Charge is the title to your highly anticipated second LP release, after the successful debut effort on Move Up. Whats been the biggest change for you personally and musically going into the making of Charge?
I guess I was much more picky with the beats I chose for Charge. I really tried to get as many beat reels together from as many strong producers as I possibly could to get the sound I was after. I also got to hypeman for Briggs on the Hilltop Hoods tour last year which definitely influenced my perspective on how I wanted my music to grow.
We’ve heard the whole album and it seems like another win for hip hop in Australia. What’s it been like earning the support of Obese Records and obviously those from within the hip hop community?
I’ve busted my arse for many years to generate a strong support network. It has not at all come easily or quickly. That being said, having Obese Records, my manager, publicist, engineer, producers and other significant individuals backing me up and giving me a chance, has made it possible for me to make this album the best it can be. It’s very hard to get anywhere in this industry without a strong team behind you, with people who believe in what you do.
The album features production from some of the biggest names in the business most noted M-Phazes and Jase, but also WIK and Pokerbeats who both deliver some heat on their respective tracks. We’ve heard around the traps that the beats for this album cost about a million in cash is that true or just an unfounded rumor?
Very close to a million in Cash, you’re not far off at all. No wonder I work 2 jobs to make this album happen!
We found that Charge strikes that perfect balance between the party type tracks like ‘Rap Star’ and ‘Berroca’ and also the tracks that get a little more philosophical in their approach like the lead single ‘Keep On’ and ‘Pressure’s On’. Did you go into this album with that as a mission in mind?
I actually started this album thinking I wanted to make an album full of soul sampled bangers. I listened to a lot of Common and Nas while writing, and wanted to make an album that is very Hip Hop without straying in to the realm of electronica or hip pop. Eventually I just picked beats which evoked an idea, story or emotion with me, and went from there.I just think its important for artists to produce work which is honest to who they are. I’m quite a philosophical person so I have to write about issues and ideas which circulate in my mind. Not all my songs are deep and thought-provoking, some are there to have fun and enjoy without the audience having to analyze too much.
You have been described as a ‘hip hop poet devoted to uplifting the community and a teacher to those less privileged’ We’ve also heard you’re a very active person with-in your local community. As an artist, do you feel a sense of responsibility to those who are less privileged?
Well I am a teacher at a community school which educates mostly disadvantaged youth, and I have been volunteering in St. Kilda for 10 years as a boxing coach and gym instructor so I feel a great sense of responsibility to the people in my community to accurately represent the stories and day-to-day goings on. My music is very personal but it is not exclusively about me. It’s about the time, place and people who make this life what it is. The last 2 tracks which are about my daughter (‘Daddies Girl’) and my late Grandma (‘Like the Clouds’), who I dedicate this album to, represent that celebration of life.
We think the albums excellent, great choice of beats and killer rhymes. Any word on the album launch or tour?
Thanks. Album launch will be in Melbourne at Revolver Upstairs on July 30th. We’re planning a tour after that but want the album to get out there before making any solid arrangements.