Drapht works to get timing right
RAPHT is back with his first new material in almost two years – but don’t expect an album any time soon.
The hip-hop star will drip-feed new music – starting with a trio of experimental tracks – until he is ready to start work on a cohesive body of work.
Two songs posted by Drapht so far are a bold departure from his 2011 ARIA-winning album Life Of Riley. Tasty is a menacing slice of alternative hip hop, while 1990s has a soul-based groove featuring fellow rapper N’Fa Jones.
He plans to release a third track, Salute, featuring a surprise special guest, before embarking on his upcoming Uni-Verse tour through February and March.
Drapht – real name Paul Ridge – is enjoying his return after a year out, but says recording a full-length album is too risky until he’s in the right headspace.
‘‘It’s such a fickle landscape right now and people’s attention spans can shut off in a week,’’ he says.
‘‘It can be soul crushing if you put all your energy into an album and then a week later people have forgotten about it.
‘‘There’s always another artist releasing a new track every month so I’m going to play around with that idea for a while.’’
Going to ground after the 2012 Big Day Out tour, Drapht admits he was close to quitting music commercially due to the pressure of being a solo artist.
The album did well, peaking at No. 1 on the ARIA Album Chart and winning an ARIA Award for best urban album, but Drapht, 30, was left physically and mentally shattered.
‘‘With all the success people thought I was in this amazing position and everything was clear sailing but at the end of it all I was absolutely exhausted,’’ he says.
‘‘As a solo artist you’re put through the wringer because you have to do everything from performing to promo to spending hours tweaking shows so fans never hear the same thing twice.’’
Now busy launching a new holistic cafe in his home city Perth, Drapht hopes a career in business can help spread his income to alleviate the financial pressure of being a musician.
Drapht has written from the heart during his 15-year career and is determined to get back to songwriting ‘‘for the love’’.
Judging by the reaction to the genre-busting tracks Drapht has posted for free online, the change in approach is working.
‘‘ Tasty in particular is something very different to what I’ve put out in the past but I wanted to do something that separated myself from the rest of the genre – do something that pushes me as an artist and puts me in a place where I creatively move forward,’’ he says.
‘‘The reaction so far has been great and I can’t wait to take the songs on tour.’’
Drapht plays the Parkwood Tavern on March 9; the Great Northern Hotel, Byron Bay, on March 10; and Southern Cross Uni, Lismore, on March 12.
Drapht, aka Paul Ridge