If you have not heard of ZuluFlow yet then you need to get hip. In fact read this interview and you will see what the hype is all about!
What is the Hip-Hop scene like in Australia?
To be honest I don't know much about the hip hop scene, as I didn't really get into it much (too many blokes in it from what I saw). What I do know is that it's young - only really just beginning to form an identity for itself - The Live Music scene on the other hand is incredibly strong - in Melbourne (where I been based the last seven years) especially - with real high quality bands playing nearly if not every night of the week - Some of these bands are Hip-Hop, or Hip-Hop influenced which is cool. Recently Hip Hop has been getting a lot more mainstream appeal, with groups like the Hilltop Hoods, Bliss and Eso and the Funkoars gaining more public attention.. This has only been good for up and coming Hip Hop artists..
At what point in your life did you realize you wanted to be a musician?
It's funny, I've always been a fan of sport, cricket especially and always had dreams of playing for my country, never really took any serious steps toward making that happen however. Anyway I'd been dabbling with Rap, writing, freestyling etc for about a decade or so and about a year ago, maybe thirteen months ago I decided to say "F*** it!!", and really give this music thing a serious go. I got myself a vocal/performance coach, started asking a shipload of questions of everyone who I knew in the industry and reading books and really doing my research on what is involved in the industry. I Then publicly released a date for my first EP (L.I.O.N - Like It Or Not)
You were born in Jamaica. Do you ever go back and visit?
Haven't been in ten years but yes I do - and I love it. it's a bit more dangerous these days, as the population and violence grow in tandem.. But it is still a beautiful place, the greenery, the food, and the people (everyone who isn't a "bad mun" or think they are badder than the next man that is) are all so nice. I am really excited to head back in 2012 and make some music.
You are an extremely well polished artist. Do you have a team behind you?
Haha!! Why thank you - that's the first time I've been described like that. One thing I noticed when doing my research on the music industry and successful artists, and successful people in general was that "nobody made it/did any great thing alone" which always stayed with me. So I went about assembling, and aligning myself with positive, successful role models and peers who are all living their (and living off) their passions. I'm relatively new to this whole industry and haven't really figured out which direction I want to take ultimately; i.e. do I want to do the solo thing, start a band, take a back seat and push other artists etc.. so I haven't really built a team around my self specifically for a certain purpose yet. Just more so aligned my self with people who are living examples of what I aspire to.
Where do you record?
Tetris Studios, Brunswick (www.tetrisstudios.com) You mentioned "do I have a team" previously.. These guys here are my family, Wasabi, Tanz, Maxamil, Hooves, all the crew at Tetris have been amazingly supportive, generous and have helped push me along and guide me in my growth - without the crew at Tetris I'd still be rhyming in my bedroom and freestyling once a week.. Wasabi is amongst other things, an outright genius behind the sound desk - the "other things:" he is also one of the dopest producers in the world, one of the best Scratch DJ's I've ever seen, as well as one of the nicest, and funniest blokes you'll ever meet. He and Tanz (aka Jamima Jonez) both run Tetris - I'm super lucky to have them as friends/family.
What is your song writing process like?
It's cliche I know, but it all depends, and it changes often. Sometimes I'll sit down with a beat loop a four or eight bar section and write to it like that, then go onto the next section. Sometimes I'll take months to complete a song. Other times I'll whip out an entire song in half an hour. Experimenting with different styles and methods is something I do a lot. My latest thing has been to not think about what I'm writing too much at all. Like for my latest project which I released (the 30/30 Mixtape - which you've featured on this site) I made a point to not take more than an hour on any track, and mostly finished the verses in ten, twenty or thirty minutes max. Just pick a theme, and write. A lot of the verses I just set a timer and had to finish the verses before the time ran out. You can probably tell as there is no real structure to a lot of the songs, they just seem to flow and are way more stream of consciousness. I've been toying with this method for the last eight months or so and seems to be working fine. In contrast, on this other project i'm working on - a three track EP Descendants of Midas, with Black Boltt from Toronto. I've been writing this for months and taking time to edit the verses and make them perfect and really tell a story and take the listener on a journey of a different type. A more of a picturesque, visual type route.
