Success is proof positive
Aussie hip hop has come a long way quickly and Pez is leading the charge, writes
SIDE from the distinct Aussie twang, Pez believes the main difference between Aussie hip hop and American hip hop lies in the rappers’ outlook on life.
The Melbourne-based emcee, real name Perry Chapman, says the Aussie hip hop community works together to make inspiring music.
‘‘So much hip hop that comes out of the US is so negative – it’s terrible,’’ he says. ‘‘I think it’s refreshing that people here are making positive and inspiring music. We have finally hit a point where Aussie hip hop has found its own sound and direction.’’
Pez believes US hip hop is a very competitive genre, with rappers bringing each other down.
‘‘To some degree, we have all felt part of a movement here – not long ago if someone told you they wanted to be a rapper, people would laugh in your face,’’ he says.
‘‘Me personally, I get along with everyone. We all hang out. We are still growing the hip hop audience. Its’s gone from people thinking it’s a joke to (artists) going platinum and headlining festivals. It’s crazy.’’
Pez’s debut album A Mind Of My Own (2008) featured summery single Festival Song. Afterwards, he took a break from music due to health reasons.
Returning to the road for his Back in the Game tour, Pez says his sophomore album will be released mid-year.
‘‘I was in a dark place for a while but I didn’t want to make a negative therapeutic album when I was coming out of it,’’ he says.
‘‘The album is a balance of the whole journey. It shows my growth sonically, it’s bigger and better and more exciting.’’
Pez says after Festival Song took off – it placed No. 7 in the 2008 Triple J Hottest 100 countdown – the song had a life of its own.
‘‘It was my huge break. I came back to do more shows and I remember playing a show to 700 people,’’ he says.
‘‘I played a song called Heavenly, which I wrote about my parents. It’s a very personal song. I thought I might cop shit about it. But I found the whole crowd singing every word. The song spread. People have lyrics of that song tattooed on them. It’s been played at funerals. I never expected that.’’
Pez says it was a special moment when he realised that his personal music could connect with people.
‘‘It helped me understand – Festival Song is great – but it’s more empty,’’ he says.
‘‘The personal songs are fulfilling for me. It shifts the hype to genuine fans.’’
Fans can look forward to more collaborations and personal songs on the next record.
‘‘The next single I will put out is a collaboration I did with Paul Kelly,’’ says Pez. ‘‘I love the fact that I am really proud of the song. He said to me, ‘let’s not force it, we will see if something good comes, don’t force it’. And something great came from it. It was really cool that we built a whole song together from nothing.’’
– ROSE SADLEIR
Pez and Purpose play Byron Bay Brewery tonight and Coolangatta Hotel tomorrow night.
Pez plays a show at Coolangatta Hotel