Defron Drops His Debut: Invalid EP

Picture Peter Pan sporting a shaved head in a pair of sneakers dropping bookworm bravado. You have Defron. Nostalgic of simpler days when life was just wearing-out your favourite cartoon on VHS, this 26 year-old Melbourne emcee combines confessional song-writing with abstract braggadocio to provide hip-hop that same release from the mundane.

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Diagnosed with hearing loss at age five, the future rapper/poet was forced to grow up quickly. In surviving five mastoid operations by the age of ten, followed by a bout with testicular cancer at age 20, Defron escaped his routine of hospital visits by devouring comic books and music. He then turned to the page where he became his own superhero.

Flexing a penchant for syncopated vocal samples and multi-layered instrumentation, Defron’s anvil-dropping flow has been heard over melodic beat- scapes on triple j and Triple R, and seen alongside the stage with OFWGKTA, Mantra, 360, Dylan Joel and Illy.

Evident on his debut EP, ‘Invalid’, Defron’s mature realism and conceptual style is told with youthful charm and inventive wordplay. Narrating hardboiled wisdom with a child-like charisma and fierce cadence, Defron tells our inner child to never grow up, but reminds our outer adult that we had no choice.

Featuring production from Rahjconkas (Mr Hill & Rahjconkas) Bottega Beretta and DJ cuts from Rob Shaker (Syllabolix Crew) Defron showcases his signature style of wordplay and tenacity over five tracks which fans are calling, “one very solid debut and a hell of an entrance”.

After leaving his career in the publishing industry and Australia’s battle-rap circuit in 2012, revered freestyle rapper and 2009 Revolver MC Battle champion, Defron, took a hiatus from his regular Melbourne live-shows to record his long-anticipated debut EP. Inspired by a personal history of battling cancer and hearing-loss, drawing from his braggadocio roots in Melbourne’s freestyle and battle-rap scene, the title Invalid is a spin on the hip-hop bravado cliché.

A project two years in the making, recorded at the renowned Stronghorn Studios, used by such artists as Briggs and Illy, this debut’s fraught production process earns its title. In 2013, one day before commencing mastering, the Mount Dandenong born lyricist received a phone call from the project’s engineer: both the computer and hard-drive storing all session files been stolen. The Invalid EP seemed to be well and truly terminal.

A strong believer in fate, after battling two illnesses in his young life, Defron saw this as an opportunity to reimagine the EP, top to bottom. Following an inspiring respite in New York, he returned to the project in mid- 2014, remaking only two songs from the original sessions with three new cuts lined up to complete the selection. As a result, what had been a rigid concept piece of self-exploration was transformed into a more- rounded journey of self-celebration: an EP with a short excursion into new-school boom-bap, courtesy of New York beat-maker Bottega Beretta and Melbourne veteran Vince Van Go, book-ended by J-Dilla-esque dreamscape production from Wagga Wagga’s Rahjconkas.

Combining hardboiled confessional song-writing with youthful charisma, Defron narrates mature realism with inventive penmanship, ensuring the Invalid EP is a long-overdue promise that much more will soon follow from this seasoned wordsmith.

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