25 years old and already have a record with Drake? For Chef Pasquale, this is a dream come true. Growing up in New York and being influenced by music greats such as Michael Jackson, Wu-Tang Clan, Biggie, and Big Pun, it’s no surprise real name Cameron Pasquale comes equipped with his own signature sound. It’s his melodic trap beats that soon caught the ears of hip-hop’s hottest artist and PnB Rock. Read more…
If there’s one thing Cameron can attest to, it’s that success does not happen overnight. Teaching himself the ins and outs of the music industry as he went along, Pasquale’s credit on Drake’s “KMT’ was the result of hard work and pure grinding.
For those who don’t know, who is Chef Pasquale?
A 25-year-old producer from New York. [laughs] Pretty much.
Where do you fit in the realm of R&B and hip-hop?
I guess my style is kind of in the middle of that. I make more uptempo R&B. And more girly Hip Hop songs, like the PnB Rock shit.
I was just at Roy Woods and he brought out PnB Rock! I love him.
They fuck with each other heavy. I’ve been at the studio with them.
What’s the dynamic in the studio?
Just vibing crazy. PnB’s got a sick ass vibe
He’s so turnt.
He’s so talented. He will literally hop on and play like anything. He’ll come up with an idea for it. It’s easy to work with him. If he fucks with you, he fucks with you. Especially if you got a joint with him already or something like that. I ended up getting a single on the album with that kid Russ. It’s like an R&B song kind of, but it’s rap too. I really like the early 2005 — those melodies. I really like that stuff. That’s mostly what I grew up on.
Are producers getting enough credit nowadays?
Yeah, gaining more credit than ever. I just feel like it’s up to the producer to do things for themselves to publicly be known, if that makes sense. Or to get that clout, you have to do things towards getting that. You can’t expect the artist to shout you out. Like Drake for instance, him hopping on “KMT” is legendary. I didn’t expect anything else then for him to hop on the song and put it out. I didn’t expect Drake to shout me out or expect him to take care of me. People think automatically like…
I don’t know how to explain it. It’s just like you gotta worry about your own career and do things for your own career. You got to build the clout on your own. You gotta use the records that you get with these artists as an advantage and then when you find an artist that you fuck with and you guys vibe and you guys be chilling, then it’s a different vibe. I don’t expect any artist to go out of their way for me. I’m just going to go out of the way for myself.
You’re from New York. How does that play into your life and music?
New York right now doesn’t really have a vibe that’s too heavy. I travel a lot to get inspired. But New York is definitely the Big Apple. I enjoy being there. I enjoy living there. I grew up in New York so I wouldn’t really want to live anywhere else. I’m from Staten Island so I’m really influenced by Wu-Tang. I fuck with Big Pun. Classic New York.
How important is it to come to Los Angeles as an up and coming artist?
Personally, you don’t go to LA to get lit. You go to LA when you’re lit. It just makes more sense to be around when you have things going on. Because out here, people want to work with you. There’s a lot. You come to LA to get the work done. A lot of people come out here to get clout. Don’t get me wrong, you can go anywhere. You could get a lot of things done out here but to come out here to try to get on…
I mean, it’s all different for everybody. I just feel like you can use LA or California to your advantage way more when you have things going already. You can do a lot of shit over the internet. Like most of the placements that I got just happened to come from me DM’ing somebody. The RamRiddlz joint I got, I just DM’d him on Instagram. And at that time, he only had 10K or 11K.
What’s the best memory you shared with Drake?
I met Drake in August after OVO Fest at the club. That was the coolest part of meeting Drizzy, is just like at the club, he put his arm around me and asked me for a pack of beats. He was showing mad love. He was just like, “Squale, where’s the pack?” He’s like, “I need a pack.” The next day, he invited me to the studio and he invited me out to dinner.
That’s crazy! That’s love.
It’s like a movie sometimes. [laughs]
Talk about your placement on Cardi B’s album.
Cardi B is not solidified yet. There’s still a couple more days, but we’re trying to get the sample cleared. Hopefully everything works out. I had the same issue when “KMT” was coming out and we didn’t know ‘til the last day that that shit was going to come out. Well, they had already premiered the song, but we didn’t do the paperwork on it. I don’t know if you remember, but More Life kept getting pushed back and pushed back.
