This article was originally published in The Source issue #271. Words: Rocko Rathon
Charlie Heat is a man with a vision, all the more evidenced by the path he took as a youngster on his way to success. At six years old, the beatsmith learned to play the drums and piano, skills he fine-tuned throughout grade school as a member of the jazz and marching band. By the time high school rolled around, he was the section leader of the band. The shift in focus arrived when several of his classmates took up beatmaking. Taking notice, Charlie would frequent the piano located in the school gymnasium and add melodies to the beats of his peers.
At the behest of a friend who had already owned the highly popular Fruity Loops production software, teenage Charlie gave it a try and was a natural. Looking to take things a step further, he later mastered programs such as Reason and Logic, which allowed him to easily incorporate his melodies via keyboards into his beats, thus separating him from the pack. Upon graduation, he enrolled in Clark Atlanta University. While there, Charlie admittedly wasn’t focused on his studies, preoccupied with the university’s marching band and crafting beats in his dorm room for the many aspiring rappers on campus.
Halfway through his second semester, Charlie opted to leave school in order to focus on music. Back at home, when not working his job, he abstained from girls, vices and all “enjoyable distractions,” instead choosing to work on his craft and travel to nearby Philadelphia to work with various artists. It’s there that he produced some cuts for then unknown Lil Uzi Vert. A long while later, the breakthrough he was awaiting arrived when Kanye West’s right-hand man Virgil Abloh played Lil Uzi’s records for West, and the rap star was enamored with the production.
G.O.O.D. Music’s Che Pope immediately reached out to Charlie on all social networks, asking for beats. A day later, the 26-year-old Woodbury, NJ native was on a flight to Los Angeles to work with Mr. West. The first work they did together eventually became Pusha T’s “Lunch Money” and from there, Charlie was not only signed to G.O.O.D. Music but made the most of his opportunity by producing on the Grammy nominated “All Day,” and crafting hits for West, Madonna, Travis Scott and more. Another breakthrough came when he revamped Kanye’s “Facts,” which was credited on The Life Of Pablo album as “Facts (Charlie Heat Version), further exposing him to the public.
After getting a whirlwind of life experiences in a short period, meeting and working with “pretty much everyone [he] has ever wanted to be in the studio with,” Charlie isn’t resting on his laurels. Set to release his own merch line soon inspired by his production style, he just released his debut album The Good Work this past September. The project features various artists. “G.O.O.D. Work Charlie.”