As globally renowned forces go, few can rival the resonance of Charlie Sloth.
Hailing from the UK, the music maestro has amassed notability worldwide with his magnetic command of Hip-Hop music and his premium finger-on-the-pulse of what’s popping.
2022 has seen Charlie re-team with the stunning FIVE Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, where he has launched a residency at The Penthouse. That’s not all, because the fun continues at an exclusive afterparty housed at the freshly minted BLING Nightclub.
That Grape Juice caught up with Charlie, who dished on his blazing career, returning to FIVE Palm Resorts, his future plans, and much more.
Join us below…
That Grape Juice (Sam): Congratulations on your residency at FIVE Palm Jumeirah. Tell us a little bit about how you became involved.
Charlie Sloth: So, I was on a massive tour a few years back in Dubai. And it caused a lot of noise. A lot of the clubs in Dubai would try to do deals with me at venues in Dubai.
A good friend of mine, DJ Jones, was staying at FIVE at the time. He is the resident guest DJ on my Apple Music show. We’ve got a great working relationship and friendship over the last decade. There was a conversation that just grew from there. The first show that I did at FIVE was incredible. No one realized how many people were gonna turn up. And we were overcapacity. So yeah, from there it’s been somewhat of a movie.
That Grape Juice: What can attendees expect from the residencies?
Charlie Sloth: I was just saying it’s one of the most energetic, organic, natural places in Dubai. The best way I like to describe it is that we’ve brought that high energy of London and fused it with that real intimate feeling to Dubai. Which you don’t really get anywhere else in the world. And I feel that we’ve managed to recreate that at the Penthouse, FIVE Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, in an incredible way.
That Grape Juice: You have your hands in so many ventures, from your Apple Music gig to the residencies to co-owning AU Vodka. In today’s day and age, is it essential to have multiple hustles?
Charlie Sloth: I don’t think it was essential. I think it’s down to the individual. I think you’ve got to reflect on yourself what your big picture is and what your goals are. For me, I only do things that excite me and that make me want to better myself and better the situations or the culture or whatever it is that I’m involved with. If it doesn’t make sense, I’m not gonna do something strictly for financial reasons. It’s got to make sense to what my big picture is. So, it’s all down to the individual.
That Grape Juice: That said, it’s definitely worked well for you!
Charlie Sloth: Thank you [laughs]. For me, my big picture is taking the culture and the sound that I love to an international audience, and everything I’m doing plays hand in hand with doing that.
That Grape Juice: You’re renowned for being one of the top tastemakers in Europe. Now you have your own label Grimey Limey. What lit the match with that venture and who are some of the artists we ought to be looking out for?
Charlie Sloth: I mean, the whole Grimey Limey thing started because I was at a point in my career where I was asking myself what’s next. I was working for the BBC, I just got a Saturday night Rap show and replaced [Tim] Westwood. I was smashing that. I was delivering historical numbers at a time. And I went right, what’s next? And my team said to me, what are you going to do next? And I said, what I’m going to do is, I’m going to find an artist outside the M25 [of London]. And I’m going to make them as big as the artists from London and they went like ‘what? I don’t get it. Why would you want to do that?’ And I was like, well, for me, I’m a fan of Rap and Hip-Hop, of the culture. And I’m a student of the game, I’ve studied the game and the shifts in the culture. And I likened it to the Hip-Hop scene in New York years ago.
Hip-Hop was very New York-centric. If you weren’t from New York, nobody cared about you. If you’re from LA, or from the South, no one gave a sh*t about your music, about what you were trying to say. And at that point, Hip-Hop was a quiet industry. It wasn’t a lifestyle. It wasn’t a global business that we know today. It was very much a small genre that’s within New York.
It then became a global business and in turn, a lifestyle was created. And I felt that that’s what needs to happen in the UK. I feel like the UK seems very London-centric. And I felt like that was having a real negative effect on other shows. So, I started veering out intentionally and the number of people that were mentioning to me how accessible it was. And so, I spent quite a long time trying to find an artist that I felt was capable of being a bridge. And then we came across Bugzy Malone. He was the first artist that we signed to the label and yeah, the rest is history. Bugzy went on to be one of the most successful new artists in the UK over the last decade.
That Grape Juice: Are there any other artists that are being added to the roster?
Charlie Sloth: There’s quite a few of these recently, but none that I can really talk about at the moment. But yeah, there are some exciting things happening on the label front over the next 12 months.
That Grape Juice: Your grind is undeniable. What would you say have been the key ingredients to your success?
Charlie Sloth: I think it’s my ability to not be scared to do things. People don’t see how many times I lose. They only see the wins. Well, I lose more than I win. I’m not scared to lose, because I learn more from my losses than I do from any success that I ever had. And I feel like through the fact that I’m not scared to lose. I’m willing to try new things. I’m willing to put my neck on the line to try these things. That, paired up with the fact that I don’t want to stop. But my work ethic, since I came in the game up until today, is unbelievable. Like, some people talk about grinding. Some people talk about hard work. But I like my results to speak for themselves. And I feel like over the last 10, 15 years, they’re evident. You can go online, and you can see what I’ve been doing. I don’t really talk about it. I won’t brag and say, ‘Well, this is what I’m doing next.’ I just do it. And I think that that’s what has enabled me to become the person that I am and maintain what I’ve built.
That Grape Juice: We hear that, together with Apple Music, you’re launching six new ‘Fire in the Booth’ sessions recorded in Jamaica. Tell us a little about that?
Charlie Sloth: Yeah, so when I left the BBC, I left the BBC to join Apple Music, I just felt that that was the most forward-thinking brand in terms of music consumption and content consumption on an international platform. I feel like they’re forever moving the needle and also willing to take risks and try new things. So yeah, we started the year with the Jamaican arm of the Fire in the Booth series. There’s some really exciting announcements that are due to be made any day. And for me, I just thought that Apple was a perfect partner to help incubate and push forward – especially being an international show.
That Grape Juice: If you had to give everyone three reasons why they had to come to The Penthouse and BLING at FIVE Palm Jumeirah, what would they be?
Charlie Sloth: The first reason, there’s no party like it anywhere else on the planet. The second reason is because I’m there and the third reason is because everybody who’s anybody wants to be there. And now that it might sound a bit pretentious, but when you get there, you’ll finally understand.
No matter where you’re from in the world, the minute we step into that building, we all become the same person there for the same reasons. Great music and memorable times.
For more on FIVE Palm Jumeriah and Charlie Sloth’s rousing residency, click here.