Featured in North 20
Interview by Dan Magee
Photography by Graham Tait
So Charlie, you've recently gone from country mouse to city mouse, tell us about your current living situation.
I live within an old army barracks in North East London.
Who are you living with?
Tristan [Rudman] and Mikey [Patrick], wait, not Mikey anymore, Froby. Mikey moved out about two weeks ago and Froby has just moved in.
It's like a guardian angel thing right?
It's a guardianship yeah, so technically we're not tenants. We guard the building which means we pay cheap rent so I'm not complaining.
What responsibilities do you have for doing that?
None really. There's like 20 odd people in the building so basically the company saves on security to stop squatters getting in the building. As long as someone's in the building at some point then I think it's ok but I don't think it matters too much.
How did you meet Froby, just from skating at Mile End?
I met Froby through Shaun [Witherup], Juice [Justin Biddle] and Tristan and all them boys. I think the first time I properly met him was at Hackney double set, we both threw ourselves down it and ended the night with a bottle of champagne so we kinda bonded.
Skating is crazy. Like you can meet some random dude on the street, have one skate sesh with them then you're living with them.
Yeah I know it's fucked, it's crazy. He's a producer of some kind, he keeps himself to himself about it but I know he's definitely made some banging tunes. I haven't actually been home for a week and a half so I don't know what his room is saying now, but when I left to come back to Cambridge his room was very very minimal like he wasn't quite living there yet. I'm hoping when I get back he'll be there, I think he's going to set up a studio.
Are you going to get in on it, Lil' Pinch spitting fire!
Haha! I might. I said to him that I want to learn piano so hopefully he can teach me.
I looked him up online, he made a Sam Smith tune that was number one, or like top five worldwide.
It's fucked up. I knew him for like six months before I had any idea he did that. That's what I mean, he keeps himself to himself. I heard it from someone I worked with!
That's sick cause you know if he was a douche he'd be dropping that in every other day.
How is London life compared to Cambridgeshire?
Pretty hectic but way more fun.
Yeah I've seen the Instagram stories.
Haha! Yeah London is sick. I spent a lot of my first six months partying all the time. I mean I guess it's still not over with but I'd like to think that i'm not as involved in it but that's probably a lie. Give me a few more months. Haha!
Do you get to skate more or less?
I get to skate every day now, it's perfect. When I was in Cambridge I'd skate maybe one day in the week after work then skate at the weekend. Now it's completely different, I get to skate every day, it's great.
What happened to your old crew that you used to skate with, are they stuck there?
Yeah, but they come to London every now and again. I don't get to see them as often as I'd like to but I've been hanging out with them since I've been back in Cambridge this week which has been nice. We went skating the other day and actually fixed up this spot. They have so many blocks and there's these little banks, but they took chunks out of it the whole way so the boys concreted it the night before and I helped sand block it and make good the next day, it's pretty good man. That will probably be the new Cambridge local spot.
That's the new skills you've learnt from [Kev] Parrott innit. From coming on the sessions with us.
Exactly. Get to know all the tricks of the trade.
You're working on a full length video part now in London. Has that been different to how it's been in the past? Like with the GL dudes.
It's a bit different, London's better because you can skate so many different spots in one day, or at least a few different spots in one day. When we used to go up to Leicester it would be, "Right what spot are we going to skate today? Alright what you gonna do?" And all that shit and that's kinda not really the funnest way of doing it you know? I don't try to plan it too much, it's better to just see what happens on the day.
Have you always been like that?
Mmm yeah but then sometimes we need an idea before we drive two hours to a spot. You've got to be prepared if you're going to go that far.
Me and Kev have only gotten to know you from doing this project but it seems to me that you've been on a footage mission for the last few years. I mean how many videos did you do with Callun [Loomes] beforehand, like four?
He's had five and I think I was in the third, so I've done three parts with him I think.
So you've had three parts of just trying to get footage, trying to get footage. Are you into that shit?
What filming? Yeah of course. I'd rather go out and do something productive than just go to a skatepark. Most of the tricks I've learnt I learned on a street spot I don't really tend to learn them at a park. I'd much rather just go skate a street spot.
You know what, that's the total opposite to what I assumed. I thought you were fucking metal skatepark kid.
Nah I wasn't a skatepark kid.
