Success is proof pos­i­tive

Aussie hip hop has come a long way quickly and Pez is lead­ing the charge, writes

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

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

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