Drapht is currently on the road with his Party Party Party tour. Nicci Secombe from Focus was over the moon when she was asked to interview her favourite Hip Hop artist, performing LIVE at the Stro, Wednesday, October 12.
You were introduced to music at a young age. Tell us a bit about that.
Yes, I have been brought up in a musical household. My dad was a Jazz drummer and percussionist, so I wasn’t practically involved from a young age – but I was thrown into it, so to speak. I sort of got into the rhythm side of things that way and having freeloading musos bunk on my couch constantly helped me in some regard too.
Who are your favourite artists at home and abroad?
My favourite artist at home at the moment is a dude called Ellesquire. He’s from Sydney, and he’s got a track on the radio called On the Prowl. I hadn’t heard of him ‘til about 3 weeks ago, and the album is amazing. I am really digging that at the moment. Internationally, I am listening to the new Kanye and Jay Z record, as well as Frank Ocean.
So did you get to hang out much with Kanye at Splendor in the Grass?
Noooo; we literally got in there on the Friday that Kanye was playing, because we came from Perth. It was a long flight to Brisbane, then we jumped in the car and headed straight there just 25 minutes before Kanye hit the stage. He had his Mercedes Benz take him up to the stage, he played his set, then he was airlifted by helicopter – so no one really got to hang out with him.
So you actually saw the set? Was it good?
Yeah, it was hugely theatrical. It was like I was watching some form of opera, but he was really cool. The best part about it, especially from an MC’s perspective, doing an hour and a half by yourself is hard enough – but he absolutely smashed it.
There would have been a huge crowd there, I can imagine.
Yeah, the amphitheatre was packed. It was amazing. I stayed for the whole weekend and saw Coldplay on the Sunday, which was even bigger; this was probably my highlight.
What point in your career do you consider was your big break?
I don’t know; it’s weird. I don’t consider anything as a big break. It’s gradually built in the last 10 years, but I have to say the biggest part of my career was Jimmy Recard coming in the Triple J hottest 100 at number 10, ‘cause from that moment on, I knew that my music would turn into my livelihood. I was lucky enough to turn it into my full-time career. That would definitely have to be the changing point.
Being part of such a huge count down is awesome. You must have been rapt?
Yeah, I know. I wanted to make it in the top 10 last year, but I came in at 11. So it was bittersweet, but you know …
Top 20 in Australia through 2010 is still amazing.
I know. I just wanted to beat Jimmy Recard so bad. I am not very competitive with other crews, but I am very competitive with myself. And everyone was like, “Are you serious? You came in at number 11. Don’t be an ****hole”.
The Australian Hip Hop scene is going from strength to strength at the moment. Where do you see it in 10 years?
Oh gosh … I wouldn’t have a clue. Ten years? I am just treating life day to day at the moment. I started my own label off the back of The Life of Riley, and I have really just tried to focus on myself and what’s in store for me in the next 10 years. Through time I would love to be releasing other people’s music, taking on more of a producer’s role. So I will be working on a few different projects.
You’ve had 4 albums. How have you found your style evolving to where it is now?
It has changed dramatically. In the last 10 years from the release of Who am I to the release of The Life of Riley sort of speaks for itself … it’s grown up a lot.
Obviously in the last 10 years my music reflected the anger I had when I was an angry teenager. I think it shows a lot in my music. I think it has to do with my musical knowledge growing and the use of melody and instrumentation as well. But yeah, there is definitely less anger.
Are there any artists you would love to work with in the future?
Not particularly. I’d love to do a track with Kimbra. I think she is awesome. M-phazes, who also produces some of my stuff does some stuff for Kimbra as well, and I asked him what he thought. He said, “Nope, she wouldn’t be keen to do any Hip Hop oriented stuff”, and I can appreciate that. I have never approached her, but I think she is doing amazing stuff.