I just assumed that because you lived in Cambridge or whatever that you were skating some shitty metal skatepark five days a week and you learned all your stuff and you were the local hero, you met Callun and started filming Get Lesta stuff and took all your skatepark tricks to the street.
There was never really a skatepark in Cambridge. When I was a kid growing up we had Jesus Green which was basically a fun box in the middle with a bank one side, quarter pipe the other side, and a block. That was obviously fun in the summer, we'd warm up there then go skate some streets. We've always just done that since I was about ten, I used to get the train to London when I was about ten too.
Did you? Jesus Christ.
Haha! Yeah, the first time I went I told my mum I was going with my mates parents but it was just all skaters, some of them were like eighteen. It's a bit weird really, imagine an 18 year old taking a ten year old with them to London! But they were all my homies and my older brother and stuff so it worked out well.
What did your parents think of you skateboarding?
My mum's always been so supportive of anything, of any shit we've wanted to do, she'd rather we were happy. My dad has warmed to it now but it took him a long time. In his mind I was just going out and hurting myself everyday for no reason. I used to come back hurt all the time and he would say, "When you going to give up that skateboarding".
What did he want you to do?
I guess he wanted me to start motocross. He's done it his whole life and got me a motocross bike as a kid that I was really into, but not as much as skateboarding.
Do both, that Nyjah shit.
Nah fuck that... I mean one day when I've got the money for sure I'd get one.
Would you describe yourself as a family orientated dude? You're back there seeing your family now?
Yeah, emm, I dunno really. The heart grows fonder when you're away from them or whatever that saying is. So I think that because I've been away from them all I want to do is hang out with them, spend some time with them.
I feel like since I've known you you're a different person to what I had assumed. I thought you were a gnarly skate rat that was a little bit rough around the edges but it turns out you're one of the more hard working dudes out there. Quite well managed, polite, quite well thought out.
Thanks. That's probably the nicest thing you've ever said Magee.
Still down for the party, down for the mash up. Not saying 100% of the time but a lot of the time you can party then skate fairly soon afterwards and try some shit.
Yeah I think I've somehow adapted that into my lifestyle and I'm not sure if that's a good thing really.
Has it always been that way for you. Hit it at the weekend and still go skating?
Pretty much yeah. The amount of times I used to drive up north fucking hanging out my arse, on a comedown or whatever and still go skating. Best thing to do when you're feeling shit is to sweat it out, within like an hour or two you're fine. As long as you drink plenty of water, maybe some orange juice, you're fine.
Even when you weren't living here you'd drive like two hours to London, park somewhere, get the train in, get a trick then drive home.
Haha! Yeah, that was pretty hectic. I was so used to it from going up north. I loved skating in Cambridge with my mates but I'd rather explore or see what else there is you know?
It's good that you're so motivated.
I can't see myself slowing down anytime soon. I have so much fun when I'm out filming with my mates, you never know what the day is going to give you either. There's always something unexpected happening. Always memories you know. That's why I'm still motivated to get out and try to get stuff done. It's just rewarding as well, you feel good if you've done something that day or been a part of helping someone else get something. That's what it's about for me.
Who do you enjoy filming with out of our current crew? Who pushes you?
Korahn [Gayle] for sure just because he's such a happy dude, he's a positive guy to be around. I like all of the dudes, they all have their different qualities that you want to go skating with. Carlos [Cardeñosa] is the safest dude ever, always positive as well. Manny [Lopez] a good dude to go out with, he can be pretty intense but you need that sometimes, he's definitely pushed me to do some gnarly shit that I probably wouldn't do before. Harry [Lintell]is a legend, he's always fun to be with. Basically all the Blips guys.
You've got a mellower crew that you skate with all the time too. The Canada Water crew, the people you live with, the South Africans. It's easy to get stuck with the crew you're filming a project with, then move onto the next project and crew, but you're annoyingly bringing people to the session.
But at the same time it can be good to break everyone out of their little bubble. It shows that you've not just blown out your old mates to hang out with a bunch of new mates.
Nah no way, stick to your roots man. Never forget where you come from at the end of the day. They're my best mates. There's six of us, we're like a family. That's my London family for sure. If they're down to come out with us then I'd never say no. They definitely bring different dynamics to the day as well. they can definitely help. It's always good to have a laugh while you're doing it.
