Jackie Onassis are a Sydney hip hop duo made up of Kai Tan and Raph Dixon. They've just dropped their excellent debut EP 'Holiday'.
Tell us about your music - how did you develop your sound?
We’ve always listened to a wide variety of music growing up. We’ve both gone through phases of being into punk rock, indie rock, electro, dubstep, the list goes on. That said, we’ve definitely put in the most time with our hip-hop: the first tracks we listened to and grew up on were from New York MCs like Jay-Z, Nas, & A Tribe Called Quest. As things progressed, we also fell hard for other styles from dudes like Atmosphere, Brother Ali, & Aesop Rock. Now it’s anyone who we think is making interesting music. In terms of the music, our beats used to be very sample heavy, but nowadays we’ve incorporated more synths and analogue drum machines into the mix, so our sound is a hybrid of both samples and electronic instruments, as well as real instruments - particularly keys. As far as raps go, as obvious as it sounds, the thing that’s influenced my development the most was learning to make my words and my delivery more musical.
What’s the Jackie Onassis live show like?
We just have a bit fun, try to get the crowd involved, and hope they do too. Raph is known to play air instruments when he’s really getting into it. I just sing a bit.
Tell us about the bands, producers and people in the Sydney music communities who inspire you?
We grew up with the Horrorshow and Spit Syndicate boys, and they are always pushing the boundaries of our genre, but Sydney has so many dope musicians. This most recent album by Flume is absolutely nuts. The stuff Joyride is doing is next level, and a friend of ours called Atola is always pushing the limits. I’ve always admired what the Seekae guys do too. There are way too many crazy musicians to mention! It’s pretty easy to be inspired with so much talent around you, but its just as easy to get left behind, you always have to be experimenting and advancing to stay relevant.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given and who was it from?
When we first put together a bunch of songs, we were lucky enough to be able to sit down and have a coffee with Urthboy. As well as a bunch of invaluable info on the industry side of things, he basically just told us to take things slowly and be realistic, build from a solid foundation, don’t rush into things and make mistakes. That talk helped us put things in perspective and gave us a much better sense of how to go about everything. I’d definitely recommend the same thing to other artists: take your time with your music - there are no shortcuts and once your music is out there, it’s out there for good.
What’s coming up for you in the last bit of 2012 and looking into 2013?
We’ve just put out our first ever EP for free on our website. Its called Holiday, and we’re taking one ourselves for a few days. But then its back to work, cause we’re playing a show with Illy at the Beach Road Hotel in Sydney on December 12th. For 2013, we’re working towards releasing another EP early in the year, and then later in the year, it’s debut album time.
Australian music is…?
...in a really exciting place right now, and we’re glad to be part of it. For everything, but particularly for hip hop, it feels like there’s a lot of enthusiasm and development in everyones’ sound, and the standard throughout the genre is getting even better because of that. There’s also a lot of people smashing the execution on some unusual styles. The live scene is great too, and more and more people are happy to come out to shows and have fun. Australians are keen to support the more interesting artists too, and go looking for new music, and that’s really cool.View Profile Hide Interview