Phatchance is an independent, introspective, lover-not-a-fighter emcee from Sydney, with an huge live rep, atmospheric beats and a debut album due out soon!
Tell us about your music – how did you develop your sound?
My sound developed in a really organic way, I went to Fort Street in Sydney's Inner West and our year was very musical. The kids I went to school with went on to groups like Horrorshow and Spit Syndicate, and there was quite a rich musical history, particularly in regards to Australian hip-hop. Being surrounded by people who were passionate about music but didn't really understand the process yet meant that I had a few years to cut my teeth, where it was all very relaxed and really more about the social aspect of the music than any aspirations to do something professionally. I spent a few years after high school finding my feet and dabbled in a few bands - a lot of it then was live performance, I was lucky enough to play a lot of shows as a crowd warmer and the lessons which that taught me were priceless. A lot of it comes down to the music I listen to though; a large proportion of my music is melancholy and draws influence outside of the genre, because artists like Jeff Buckley, Atmosphere and Death Cab have probably been as important to my musical influence as The Hilltop Hoods or Bliss N Eso.
Tell us about your live show?
My live show varies a lot from event to event. I've done a few low key sets with live instrumentation, and I love incorporating that acoustic and instrumental aspect into my larger shows. Generally I tour with 'I Forget, Sorry!' - an artist collective I'm part of with Coptic Soldier and Mind Over Matter. I have plans for a few unplugged acoustic sets, but really I taper my performance to the crowd I'm going to be playing to. I've tried to strike a balance between the melancholy music I lean towards making, and establishing an engaging live show which is what fans of Australian hip-hop are typically looking for. You're going to have to play a very different set between supporting someone like Drapht or Bliss N Eso and playing a limited capacity pub gig, and I've tried to make myself flexible to cater to that.
What were you doing before this?
Probably avoiding maths lessons or practicing talking to girls in the mirror. Music has really been the major focus of my life since high school, everything else has a tendency to slide in around it. I still spend a bit too much time playing facebook games and getting up to mischief, but a lot of the priorities you're 'meant' to have in life have really slipped onto the back burner for me.
We heard something about a debut album...
My album’s called Inkstains, it's dropping November 27th and has taken me far, far too long to get in order. It features some really cool people, including 360 (of The Festival Song), Smiles Again (Mind Over Matter), HR King and Joyride (Urthboy - Hellsong). I've worked with some amazing local producers too, guys like Akouo, Konfuzion, Elgen and One Above. The bulk of the album is melancholy, it's a really personal and introspective release and I think that's why it's taken me so long to finalise. Doing it independently means it's grown in a really natural way; I was never wrestling with any deadlines or trying to create singles, I just wrote lyrics as life demanded it and this is the end product. It's a conceptual album - Inkstains is about the mark that music has had on my life and the mark that life makes on the self. Hopefully people can connect to it on a personal level, that’s really what I was gunning for.
Australian music is?
My Raison D'etre. Also a really good way to blow money in JB HI-FI.View Profile Hide Interview
Banff is the solo music project of Brisbane-based songwriter Benjamin Forbes. He makes beautiful dreamy indie-pop and is this weeks triple j Unearthed Feature Artist.
Peter Allen - I Go To Rio
If you like impassioned hip hop with a stomping beat and fiery flow then you're going to love Sydney-based artist Sarah Connor.
Coin Banks is a talented Perth MC with an impressive résumé of collaborations to his name. Now he's stepping up and stepping out on his own and we couldn't be more stoked.
Tell us about your music. How did you develop your sound?
I am a Hip Hop artist from Perth, Australia – I am a beat maker and an MC. A lot of people tell me that my sound and style is really different to what is going on in Australian hip hop at the moment, and I take it as a great compliment. I grew up listening to hip hop in Primary School so it’s always been there, and as hip hop grew, I grew with it. I think the main thing for me was to take my influences and create something original and different.
What’s your greatest source of inspiration for making music?
I am huge music fan. I am fan before I am an artist. So other music is probably my biggest inspiration. I want to make people feel the way the same way that a de la soul song made me feel. Other than that, life’s experiences are a big influence on me – love, girls, and philosophy. For me, Hip Hop is essentially soul music, so it’s the pains and joys in my life that inspires me to create.
What can punters expect from a Coin Banks live show?
RAPS! I am a rappers rapper, an mc’s mc. My main focus is to do my job and deliver the song as well as possible. That being said, I love crowd interaction, I love the old school house party vibe of partying with the crowd. If the crowd has a good time, then im gona have good time. My favourite shows are playing with a full band. I rarely get to play these because of budgetary constraints, but the songs really come to life when there is a 7 piece band behind me.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given and who was it from?
