Chip Wickham started out in the highly influential UK breakbeat, hip-hop and drum & bass scene that was Manchester’s Grand Central Records, working and playing with the likes of Rae & Christian, Fingathing, The Pharcyde, Jimpster, Nightmares On Wax, Jenna G and Graham Massey. It wasn’t long before he found himself touring all over the world, and began working with more mainstream artists like Badly Drawn Boy and Roy Ayers. He also played on the soundtrack to the Guy Ritchie’s Snatch.
The following years were spent writing, producing and remixing tracks for a wide range of artists, including his own electro-Latin project Malena, releasing the Fried Samba album on Freestyle in 2007.
However, jazz has always been his first love, and soon he found himself working with award winning UK trumpeter Matthew Halsall, playing live and eventually appearing on Halsall’s critically acclaimed breakthrough album Sending My Love. This scene enabled Chip to work with some of the best UK jazz musicians, such as Nat Birchall and Rob Turner, who went on to form Blue Note act Go Go Penguin. This highly influential group of musicians had a long lasting influence on Chip, which can clearly be heard in his own album.
Always a restless soul and keen to travel, Chip relocated to the late night scene of Madrid in Spain in 2007, and immediately became part of the explosion of the city’s soul-jazz scene. Bringing together his UK and Spanish musician friends led to the formation of The Fire Eaters. While the original idea was to be the backing band for his old friend Eddie Roberts (from UK’s number one funk outfit The New Mastersounds), they eventually became a ‘proper’ band, releasing music on different labels.