Drapht works to get tim­ing right

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - LIVE 'N' LOUD -

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

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