It was supposed to drop in December, but it didn’t drop until March 2018. That was because of the sample that I had. Getting samples cleared on the album and whatever. My sample had a lot to do with it because it was a video game sample. So you gotta hit people up in like Japan and it’s hard to communicate. So right now, I’m just keeping my fingers crossed and hoping I get one on there.
You’re only 25, what’s your end goal?
My end goal was to get a Drake placement. Right now, everything is just a plus, to be honest. [laughs] I’m just kinda cruising through life right now, just enjoying what’s going on right now.
What’d you do with your first advance?
I was actually here when I got my first advance. When I come down to LA, I stay with one of my friends, Edsclusive. He’s one of my best friends. Whenever I come to LA, I stay with him. The first time I really came to LA, it was like right after he came too. He bought me a flight to come out here. He was like, “Yo, you gotta be in LA right now. You just got this Drake placement.” And I didn’t really have the money at the time.
He was like, “I’ll buy your flight, come stay at the crib.” While I was staying at his crib, that’s when I got my first check from music. It wasn’t that much money, but a couple of stacks. It was cool though because I was out here. Went down to Melrose and went shopping a little bit. Just kind of treated myself. Took Ed out to dinner since he let me stay at his crib. But I don’t know what the hell happened to the money now! I bought some Cartier. [laughs]
Three things you need in the studio?
My laptop, my mouse, and FL Studio. And some speakers!
What would you be doing if you weren’t doing music?
I’d probably own my own business. I always worked, even before the music. My first year out of high school I made like $120,000 dollars.
I had an on-the-go mobile car wash with my brother. We had like three trucks. I’d say I did that for two years. But then at the same time, I was still working two other jobs too. I was doing cement, and I was putting out real estate signs for my friend’s father. I did the real estate sign job since I was fourteen.
Who’s the most played artist on your phone?
Drake. I really just listen to Drake. I don’t really listen to anybody else. PnB too. Literally, PnB and Drake are my favorite artists. I wanted a track with PnB Rock so bad.
Now you got both!
It’s crazy to see like two or three years ago… all my friends that I was grinding with back in the day, everybody’s killing it now. And I built those relationships with these guys back then. When we see each other or someone’s working on something, it’s always all love. It’s like those are my bros. We both grinded together. So whenever we meet up, wherever we end up in life, it’s all love. Everyone’s just trying to help each other.
When I started out, when I got that record with Ramriddlz, we’d used to go out in Toronto all the time. We stayed at my boy Rob’s crib. Rob would have everybody at the crib. There’d be like eight or nine of us sleeping on the couch, like next to each other, on top of each other. Mad girls all the time. Just like us, and girls. There’d be like 15 of us in the crib. People sleeping on the floor in sleeping bags. We just record and make beats and do shit. Just every day, doing shit. And I feel like those relationships that I built back then, those are the ones that really benefit me. Back then, I thought you had to get with lit people. Instead of realizing grinding and coming up, it’s not so much your team specifically, but that you come up with people. That’s key, because those are genuine relationships that you build along a way.
And it’s cool. When you fuck with someone when they don’t got anything, when they do have something, they always remember that you fucked with it before. You helped out or whatever it was. I remember everybody that helped me out. Everybody that tried to benefit me in any way. So any way I could help my boys out or people that I know that helped me out before, I try to.
Producer wise, collabing on a beat, I’d probably want to collab with 40. 40 is my favorite producer. Artist wise, it’s kind of like you write your goals down… and you write your biggest goal. My biggest goal is a Drizzy placement. And you get a Drizzy placement and it’s like, “Fuck, what the fuck do I do now?” He’s like the number one artist. Him and PnB are the two artists I wanted.
I know, that’s the crazy part. Any artist that I really want to work with, it always ends up happening. I guess right now though, Travis Scott. I’m cool with the camp and shit. But I’ve been trying to get a Travis Scott record for like eight years. It just isn’t happening. But I know the music shit is just timing and luck. The most you could do is just try to be in the right place at the right time.
Is there anything else you want to let Young California know?
Next year, you’re going to be hearing this O.T. Genasis single. Shit’s gonna be hard.