ setup. He had the turntables, mixers, and a sampler. Every weekend, I went to my grandmother’s house, and we played music. We had our own little parties and cookouts. It kept my passion going.
U.G. Digital Mag: Do you feel like you had an advantage because you came from New York?
Callie Flip: I wouldn’t say because I was from New York, but moreso my experiences as a child. I had been to block parties where my father played music, and I would be the only kid there. It just always kept me interested. It was different to me.
U.G. Digital Mag: When you look at the blessings you’ve had and what you’ve done, it’s really good. Obviously, you’re doing your thing now. What are some of the projects you’ve been able to do?
Callie Flip: I just started engineering about 3 to 4 years ago. I met a guy from Canada, who worked with A Tribe Called Quest. I met him in New York, and he was DJ’ing. He was playing a bunch of old school music that the crowd wasn’t really feeling. I asked him if I could play, but he didn’t really trust me with his equipment. He asked me to give him some songs, but he didn’t have anything I was naming. I asked if I could hook up my phone, which was like an iPhone. He hooked me up to the speakers and I started playing. That’s how our relationship started. Like I said, he’s from Canada. When we started vibing, his vibe was way more different than anyone i had ever met. people in New York are not really trying to help you, but he was just so willing to help me and teach me things. He invited me to his studio and I started interning for him. Basically, he started teaching me the tools of engineering so i could engineer my own music. That’s basically how that started. I just wanted to learn. I felt like if I made the song, no one knows how I want it to sound but me. I don’t like other people engineering my music because they don’t hear what i hear. He helped me out a lot.
U.G. Digital Mag: In terms of your artistry, what do you feel like you want to represent? What do you feel is missing?
Callie Flip: I feel like the genuine side is missing. I don’t feel like many artists are genuine. They’re just putting stuff out and selling it because it’s hot. I put a lot more into it. I feel like when you put that positive energy into the music, people feel it and know that you put a lot into it.
U.G. Digital Mag: Are you working on any projects? What can we look out for?
Callie Flip: Right now, I’m finishing up my EP. I should have that ready by end of summer.
U.G. Digital Mag: Where can people find you online?
Callie Flip: I’m on soundcloud as CallieFlip!. People can definitely find me there. I’m also on Twitter and Instagram as @CallieFlip.