BREAK IT DOWN UNDER
RAPPER 360 TURNS HIS FOCUS TO COOLY
Matt Colwell plans to have crowds in the palm of his hand during an upcoming tour of regional Australia. The down-to-earth Aussie hip-hop artist, better known as 360, will bring his radio hits and rapid fire wordplay to Coolangatta next weekend as part of a 16-date tour of country pubs and clubs.
“A lot of regional spots miss out on live music and I really wanted to get back out to those places and have some fun,” says the 28-year-old, whose third album, Utopia, was released in June.
“I wanted to take it back to how things were in the day. I used to perform in these small venues … I miss it a bit.
“I love those shows, where you really get to connect with the crowd. It’s going to be absolutely mental.”
Raised in Melbourne, the private school boy has become an unlikely figurehead of the Aussie rap and hip-hop scene.
In mastering a lyrical genre based on hard knocks, Colwell proves middle-class roots can’t shield you from suffering, nor stifle a brutally honest take on the world.
His first album, 2008’s What You See Is What You Get, played on a “funny guy” image, with Colwell hamming it up in music videos, including a parody of Bec and Lleyton Hewitt.
Utopia shows there is more to him than meets the eye.
Colwell has had struggles with health, dependency issues, fame and haters. He has watched loved ones battle mental illness, heard from fans contemplating suicide, and is becoming ever more willing to share his personal journey through music.
“Hip-hop and rap are becoming more popular in Australia and I think it’s because Aussies can relate to it,” says Colwell, his words peppered with expletives.
“Aussie artists are rapping about normal things lots of people go through, rather than the mainstream US music about strip clubs and gangsters. I’m trying to make music with good messages, too. I want to try to spread the word about equality and help inspire people, showing them you only have one life and you might as well go hard and make the most of it.”
Having toured the US and Europe last year, Colwell says he would love nothing more than to make it overseas.
“I’d really like to break into the US market in particular. Iggy Azalea is huge but it would be crazy if another Aussie rapper did well over there,” he says. “I’ll always come home, though. I’ll be back around Geelong way for some time for sure.”
360, Coolangatta Hotel, Saturday, January 10.
Rap artist 360 will perform at the Coolangatta Hotel on January 10.