As a journalist, you’re expected to ask the big questions. So, as the words “how did you feel after eating the ashtray?” leave my mouth, I know I’m doing my profession proud.
“I felt fulfilled! It was my first meal of the day!” the answer comes back – and the three members of Bad Boy Chiller Crew, alongside their manager Darren, fall about laughing.
We’re in an alleyway in their hometown, Bradford, talking about the most disgusting things they’ve ever done to get views online. Turns out, it’s a pretty long list.
But what started out as mates uploading prank and comedy videos has now, bizarrely, morphed into a music career – and it’s going so well that there is, I’m told, a realistic chance of our interview being crashed by fans.
Bradford, though, is apparently just the start – because Bad Boy Chiller Crew’s aim is “to take over the world”.
From the moment I’m picked up in a branded Bad Boy Chiller Crew Range Rover, with the guys’ music coming out the speakers, it’s clear they mean business.
“No-one really sounds like us,” Gareth says, “We’re in our own genre. It’s very fast and there’s never a dull moment.”
He’s got a point. While musically they throw back to 00s bassline artists like T2, lyrically it’s tongue-in-cheek funny and unashamedly Yorkshire.
However you classify it, it seems to be working.
Their breakout single, 450, has had close to two million views on YouTube – and been supported by the likes of Annie Mac on BBC Radio 1.
And that’s on top of the millions more hits they’ve had for pranks, skits and drinking challenges across TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram.
“Sometimes we’ve done stuff so sick we’ve not even rung each other for three days,” Gareth admits.
“The amount of times we’ve gone home after doing something stupid and tossed and turned with anxiety, thinking: ‘What have we actually just done?'”
The success is a lot to take in for three lads who, 18 months ago, were self-proclaimed “dossers” with jobs in ice cream vans or at a box-packing warehouse.
Our original plan to meet in the alley out the back of Kane’s house, the scene of some of their wilder videos, had to be changed – because fans have found out where it is and started to show up unannounced.
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“It used to be bailiffs and police, now it’s fans,” Kane laughs, “I’ve had about 10 in the past 24 hours – I’m going to have to move out soon!”
“The main thing is putting a smile on people’s faces,” Gareth adds.
“And to give people hope. So many MCs from up north have been trying to get recognised for ages and it’s like we’re finally putting that genre of MC on the map.”
As for Darren, he’s hoping Bad Boy Chiller Crew can be as a big a success globally as they are in Bradford.
Their music career, though short, has already seen them show they’ll do whatever it takes to make it – including putting out tracks to promote local pizzerias and car washes.
“There are so many artists out there that are that are just so serious and fake, but these guys are just real,” Darren says.
“Everything you see is real, nothing is fake and I think that’s why so many people can relate to it.”