ListN Up: Chanell Crichlow (September 24, 2021)

ListN Up is a weekly series of artist-curated playlists that offer an intimate sonic portrait of contemporary artists by showcasing the diverse and stylistically varied music that influences their creative practice. 

Chanell Crichlow is a tubist, composer, and songwriter residing in sunny California. She has released projects under the moniker tubafresh, written scores to short films, and teaches tuba and euphonium at the University of the Pacific.

What’s good, y’all? I’m Chanell Crichlow. I’m a tuba player, composer, and songwriter out in LA. I’m originally from New York City, born and raised. This playlist is kind of a mix between some awesome tuba playing you’ve never heard before, some really cool female rappers, and a Spice Girls cover by a brass ensemble. So it’s pretty eclectic, and I was really happy to share it with y’all and to see what you think. I’m always interested in hearing new music, and this was just a great opportunity to share so many tracks that I love and that inspire me almost on a weekly, if not daily, basis. Thank you so much for listening — peace. 

“Yucky Blucky Fruitcake” by DOECHII

I discovered DOECHII on a Spotify playlist and just loved her switch-up and storytelling on this track. When the production slows down and she enters with her mom saying “DOECHII, you forgot to take the chicken out,” that was a moment for me because it immediately transported me back to high school trying to soak the frozen chicken in water before my mom came home because I forgot to do it and let it thaw naturally. I dunno, it’s nice to hear such a mundane favor from your parent make it into a song and reimagined to this kind of beautiful melody.

“The Spiral” by Theon Cross feat. Afronaut Zu & Ahnansé

Such a fire track on so many levels. I love the effected tubas and the horn-driven bass lines, melodies, and harmony. All on the tuba! The drums are so vibrant and energetic. I mean, as a tuba player myself, I think Theon Cross is a legend in the making. He’s grasped at such a young age a unique sound to his playing and compositions. I am always eager to see what he is up to: it’s all super inspiring and thought-provoking.

“Isaiah’s Paint” by Khari Mateen

This is a track from the score of the film “Really Love” on Netflix. The trumpet and drums are going. It has this really nice organic feel to it, and I like the airy tone of the horn towards the end. I love watching all the new films coming out by Black filmmakers. It’s really cool to see so many more perspectives and stories being told. I especially enjoy looking up the composers at the end of a film, and it brings me great joy to see that more and more women and composers of color are contributing to these stories.

“Two Become One” by Lester Bowie

It doesn’t any get better than a brass cover of the Spice Girls. I had the chance to sit in on a Lester Bowie Brass Fantasy rehearsal with an invitation from my mentor, Bob Stewart. It was beautiful to see popular music and originals arranged so well for these players that could make anything sound amazing. Often, this album is my soundtrack of choice when I’m riding my bike through the neighborhood.

“Mir Stanke le” by the Bulgarian State Television Female Choir

A good friend showed me this album in college, and there is this amazing feeling that washes over me when listening. It’s one of the few records that I just listen to without any other distractions. It has that pull, and I love being swept up in it.

Nautilus by Anna Meredith

This resembles John Adam’s Short Ride in a Fast Machine. They both have this hypnotic and chaotic quality to them. I enjoy listening to the subtle and sometimes massive changes.

Starmaker by Roy Hargrove

It’s funny, because I have this on a playlist with CardiB, Drake, and BIA. I really dig almost anything by Roy Hargrove, but this song and its melody are so lush. I’ve listened to this song a ton, and it always feels like I’m hearing it for the first time. I think this is what a band sounds like when they been playing together for a while and they know each other’s sound and tendencies.


I CARE IF YOU LISTEN is an editorially-independent program of the American Composers Forum, funded with generous donor and institutional support. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author and may not represent the views of ICIYL or ACF. 

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