Sometimes takes the edge off the mission of just trying to get footage.
Do you think stuff's happened a bit more for you while you've been in London?
Yeah for sure, I've definitely had better opportunities with sponsors and stuff. Just to get involved in events and all that kind of shit. There's always something going on, you meet so many people and suddenly you're friends with them and you're getting invites to do this and to do that. It's good.
You're riding for New Balance now right?
Yeah, it's been about ten months now. That's gone quick!
Where were you getting shoes from before?
Lakai through Form Distribution.
Was that a tough switch up? It was U.K. flow but must've been pretty hard.
I mean yeah it was difficult because Matt Anderson is such a good friend of mine and he's backed me for four years or something, a long time now. We'd speak all the time on the phone so it was a pretty hard decision. That was a hard phone call telling him that I'm going, but at the same time if you get an offer where you can be more involved in something, you get to go on some trips then..... New Balance is fucking sick, I'm well into it. Lakai has kind of just been at a stand still for a long time, especially in the U.K. So I made the decision, it wasn't easy but I'm glad I did.
It's hard to kind of gauge where you are on some companies radar, like if they know who you are or you're just a random Euro flow dude, or distributor flow dude. The people who are running New Balance definitely know who you are so it's a good opportunity.
Yeah for sure, plus Mackey is the fucking best dude ever which I'm sure everyone will agree with. Baines has been killing it. If Mackey is too busy then Baines is always on point with sorting me out, he hooked me up a plane ticket within a day or two of asking, plus he's just generally a top lad.
You've been to Hong Kong, Budapest, a few different places. Has overseas travel just been the last couple of years or something that you've always done?
More so in the last couple of years. If I get an invite on a trip somewhere I'm going to try my hardest to make it happen, that's how I've become such good mates with so many people. When I went to Hong Kong I knew Nick [Richards], [Jordan] Sharkey, Daryl [Dominguez], but didn't know Seb Batty, Jasper and the rest of the boys.
That's for the Nocturn Up edits right?
Yeah. That was so much fun filming that trip. They're actually going on another one, I think they might've even left yesterday or the day before. But I had other commitments.
For people that might not know, just explain what the Nocturn Up crew is. You've got you little Nocturn Up tattoo now right?
Yeah so we all got an owl tattoo, I got it on my ankle. It basically signifies going nocturnal for the time we were there. Hong Kong is one of the busiest cities in the world so we'd skate all night and when the sun rises we'd go to bed, or try to go to bed, sometimes it could be difficult. Then get up as it's getting dark and do the same thing again. But because of the time difference over there it almost felt like we were going to sleep at normal time.
So you're riding the jet lag the whole time there, that's pretty crazy.
I wasn't jet lagged till I got home to England.
Was that your first time in Asia?
How did you get on out there?
It's pretty weird, it was nice that I was the same height as most people. Haha!
I love that shit, when you're on a train you can actually reach the things to hold onto.
Haha! Yeah, you feel my pain.
Where's your favourite place you've skated?
Oh man good question.
Are you the type of dude that wants to move to Barcelona and just skate ledges, perfect spots all day or would you rather be in the U.K. What's you view on spots in general?
My outlook has definitely changed in the last couple of years I'd say. I'm not about the perfect spots, I'd rather skate something that's a little bit rough and difficult to skate. You might not do as good a trick on it but I feel like that's not really what it's about anymore. London is probably one of my favourite places to skate if I'm honest.
Have you skated Scotland before?
Nah I've never skated Scotland. I've been a few times, I used to go as a kid to see my great grandma, I'm a quarter Scottish. She made it to 100 how insane is that!?
Where did she live?
Glasgow I believe. I was still pretty young. So actually, the first place I ever rode a skateboard was in Scotland. My brother got a skateboard for his birthday, I think he was about ten which would've made me about seven. I remember just skating around the hotel car park and my dad - this is probably what put my dad off me skating - so my dad was like, "Let me have a go on that". And as soon as he steps two feet on it wooshes back and he lands on his elbow and got the gnarliest swellbow, complained about it for god knows how long, so his first experience with a skateboard was not a good one! So I guess that's why it's probably hard for him to adapt to that's what I do with all my time. I don't remember being that good when I started though. It took me a long time to learn how to ollie.
