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27 Who is Channel Tres, house music’s most prodigious rapper?

Who is Channel Tres, house music’s most prodigious rapper?

With a meticulous rap sublimated by dulcet tones and a hypnotic electro groove, the Channel Tres cocktail seems to have all the necessary ingredients for the perfect success story. After composing for Kehlani and collaborating with Shamir, he quit the control room to head on stage himself and present his first EP on the Godmode label.

Channel Tres © Yazz Alali. Channel Tres © Yazz Alali.
Channel Tres © Yazz Alali.

Three months ago, the world discovered the young Channel Tres in his video Controller. His hipster style straight out of a vintage store completed his ever so slightly arrogant air. Channel Tres has adopted the city as his playground, where he imposes his “extemporaneous and beyond the dome” style, unrestrainedly detonating the claw of other prodigious rappers such as Post Malone, Young Thug and Saba. His singularity? A meticulous electro groove that resembles the warehouse sounds of Chicago and Detroit and juxtaposes with the raging often incoherent rap of the West Coast. After having composed and produced for Khelani and collaborated with Shamir, he’s left the control room to venture into the studio to work on a first eponymous EP with five key tracks under the Godmode label (which also worked with Yaeji and Shamir).

Channel Tres’ video for, “Controller”.

Originating from Compton in Los Angeles, he grew up under the aegis of music, the street and the church. And when asked how he ended up in the music industry, Channel Tres affirms that he accessed this medium “through the drive of [his] close family and friends.” His formative years were lulled by the soulful sounds of Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke, Issac Hayes and the gospel of Fred Hammond. But his inspiration is definitely drawn from the street heritage of his Californian hometown, Afro-American history and its aesthetic.

© Mark Peaced. © Mark Peaced.
© Mark Peaced.

Jet Black, his ode to the black community is sublimated by an instrumental that is as ferocious as it is hypnotic, modulated by minimalist rhythms inspired by the premises of industrial electronics. Directed by Anthony Sylvester, the video captures Compton from a convoluted angle, where the hair salons are also churches and the liquor stores become out of hours raves. This second track affirms Channel Tres’ credentials as an artist who demonstrates his contemporary approach thanks to a very simple musical philosophy: “to get people dancing”.



Channel Tres’ first EP, Channel Tres, will be available from July 27th.

“Jet Black” by Channel Tres