Over the years, Homeboy Sandman has become a bit of a big brother to me. If I overstep the boundary, he is quick to step in and set me right. I love the dude for the guidance he has given me. He isn’t only one of the best MC’s in the world; he is also one of the most intelligent and nicest dudes I know.
What Australian track would you play to cheer up someone who was crying?
Chet Faker – No Diggity (Cover)
What Australian track would you play to someone to make them cry?
Ta-Ku – I miss you
You’re the DJ at a party. The dance floor is pumping. What Australian track do you put on next?
Sable – Feels So Good
What was the last local gig you went to? How was it?
It was a Bush Fire Fundraiser in Perth. Started with Natalie Mae and Rae doing an acoustic set together, I love these guys and their performance is always something special. Then Marksman Lloyd played, and he killed it as per usual. I had to leave just after his set finished, but was a great night with great people.
Tell us about the bands or people in the WA music community that inspire you.
Marksman Lloyd – He is my favourite MC in WA, if not all of Australia. His work ethic and originally are really inspiring – I always tell him how jealous I am of his stuff. One of my closest homies!
Mathas – I don’t really need say much about this guy, I love everything about the music he makes – he inspires me and makes me step my game up.
Ta-Ku – I’ve worked with Ta-Ku for over the years, and am happy to call him one of my best friends. He has always supported me in music and personal life, and vice versa. Dude is an inspiration for everyone in Perth.
Empty – This guy can play every instrument, rap, sing and freestyle something incredible. I’m always watching what he is up to next, and I suggest the rest of Australia do the same.
Sable – Young, talented, humble and passionate. This guy has such a bright future ahead of him, and I am super excited to be working with him on a few songs.
Childs Play, Beckon, Cole, Strangelove – These guys are all new young up and comers in the Perth scene and are already making waves. They all have a great work ethic and I am looking forward to seeing them grow as artists in the scene. They keep me on my toes.
What are your plans for Coin Banks in 2014?
Having the HEADS EP released on March 7th was a relief, but it now means I need to move on to the next page. Im going to let HEADS do its thing for a little bit, and to follow it up I have the TAILS EP featuring two singles with video clips. The Tails EP has my most favourite song of all time on it, I love everything on the HEADS EP but one of the singles on the TAILS EP is really special, and I cant wait to release it. I am currently working on my Debut solo LP with two songs already completed – one produced by Ta-Ku and another by Nottz from Detroit. As well as my solo stuff, UPNUP have been busy writing new material to take into the studio. I have also been working with Sable and Marksman on an EP. 2014 should be a great year.
Charismatic Perth emcee Marksman Lloyd has just dropped his banging new single 'Rewrite The Ending' and is our feature artist all this week.
Dialect is a 19 year old Hip Hop Lyricist/DJ/Producer from Adelaide whose mission is to bring skills back to the forefront of Hip Hop in Australia and worldwide.
1. Tell us about your music - How did you develop your flow and sound?
I make straight up Hip Hop music with a focus on heavy beats and true lyricism inspired by my life experience, passion for record collecting and that 90's New York Hip Hop sound. I want to make music people can pull out their crate or play on their ipod and still appreciate 20 years down the line and know it isn't any temporary or throw away music that was created as a reaction to a trend. My flow and sound has naturally developed over the last 8 years. I first started rhyming at age 12 just going through my eldest brothers collection of classic Hip Hop and when i heard Raekwon's opening verse on 'Knuckleheadz' from his album 'Only Built 4 Cuban Linx' thats the moment i went "yep thats what i want to do". Growing up with 3 older brothers all listening to Hip Hop there was no escaping it at the family household, i feel for my parents! But i felt a real affinity with the culture so i started collecting records, writing and freestyling. Then being inspired by MC's like Juice and the entire Stronghold crew i entered my first battle at the age of 13 which i won so i kept doing it. I went on to win 6 more invitational battles but decided to stop at 16 to focus on recorded music. By doing live shows, recording more music, constantly writing and gauging people's responses i refined my style. Also the peers i surrounded myself with growing up like Motion, Social Change and Delta have always encouraged me to strive for my best and never perform something you're not happy to stand behind. So it was always a healthy and positive incentive to want to bring your best to the table when your rhyming with that calibre of MC's.
