RAP­PER'S VIEW ON SHEPLIFE

RAP­PER WHO HASN’T TURNED HIS BACK ON HOME TOWN READY TO TELL THE WORLD ABOUT SHEPLIFE

Shepparton News - - FRONT PAGE -

Hon­esty, hard work and re­mem­ber­ing where you came from— that’s what rap­per Briggs is all about. From Shep­par­ton to Mel­bourne to record­ing stu­dios to tours in Aus­tralia and Europe and all the way back again, the past decade has been a big one for Briggs. But with the re­lease of his third record Sheplife just around the cor­ner, Briggs is only go­ing to get big­ger. This month, he re­leased one of his most phenom­e­nal sin­gles yet— The Hunt, a col­lab­o­ra­tion with award­win­ning and world renowned Indige­nous artist Gur­ru­mul.

The Hunt has been hailed as one of the most im­por­tant Aus­tralian tracks of the year and this month Rolling Stone mag­a­zine called Briggs ‘‘ one of this coun­try’s most re­spected, if un­der­rated, hiphop artists’’. For Briggs, a proud Yorta Yorta man and a for­mer Shep­par­ton High School and Wan­ganui Park Sec­ondary Col­lege stu­dent once known sim­ply as Adam Briggs, this mo­ment has been a long time com­ing. ‘‘ The Hunt is kind of like a con­densed ver­sion of my jour­ney— the last 10 years in two verses. It was taken from a song of Gur­ru­mul’s called Baru, about the salt­wa­ter crocodile, so when I was writ­ing The Hunt, I was think­ing about that song,’’ Briggs said. ‘‘ The salt­wa­ter crocodile doesn’t chase its prey— it waits, it’s cal­cu­lat­ing and it watches. I think it rep­re­sents how I work and I did it be­cause a lot of people didn’t ex­pect a col­lab­o­ra­tion like this.’’ As a kid, Briggs lis­tened to rap and be­gan to write his own lyrics as a teenager. He joined an­other young Shep­par­ton MC, Peter Shiels, and the pair formed 912, per­form­ing at a gig in Mel­bourne. That’s where Briggs started to get no­ticed. Soon af­ter, he was taken un­der the wing of Aus­tralian hip-hop group Hill­top Hoods, signed to their la­bel Golden Era Records, toured Europe and even sup­ported one of his idols, United States rap­per Ice Cube. His EP Home­made Bombs and first al­bum The Black­list proved pop­u­lar in the Aus­tralian hip-hop scene, and the hype around Sheplife is al­ready reach­ing fever pitch. For Briggs, Sheplife will tell his story and where he came from. ‘‘ It is the most hon­est record I’ve done thus far— it re­flects me,’’ he said. ‘‘ I like to look at each of my al­bums as a time cap­sule—

Sheplife is the last three years en­cased in a disc. It’s about mo­ments, and my job as an artist is to take mo­ments and flip them around into songs.’’ While many mu­si­cians who grew up in Shep­par­ton left town for the bright lights of the city, Briggs has con­tin­ued to call our town home and re­turns here when­ever his gru­elling record­ing and tour­ing sched­ule al­lows. ‘‘ It keeps me grounded, it keeps me hon­est,’’ he said. ‘‘ Ev­ery­one knows me around here. I don’t like to pre­tend I’m some­one I’m not and I know a lot of people who run away and hide from their roots, but the best pol­icy for be­ing an artist and in life is be­ing hon­est. That’s what

Sheplife is about, it’s about em­brac­ing my life as it is now. ‘‘ It’s not about dress­ing some­thing up to be some­thing it’s not, and it’s not about tear­ing some­thing down. This is my chance to tell my story of the last three years.’’ For Briggs, his home town is all about the people. His so­cial me­dia posts are pep­pered with people and places in Shep­par­ton, such as barista Shingo Fu­ji­moto— who he gives a spe­cial shoutout to in this in­ter­view— and Gi­u­lia­nis Hair­dress­ing, where he’s a reg­u­lar. The cover of Sheplife is the graf­fiti-daubed old Vic­to­rian Rail­ways In­sti­tute build­ing on Pur­cell St, near the train sta­tion. Briggs pulls no punches when it comes to the prob­lems Shep­par­ton— and any size­able re­gional town in Vic­to­ria— faces. ‘‘ My per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence and what I like about Shep­par­ton is the people— the people I meet, the char­ac­ters, my friends. That’s what makes a place live­able,’’ he said. ‘‘ I think Shepp faces uni­ver­sal prob­lems. There’s a lot of bored kids— that’s just a part of ev­ery small town. From Mil­dura to Gipp­s­land, I see sim­i­lar­i­ties in all the vices people face if they’re un­em­ployed, have been made re­dun­dant or sim­ply aren’t find­ing what they need in life. It’s a uni­ver­sal prob­lem, like the vi­o­lence and drugs that any town that’s a junc­tion which people pass through faces. ‘‘ Our big prob­lem is

I DON’T LIKE TO PRE­TEND I’M SOME­ONE I’MNOT AND I KNOW A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO RUN AWAY AND HIDE FROM THEIR ROOTS, BUT THE BEST POL­ICY FOR BE­ING AN ARTIST AND IN LIFE IS BE­ING HON­EST. THAT’S WHAT SHEPLIFE IS ABOUT, IT’S ABOUT EM­BRAC­ING MY LIFE AS IT IS NOW.

— BRIGGS

some­thing like if SPC leaves

— any kind of loss like that. It’s not only iconic to the area, but it’s people’s lives, people who have worked there for the last 30 years— where do they go from here if SPC is gone?

‘‘ That’s the stuff that’s wor­ry­ing and what comes to mind. But it’s hap­pened all over the world, that’s the na­ture of the beast.’’ This week, Briggs has traipsed around in the snow at Falls Creek, Mt Buller and Mt Hotham, per­form­ing a se­ries of gigs with Golden Era la­bel­mates Funkoars, Vents and k21. Next up is more tour­ing, more stu­dio work and more pro­mo­tion. In be­tween all that, he’s hop­ing to re­turn to Shep­par­ton to launch Sheplife., which will be re­leased on Au­gust 22.

‘‘ I don’t like to stop too long. The roses are not be­ing smelled at the mo­ment, that’s for sure,’’ he said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.