Can you tell us about The Global Hip-Hop Collective? How are you involved?
Ah, the GHC, this is my little baby. I'm the founder and the CEO of the GHC. What is it? It is an artists collective, specifically directed towards hip hop at this point in time, that exists in order to connect creative individuals and help nurture the growth and movement of independent artists. We encourage collaboration, connecting, fun, and education. My vision is a place for artists worldwide to come together and connect and collaborate on multidisciplinary projects. So that we can see more creative projects get off the ground involving the different aspects, dance, music, performance, visual art all coming together to bring their creations to the people. As well as this, we have an educational aspect too. I see too many people (myself as an example) who are blessed with amazing talent, but have no idea how to direct it, or have no (or not many accessible) avenues to express their talents, skills, creativity, ideas etc - especially the youth (10-25 year olds) - So I've created this GHC as an outlet for that.
We the team, Julez, Seymour, Link and the Tetris crew, are all integral members of the crew) put on a weekly open mic night Street Poetics every Monday where emcees, vocalists, poets, musicians, DJs all have the opportunity to get up and work on their craft and have a jam with an amazingly tight live band.. We have different things going on with this all the time, different themes and showcases, e.g.. ladies nights, spoken word nights, producer showcases, battles, visual art, Sketch the Rhyme stuff, different parties, and competitions where artists who do the weekly showcases can end up supporting larger national/international acts who are playing etc. We also run a bi-monthly multi-disciplinary event where we showcase artists of all varieties, first event we had bellydancing, circus style acts, spoken word, live bands, Dj's etc. and also live art and painting going on.
The GHC is many things and is still in it's developing stages. Only started it six months ago so yeah we're really only beginning to get the ball rolling, but we do have some big plans. Really want to expand worldwide and already have some collaborations with cats in Spain, Germany and Canada in the works, and once the website is properly up and running we'll start seeing more activity worldwide.
You do a good amount of shows. What is your fan base like at these shows?
What are they like? Relatively small at the moment, as I haven't really been pushing my solo career / live show as much since I started the GHC. However, the response is always quite good. People enjoy the show I put on. Next year there will be more focus on touring and really building the fan base for ZuluFlow the solo artist. Mostly want to take the GHC to new heights and put a lot of focus into that right now.
How did you and Soliloquy hook up for the song "Life Goes On"?
Funny story with Soliloquy. He's the younger brother of my former DJ, Prequel, who also is a dope producer. We played like two or three shows back about four years ago, when I thought I was ready to give this music thing a go. I had no idea what I was getting my self into and wasn't prepared at all, had some terrible experiences on stage. I didn't even have a grasp of the concept of "rehearsing" at this stage so obviously this quickly fell by the wayside..
At this stage Soliloquy would have been ten years old. I'm yet to ask him yet but I remember using the word Soliloquy in a lot of my rhymes back then, and I believe he's either consciously, or subconsciously chosen that name haha. But yeah I heard Wasabi mixing this EP down at Tetris one day and I'm like "who's that?", he tells me it's this kid Soliloquy, Prequel's younger brother. I'm like "for really, i know that kid haha..". Didn't really even think of the collab until I began the 30/30 Project - which was just an idea that came to me one day after I realized that it was June and I hadn't really recorded any music all year. So I sent him the beat, he came to the studio absolutely murdered his verse in a few takes. So I had to spend some extra time (this was the verse that I allowed my self to take an hour on) writing to. Didn't wanna get outshone by a fourteen year old. As much as I tried I think I may still have haha!
What can we expect from you in 2012?
Well, even before then we'll see the Descendants of Midas release around Christmas time. Then around the same time we'll see a release from my newest little project, The Higher Consciousness (THC), which is a three man crew. Mr Mooney, Baptiste and myself releasing a little EP. More GHC events in the new year, some topical battles at the Street Poetics, a larger festival in the middle of 2012, will be aiming to play at a few festivals around Australia next year and the release of my first full length LP "Visionary". Busy busy busy, just the way I like it.
Copyright 2011 Hardcorejamz.com