Where are you currently based and what is the music scene like there?
I’m based in my hometown of Canberra, and the music scene is budding to say the least. We’re really starting to find our musical identity as a city and I’m constantly discovering new fire artists every week. It’s a majorly inspiring place.
How did you first start playing music?
I first started writing lyrics around the age of 12. From 14-18 I learnt to play the cello, and this has instilled a strong passion for live instruments that I try to incorporate into everything that I make.
You have been very active in the Canberra hip-hop scene for many years now, how has the scene evolved over the years and where do you see things going?
It’s evolved with the quality of output and level of artistry you see in our artists now. I firmly believe the reason I’ve been able to grow so much in Canberra is because of the outpouring of support I received early on – and this has only gotten stronger and more widespread over time, and more artists are succeeding because of it.
Your new single ‘Impulse’ Ft Zellow was released on Feb 14, where and when did you record/produce this track?
I produced the track with my producer Cam Bluff mid last year. We worked on the early idea for the song, and throughout the year I conceived the world I wanted to create around the song: its visual aesthetic, the look and feel of the video, and what you experience when you see the track live.
You worked with Cam Bluff (Amy Shark, Allday) & Citizen Kay, please tell us about the creative process between the three of you that brought us Impulse:
So Cam and I began the early idea with the instrumental; the soaring piano chords, electronic instrumental, and the Black-Panther inspired bongos you hear in the track. I had this immediate reaction to the beat of a feeling of a pained attraction, which led to the track’s concept. I brought the project back to Kay in Canberra, and we had a heap of creative meetings about my delivery, the structure of the song and exactly what we wanted to communicate. I think we really captured a feeling that’s reflective of the zone I was in when I wrote the song.
What inspired the sound and songwriting?
The lyrics were inspired by personal experience; the highs and lows you feel when being impulsive and returning back to an old connection, kind of painting a picture of what this feels like. The sound is very uplifting, haunting and emotive, and all of this channels from the moments Impulse was birthed from.
What have you been working on recently?
Honestly, a heap. I’m really working to define what my sound as an artist is this year, so collaborating with as many people as possible is the primary goal. On top of that, the next project to follow Impulse, which I think is going to be an exciting turn that brings in more of an 80s vibe.
You’ve just become an Australian Artist Ambassador for Global Citizen, what does this entail and how did this come about?
I want to always use my platform to inspire those around me and draw attention to things that matter to me. Global Citizen is an organisation that encourages people to become a direct part of the change they hope to see in the world, by taking direct action in areas that matter most to them. Signing petitions, sharing online articles; these are all rewarded actions that are directly contributing to global change.
I was invited to perform at GC’s Louder Together documentary screening in Sydney last year. It was narrated by Hugh Jackman, and showcased the artists they had performing at their festivals overseas: Jay Z, Coldplay and Rihanna to name a few. From there, I learned more about the organisation and I strived to become more heavily involved – I’m excited to show my fans what they’re all about and how they can become directly involved in resolving a number of global issues.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
I’m listening to a record called Trouble in Paradise by Elhae. It’s a soulful project that explores a turbulent relationship over an acoustic-trap soundscape, and its music videos are shot solely in Cuba. You can tell some artists take their time with their melodies and writing, and this is a strong example of that.
What or who influences your sound and songwriting?
I’m influenced by my conversations with people. I love learning about how people explore and nurture their mental health, what inspires them, and identifying that drive that I feel everyone has for what they truly want. I try to channel a lot of truth in my writing and that comes firsthand from my interactions with those around me.
What do you have planned for 2019?
To take things to a whole new level with my creativity, live set, and the release that’s set to follow Impulse.
Favourite food and place to hangout?
Garema Place Pho, Canberra. As for my best hangout: Kay’s studio, The Hive.