Growing up in the late 70’s and early 80’s Charlie Childs and Justin Sharp’s love of music was influenced by the very start of the birth of Hip-Hop and Electro. From breakdancing and body popping in their local youth club and Romford town centre, both of them took influences from early Sugar Hill, Tommy Boy and Malcolm McClaren releases. Listening and recording Mike Allan on Radio 1 and Dave Pearce on GWR, performing tape edits and overdubs on two tape decks while scratching over the top on a single record player.
By 1984 Charlie had his own decks and mixer, practicing turntablism and putting on events for the local kids at schools, local youth clubs and Romford Skatepark. He followed the hip-hop scene religiously, entering DMC events and warming up for the legendary London Based soundsystem ‘Locomotion’ being involved in all day events with the likes of Soul to Soul, Ratpack, Hype, Froggy.
In the latter part of the 80’s both Charlie and Justin sought the pure roots of hip-hop, digging out the funk, soul and disco classic breaks from local record shops and created cut and paste tunes using tape loops and an 8-track reel to reel. As the late 80’s gave way to the early 90’s they became disillusioned with early house and the lack of good hip hop around, Charlie turned his back on the DJ scene to concentrate on playing funk and soul in local bars and small venues. More and more he slipped into just producing with Justin (music and film) as dance music evolved spending all there money on samplers, computers, drum machines and too many vintage synthesizers, producing hardcore, house, ambient, and early jungle, but all in there own breaks based style.
By the mid 90’s they had there first tune, a house/breaks crossover, out on an Italian House label called Discomajic. The tune did well in the Italian market. A year later Charlie had picked up his turntables again, sparked off by The Social night at Turnmills he saw that once again it was fine to play the old hip hop and funk he knew and loved, and the both of them started playing and producing music that they was at home with – breakbeat. in the late 90’s after riding the crazy wave of big beat, Steelzawheelz was born (a name taken from a mildly drug-induced friend driving round the m25) and had their first EP signed to Carbon Music. After going through the whole record label saga twice Charlie decided that hed had enough of sending demos and being shafted. The whole process was taking far too long between tracks, so in a pub down the Whitechapel Road they downed pints with a couple of kids (which later turned out to be the Western Allstars) and decided to release there own tunes. With no distributor, no interest and very little money, West Records was born. Nowadays with a tight production and DJ schedule, Charlie DJ’s under the name Steelzawheelz, Justin is kept in a cupboard and beaten with a stick if he cuts studio time.