The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - FRONT PAGE - COURT­NEY CRANE

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.

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