I was so small, I probably didn't have enough power in my legs.
How old were you when you started, like ten?
About eight I think.
Because you got good then gave up didn't you?
Yeah. So I gave up for about five years when I was thirteen. That was pretty dumb really.
To do what?
To be a little shit basically. The reason I quit was that all my friends that I used to skate with they were all older than me, they left Cambridge to go to Uni and shit, so it was just me and this one other guy. We'd still go skating, then eventually not as much, then eventually we stopped. We just became little shits getting ourselves into trouble, hanging out with girls and all that sort of stuff. If there were more skaters around me at the time I probably would've stuck at it, that kinda sounds lame as you don't have to skate with people but I'm the last person to go to a skatepark on their own, I'd never do that.
How did you get back into it?
I wasn't do much in my spare time, just hanging out with my girlfriend at the time, smoking weed all the time and just not being productive other than working. Obviously I thought about it all the time, would still watch skate videos regularly but I didn't have a skateboard. Then one day I thought fuck it, I'm going to go buy a board, I think about it all the time I may as well just go and do it. And from that day I haven't stopped.
So basically you stopped skating for weed and a girlfriend innit?
Yeah it is dude.
I didn't smoke weed when I was thirteen did I? Actually I think I might've done. Haha! My girlfriend at the time was part of the reason I started skating again. She'd say ,"Why are you always talking about it but you're not doing it? Just go buy a fucking board". I definitely have to thank her for kicking me up the arse a little bit.
I bet she regretted that. Haha!
We actually broke up because I was too involved with skating, I'm not even joking. I was only eighteen though.
Who's your favourite ginger skater?
Ooft. Hmm, I mean my classic favourite ginger from years ago is Wieger obviously, the fucking best.
I'll give you some ginger skaters and you tell me if they're hot or not ok? So Wieger Van Wageningen.
Hot. Best Inward Heels in the game.
Hot. Is he ginger though?
Who the hell is that?
He used to be in 411s. Aiden Mackey.
Ehh, I'll say he's pretty hot. Yeah hot. Not my favourite though.
Fucking yes he's sick.
I feel like every ginger skater is good, but back in the day it might have held them back a bit you know what I mean? Did you get any shit when you were younger for being ginger?
Yeah of course. I mean if someone is going to say something to you then the first thing they say is ginger you know? But I was lucky, I never really got bullied, but that's probably because of my older brother and I'd hang around with everyone who was older than me. It happened more with skating when I was younger, I wouldn't say I was bullied though, more like people just taking the piss, there weren't that many skaters when I started so we were a minority. And people tend to pick on minorities. Nothing bad though, just a little bit of abuse.
Are you surviving from skating right now?
No. I get paid a little bit of money from some sponsors but that only just covers my rent really. So anything else on top I need to go out and work for it. I actually do some work with Monster which is weird, but the job is so sick, it's the easiest job I've had in my whole life. All we do is fill up the truck at the warehouse with some sample drinks, drive into central London like Covent Garden or whatever and pass them out to random pedestrians on the street or go to a football game and give them out. It doesn't take long, the main part of the job is driving, but if you're sat there with your mate which I am as I work with Sam Murgatroyd and Joe Mclone, then it's easy. The money is pretty good so that's what's keeping me afloat in London right now.
So if Monster said to you dude, you are ripping right now, we want to hook you up, would you do it? You could skate everyday.
Under what parameters would you take the Monster deal?
I'd figure it out with the offer they come with basically.
Say the offer was we're going to give you £1,000 a month but you have to wear a cap, wristband and stickers on the board would you do it?
Nah, no fucking way.
What about wristband, stickers but no cap?
Haha! No way dude. Who wears wristbands!!! Mate I'd probably ride for them if it was minimal logo on my board and they come at me with some good money, fuck it why not.
I think that shit's cool if it's minimal and the end result is you're getting to go skating.
Of course, It would help me out a lot right now I guess but I'm still not going to lose who I am for the fucking money, no way.
I mean you're talking to me like you've not done some illegal shit in the past mate. I've seen those shorts and fedora!
Haha! That fedora I wore for week and it was after a festival, but that was me fully blowing it I'm aware of that.
Yeah it was only a week. I just filmed so much in that week.
The man from Del Monte says "illegal".