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Chenti: Indietronica Hopefuls

Published on 1st June 2017

So, who’s this then?

This is Chenti, a four-piece Horsham band featuring Will Martins (vocals and guitar), Pip O’Neil (Vocals and Electronics), Nathaniel Hill (Drums) and David Richmond (Guitar).


We made the mistake of asking about that too. It is partly inspired by ‘innocente’ the Italian word for innocent. What is for certain is that it offers little inspiration for a headline! The important thing is that the band hope to build a following with their blend of indietronica.

What’s indietronica?

It’s a fusion of indie and electronic music that has been hugely successful for bands such as Bombay Bicycle Club, Foals, Future Islands and Two Door Cinema Club. Nat said: “The genre is influenced by lots of harmonies and a synth sound. The style is very popular in current indie music.”

Who writes Chenti’s songs?

The writing is a collaborative effort between the band, with songs tending to be refined at the Horsham house shared by several members of the band. Will said: “We’re all easy-going with similar tastes in music, so we’re usually on the same wavelength. But we don't want to upset our neighbours. They’re understanding, but we don’t plug the amps in very often.”

Are they riding high in the charts?

It’s still early days. Although they have known each other for some time, Chenti only formed last year, announcing themselves to the music world with a self-titled EP in November. Whilst it was primarily produced by the band, Southampton-based producer Neil Kennedy - who has worked with bands including Press to Meco - provided his expertise to give the recordings a polished sound. 

What are Chenti’s songs about?

Nat said: “The opening track is really about the frustrations of having to be adult! You need to work and so other things don’t move as quickly as you would like them to. But we were very selective about the tracks on the EP. It took us a long time to settle on a sound we were all happy with and we scrapped an awful lot of ideas along the way. We didn't want to release anything we weren’t 100% happy with.” 

Was the EP well received?

The first track, Running Through the Walls, was picked up by Melita Dennett at BBC Introducing: The South and was played three times. The final track on the EP, War Games, has also received airplay. However, even with a string of very good, well-produced songs, finding the right avenues to promote the music has been difficult.

Isn’t it all about social media these days?

That’s part of it, but there are so many avenues all saturated with new music, that making an impression is tougher than ever. Will said: “We have our music on iTunes, YouTube, Spotify, Bandcamp and all of that, but it is hard. We’ve had some success with Instagram, as it allows you to have conversations with people. A lot of people respond to that and they play our music as a result. But it's a very manual process, as you’re conversing with just one person each time, rather than addressing a large audience. You need to work for every single listener. We’ve tried Facebook and Twitter, with mixed results. It’s been a learning curve!”

It’s a different world!

Chenti have even created their own playlist on Spotify of songs band members are listening to. Will said: “Whilst people can pay to download our music, we’re not really expecting people to do that. It’s not how people listen to music now. We encourage people to listen to our music for free, because there are a lot of bands out there and you have to do what you can to push yourself to the front.”

Do they perform live?

Chenti have performed live several times. They played when launching the EP at Bleach, a Brighton venue known for supporting up-and-coming acts, and were part of the Fat Tuesday event in Hastings. They also supported Alvarez Kings, a band singed to Warner Bros, at The Camden Assembly (formerly The Barfly) where they played a good show and created a buzz on social media.

Were they ‘trending’?

I don’t know much about that. But it certainly helped that Pip, who shares vocals with Will, used an ironing board as a keyboard stand. Pip said: “We were really surprised to be there with Alvarez Kings, as they picked their support act from about 40 bands. That was a great night for us and we gained some new fans. It's good to play with established bands as they attract a crowd for the support act too. That’s better than going to small venues and playing to practically no-one.”

What’s next for the band?

Chenti hope to release a single soon and play live in the Horsham area. Nat said: “Perhaps after releasing a few more singles, we might take it all more seriously and record a full-length album.”

Are they not taking it seriously already?

Will said: “None of us are under any illusions; it’s extremely difficult to make a breakthrough. We do this because writing and playing music with friends is great fun. We all work full-time and play when we can, so we don’t need to be frustrated by the journey.”

You can listen to all four tracks; Running Through the Walls, A List of Lies, What You Need and War Games, on several websites including YouTube, Spotify and Bandcamp at https://chenti.bandcamp.com/album/chenti-ep You can also follow the band on Twitter and Instagram.