Chance to stay hon­est

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

A BIT­TER­SWEET ap­proach to mu­sic al­lows Chance Wa­ters to por­tray neg­a­tive emo­tions in a pos­i­tive man­ner. The Syd­ney-based Aussie hiphop em­cee says af­ter his open and per­sonal 2009 de­but al­bum Inkstains, he searched for a way to bal­ance feel­ings in his 2012 fol­low-up al­bum In­fin­ity. ‘‘It’s al­ways a chal­lenge (to find the bal­ance) but I think I write in a cathar­tic way,’’ he says. ‘‘I can ex­plore is­sues in my per­sonal life or things I don’t like about so­ci­ety and send those mes­sages in a pos­i­tive way us­ing pop hooks. It’s dark con­tent with pop sen­si­bil­i­ties. Maybe To­mor­row is the best ex­am­ple – the pro­duc­tion is so happy but the cho­rus is about skin melt­ing off peo­ple’s bones.’’ Wa­ters says his ex­ter­nal song­writ­ing ap­proach on In­fin­ity helped him dis­cover a new lyri­cal headspace. ‘‘My first al­bum was very per­sonal, it was a col­lec­tion of songs about events in my life,’’ he says. ‘‘I chose the theme and ti­tle for In­fin­ity be­cause I wanted to be ex­ter­nal and not just write about things in my own life.’’ Wa­ters says he never self-cen­sors. ‘‘I try to be as hon­est and open as pos­si­ble – be­ing hon­est is my ma­jor theme,’’ he says. ‘‘It’s easy to be ex­tremely hon­est about things in hiphop than it is in day-to-day dis­cus­sions. I talk about things in records that I would never dis­cuss with peo­ple. It’s about ex­plor­ing is­sues from a cre­ative av­enue. It’s all about res­onation – the lit­tle ideas and con­cepts are uni­ver­sal and are the jew­els that peo­ple value.’’ Known for fus­ing el­e­ments of acous­tic, pop and in­die into his mu­sic, Wa­ters says he doesn’t feel lim­ited to one genre. ‘‘There is a tra­di­tional core to Aussie hip-hop and peo­ple are afraid to step out of that,’’ he says. ‘‘But I think the last few years it has changed. It’s slowly open­ing up.’’ Wa­ters la­bels him­self as the ‘‘odd duck’’ of Aussie hip-hop. ‘‘I cross gen­res . . . it gives me free­dom to play around with any song,’’ he says. ‘‘I am work­ing with heaps of bands at the moment. I have been writ­ing songs with The Gris­wolds, Cub Scouts and Pa­tience from The Grates. I like to step out of the box.’’

– ROSE SADLEIR

Chance Wa­ters and Mind Over Mat­ter play the Surfers Par­adise Beer­gar­den tonight

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