Rapper sings to save lives
THERE’S no need to remind ARIA-nominated, chart-storming Melbourne rapper 360 to count his blessings.
360, aka Mat Colwell, is scratching his head in the wake of an incredible 12 months that has seen him enjoy the greatest highs and lows of his life.
360 proposed to now fiancee Crystal Bale almost a year ago – around the time he released his hit album, Falling and Flying.
A runaway hit, the album has earned 360 six ARIA award nominations and recently clocked up 12 months in the ARIA charts. In fact, 360 has become one of the hottest acts in the country, adding a Jagermeister Independent Music Award for best hip-hop album to his haul this week.
Behind the scenes, however, he and Bale have struggled with ‘‘some crazy personal stuff’’.
‘‘It’s been an incredible year for me. I’ve gone through some crazy personal stuff, some dark stuff, and this is just mad,’’ 360 says of his nods.
‘‘I got engaged about a year ago but since then Crystal’s had about three mates commit suicide. It’s been a massive thing for us, trying to get past that. We’ve been trying to put the word out to help people.
‘‘It’s been terrible. I sort of feel like I’ve got a lot of young kids who look up to me and stuff and I can help change the way they think about certain things. So we’ve made videos of us, both recording and speaking, and posted them on YouTube, pleading with kids who want to take their life not to do it. Talk to someone – once you take your life, that’s it.’’
360 says the experiences have strengthened his resolve to choose his words even more carefully and make every rap, every rhyme, on future new material count.
‘‘I’ll put a lot more thought and a lot of work into making the songs that I do about that topic very touching, so it hits home with a lot of kids that it’s final,’’ he says.
‘‘It’s been a case of high and low. It’s been crazy. With all this stuff musically going great, and everything positive with the music, and a totally different story behind that and people don’t get it. I’ve still got a job to do and stuff.’’
360 says he’s decided his next album will be a mix of covers and originals to be released around Christmas.
‘‘It’s gonna feature some big names and some singles off that will be available for free off the internet,’’ he says.
‘‘I’m looking forward to giving back to the fans and interacting with them. . . I don’t do Facebook anymore. It’s hard to keep up now and there are a lot of negative people on Facebook as well and I don’t like paying attention to that. I still post on it, I just don’t really repy to wall posts.’’
A huge hit with fans at this year’s Groovin the Moo and Splendour in the Grass festivals, 360 headlines tomorrow’s Gold Coast 600 Sounds concert at Broadwater Parklands and will return to the Coast in January for the Big Day Out.
The Gold Coast 600 Sounds concerts plays Broadwater Parklands tomorrow (with 360, Urthboy, Horrorshow, Sietta, Purple Sneakers and The Faders) and Saturday (with Good Charlotte, The Living End, Nine Sons of Dan). Entry is free for all Armor All Gold Coast 600 ticket holders.
360 rocks the Gold Coast 600 tomorrow before returning for the Big Day Out.