An original artist created a distinctive sound on this record. The lyrics are new, and the production is unpolished. It has a sound that is positive and new for Australian hip hop. To bring attention to some crucial issues, the artist drew from his own personal life experiences. The brand has an aesthetic reminiscent of early hip hop and is lighthearted and comical. The artist thinks there is plenty of room for Australian hip hop to develop, particularly abroad. The musician, who considers the Australian accent to be among the best, if not the best accent for rap, has recently been victimized by the lyrical content of Australian hip hop artists.
Crabitat would benefit from media attention as a voice for emerging Australian hip hop musicians to promote our work abroad. I firmly believe there is an untapped market for Australian rappers who are willing to break free from a derogatory stereotype. Check out the latest album and the exclusive interview below:
1. Can you tell us a bit about where you come from and how you got started?
I am from Manjimup, Western Australia and begun with a Youtube channel documenting my hermit crabs a few years back and entered a Youtube music competition that was really fun and so I did some more songs and now here we are.
2. Did you have any formal training or are you self-taught?
Listening to other hip hop artists is the way most rap folk learn and develop and yeah that was my informal training aswell.
3. Who were your first and strongest musical influences?
The Beastie Boys Licensed to Ill was the first CD I purchased and is still a source of inspiration to date. I really enjoyed how they would interact in their music. Their sound is amazing from vocal delivery to all the creative musical elements. The way they transformed their vocals and played off each other lyrically always set them apart in my opinion.
4. What do you feel are the key elements in your music that should resonate with listeners, and how would you personally describe your sound?
The themes are universal in subject and attempted to discuss some without taking them too seriously and aspiring to raise awareness. Such as gambling addiction, domestic violence, miss-information and relatable topics that are sometimes spoken about especially in hip hop music with negative connotation. Well, they are negative things but someone’s learnings can also be passed on or spoken about, to perhaps prevent someone else enduring such misfortune. Sometimes good things can come from bad experiences. I would describe it as an old school sound something like the boom bap from the 90’s.
6. What’s your view on the role and function of music as polityical, cultural, spiritual, and/or social vehicles – and do you try and affront any of these themes in your work, or are you purely interested in music as an expression of technical artistry, personal narrative and entertainment?
Music can be used as a very important vehicle for spreading awareness of these important subjects. My view is it can and should be used if determined by the artist to be what they want to do. I do involve my views on these subject matter in my music from time to time. Being a hip hop artist is about entertaining so that is at the forefront of what we do, however there is also a spiritual side and this can manifest into giving these views simply for ones well being.
8. Could you describe your creative processes? How do usually start, and go about shaping ideas into a completed song? Do you usually start with a tune, a beat, or a narrative in your head? And do you collaborate with others in this process?
Usually random hooks or versus are thought of from life’s situations, this is how it will usually work for me. Although I’m working on developing melody involvement, it’s more that the flow of the lyric scheme is being dictated by the beat. The process usually starts when your least expecting it. The more one tries to make a good idea or lyrics for songs the more difficult it can become. I like to be ready to capture an idea as it is spontaneously presented, these ideas may then spawn into verses or hooks. Then it’s a case of contacting beat makers to see what’s on offer and see what fits. Finally its meshing everything together working with the beat maker and mixer. Sometimes a song will need an extra voice so collaborating with other artists may be involved. Five out of the fourteen tracks had artist features on the album Ounce of Rhymes. There were a bunch of tracks with turntable work from Vinyl Records and one track had collaboration with percussionist Afropolski which was the track Bookies
9. What has been the most difficult thing you’ve had to endure in your life or music career so far?
There have been ample difficult times. It was difficult when I had a motorcycle accident and broke my femur. It was at a right angle about half way from my hip to my knee so I knew it was pretty bad. Fortunately there were some other dirt bike riders at the location to help out. I was a pretty bad dirt bike rider. Thankfully clever people go and learn how to fix such a misfortune but the recovery was difficult especially having to hold onto a full time job.
10. On the contrary, what would you consider a successful, proud or significant point in your life or music career so far?
Performing at a first gig is quite endearing, not usually forgotten for most artists.
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Photo credits: Illustration by crwzhr