2. What can the audience expect at a live show?
An honest, raw and entertaining performance. An uncompromising Hip Hop show; true lyricism, crates, turntablism, freestyles. But i always hope to engage with the crowd and above all have fun with it because thats why we're all here, i don't believe hardcore Hip Hop and having fun should be mutually exclusive. I want people to still party and have fun to music with integrity and a message, they did in the 60's so why should that consciousness in live performance and music still not be there? If something i said made someone think /smile/dance or all at the same time then im happy.
3. Tell us more about working with Erick Sermon.
While he was in Adelaide, touring Australia with EPMD, he came back to my man Despair's studio, The Vortex, and kicked it with the family here and listened to some beats. We had a draft copy of the new album that started to play and he had a real positive response which was a really humbling experience to hear him support the project and give it a good rap. He shared stories of growing up in Long Island New York, recording those classic EPMD albums, discovering Redman, being an aspiring artist himself at 19 approaching labels and other dope stories of his career in the Hip Hop game. He gave us a lot of encouragement and advice about the music industry and how to maintain your own identity in it, which were jewels i know ill apply each day. Reflecting back, Its a pretty classic story to happen in little old Adelaide. I used to drive an 80's era Mercedes, which got wiped out by someone running a red light through it recently (RIP!) But we were driving through the streets of Adelaide with Erick Sermon chilling in the whip, bumping EPMD, man It was just funny! Erick said driving in the Merc made it like the Australian version of the EPMD Unfinished Business cover (check it if you haven't seen it!) It was a very cool yet bizarre experience to just chill and hang out with a massive influence on music, a huge inspiration for me and one of the greatest hip hop pioneers to ever live. Definitely a story for the grandkids if their not too busy on their hover boards.
4. Whats coming up in the future?
I have a new album coming out in June called 'The Vortex' I've been working on with Adelaide producer Despair which features guest appearances from Delta, Social Change and Motion. It will be available nationwide on CD & 2LP Vinyl for all those nutty record purists! We also have some exciting gigs coming up supporting DJ Premier, The Beatnuts, Masta Ace & Edo G in Melbourne and Adelaide and then touring the album upon its release across Australia in July/August. Myself and Despair are already working hard on new music, diggin, producing, writing, recording everyday and in 2011 we'll be going to New York to work on music and get absorbed in the Hip Hop Mecca...oh yeah and 2012! But for the immediate future, The new album and touring is my primary concern, which i believe has something for everyone. So be on the look out for Dialect & Despair in a city near you releasing our new album 'The Vortex'.
5. Australian Music is?
Universal.View Profile Hide Interview
Purpose is an Adelaide MC/producer who has spent years building a name for himself in the Australian hip hop scene with an impressive series of mixtapes and group releases. Now he's finally ready to unleash his debut solo album.
Tell us about your music - how did you develop your sound?
In my bedroom. What you are hearing now is something I have honed literally since a kid and built up over time. I got hooked on hip-hop at 11, began writing rhymes at 12, started making beats at 16. From then on I started recording/learning how to put songs together, working with what I had and little bits of advice I would get from the older producers I knew. The plus side to not having very many opportunities available to you for such a long period of time is that by the time they arrive, you are ready.
What’s the Purpose live show like?
High energy and just good fun. In points it is quite intimate but that’s the way the music is geared and I thrive off that. At the end of the day I’m just there to turn the party out and hopefully it makes your night.
You're releasing your debut solo album in coming months, but have been pumping out mix-tapes and group releases for years. Why has it taken until now for a Purpose solo album?
I was always very conscious of a solo album being a statement of who you are. I was 16 on the first mixtapes and used them to teach myself the ropes and feel out what I liked but I was also using this time to figure out who I am and who I’m not. The best part about the new music is, if you know Ryan then everything Purpose does makes complete sense.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given and who was it from?
I have been fortunate enough to have been embraced by a lot of what I consider pioneers of the culture you see today, but the best advice I have given was from Bias B. He told me ‘this business is all about good people’ and it’s true. I will look out for a lot of people on the strength of who they are beyond their achievements in music and I know the feeling is mutual with the people you see me around.
What’s coming up in 2012?
2012 will see the release of my debut album ‘Where It Starts’ in Spring. I will release the 3rd single towards the end of the year and then tour hard. Basically this year is just about putting the album out and taking the music to the people. I can’t wait to tour the full album once it’s out just because the response interstate has already exceeded what I expected.
Australian music is...
...healthier than ever.View Profile Hide Interview
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
Canberra-based artist LTC (Lolesio The Courageous) is pumping out world class hip hop right now. He's turning heads with a sound that is both ambitious and refreshing.