Watermelon Boy Discusses New Track ‘Break That Board’

by the partae

Where are you currently based?

Hey Team! Earlier this year I moved from Brunswick back into Fitzroy. It’s great to be closer to the action again. I love the nightlife here and the energy of Fitzroy is always a buzz.

You’ve recently joined forces with Ritchie Loop and Mark Dwyer, how did this collab come to be?

I had the idea for Break That Board and had come up with the basic rhythm & bassline. I knew that finding the right vocalists would be paramount. I actually connected with Mark first and he laid a killer verse. I knew that we needed a more dancehall style vocal for the chorus and Richie Loop has the perfect sound. The fact that he’s worked with some of my hero’s like Henry Fong & Vybz Kartel was obviously a major bonus. He added so much flavour to the track and really contrasted nicely against Mark’s verse. The track very quickly started to feel complete.

‘Break That Board’ is the killer track that’s come from the collab, what influenced the sound and songwriting?

The tuned percussion is pure Watermelon Boy but I used a more twerky rhythm this time which gave it a different groove. When the vocal recordings came back to me, it all reminded me of 90’s fighting games like Street Fighter II so I recorded a bunch of samples that sounded like the commentary from those types of games. Adding those and the game soundFX really solidified the flavour of the track.

How did the songwriting process take place?

I had the “Mind like a rock, hand like a sword…” concept in my head and wanted to pay tribute to karate bad-assery. I’ve done karate since I was a kid and had never really crossed it over into music in any way. So I sent that to Mark with the beat and he wrote his verse around that. Same with Richie Loop. They both came back with their own lyrics that involved hard work and self improvement which are cornerstones of traditional martial arts. So the track has this “zen” to it which I think is so cool because there’s a correlation with being a musician or any kind of artist. The themes of working hard, honing your skills, so you can be creative, masterful and unpredictable.

Where and when did you record/produce/master?

It was very much a modern recording process with me producing and mixing from Melbourne while Richie recorded in Jamaica and Mark the US. It all came together earlier in the year

What programs/equipment were used?

I write in ableton live and mix internally, recently I’ve started doing a little “pre-master” where I run the track through some outboard gear to give it a little extra shine. I’m also finding that this helps me get a really nice mix because it shows up anything that’s unbalanced. So I’ll end up running the track out a few times and making fine adjustments before sending it to Klaus Hill for the final master. I use an SSL Fusion for a bit of colour as well as a buss compressor from Audioscape and a really nice Australian made EQ from High Voltage Audio.

What were the most challenging and rewarding aspects of creating Break That Board?

It’s always hard working in opposing timezones but if one isn’t in a hurry it can still be reasonable. Hearing the track come together and getting the master back was damn rewarding. It might be my favourite Watermelon Boy work yet. And that’s cool.. To continually make music you’re excited by.

Will we be hearing more tracks from this trio?

I think we’ll have to make more! This was such a ball and came out sounding so solid it’s inspired me to push this sound further.

Who are you listening to at the moment?

Hagan, Digital Afrika & BRYAN THE MENSAH are making some of my favourite music at the moment. I’m also really enjoying listening to Alex Jones get raked over the coals on the Knowledge Fight podcasts and being updated on Australian cookers and con-artists on The Conditional Release Program.

What’s planned for the remainder of 2022 going into 2023?

I’ll be playing Cloud 9 in Fiji on the 7th, 8th & 9th of December. It’s a perfect venue for Watermelon Boy; The tropical setting on the water, busting chill tunes with pizza and cocktails. Such a great way to spend a vaycay. On the 21st of Dec I’m hosting a Summer Solstice Variety Show at The Evelyn in Fitzroy with some VERY special guests that I’ll be announcing soon.

Favourite food and place to hangout?

For lunch I love any place with decent vegan sandwich options, that includes Viet Rose Bakery or Nico’s Sandwich Deli in Fitzroy. Around dinner time I’ll frequent one of the local institutions like Afghan Gallery, Madame K’s, Fina’s or The Rainbow Hotel. As far as bars go, we have so many brilliant ones around but you’ll likely find me at Nighthawks in Collingwood which is always a great place for a chat in the beer garden.


Twitter: https://twitter.com/watermelon__boy

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