Yesterday Farrago editor Zoe Efron caught up with Melbourne hip hop artist REMI for a quick q&a. Here’s what the breakthrough artist had to say.
Tell us a bit about REMI. Are you an artist or a band?
Well the whole album was produced by Sensible J and Dutch, who I do all my work with. REMI is pretty much three people, we put the whole album together.
How did you start into the music scene?
I started rapping because one of my friends dared me to do it. I gave it a go, and it was shit, but he liked it and I liked it so I thought I’d keep going. I met Justin, who’s Sensible J, when they started playing my album through the speakers where I worked. He liked it, and through him I met up with Dutch, and we started working together. We’ve been working together since 2010.
Your new album Raw X Infinity just dropped earlier this month. What can people expect if they buy it?
There’s a whole bunch of stuff in the album, we cover race issues, drug issues, and how we tend to live. It covers a lot of different styles and genres. It’s quite eclectic. We were just trying to make good music.
Who were your main musical influences with this album?
I guess I was listening to a lot of Outkast, a lot of Mos Def, and The Roots and J Dilla as well. That really comes through in the beats on the album. There was a bit of everything in there really though. The whole album is quite eclectic, it goes from an afro beats track to something with more of a disco vibe to an aussie hip hop track. It’s hard to pin it down to one influence, but if I had to it would probably be The Roots. They’re the only other hip hop group who do albums that are that eclectic.
Your Raw x Infinity Tour kicks off in Newcastle on Thursday, what can people expect from your live shows?
A lot of high energy. If you haven’t been to one of my shows before, get ready to get down.
Last year you won Triple J’s Unearthed Artist of the Year. What’s it like coming from that?
We move forward like we’ve got no one helping us, if that makes sense. We don’t really focus on what one award has said about us, but I guess it’s helped in the sense that more people know us. Triple J’s definitely got quite a big reach.
Usually when people think of Australian hip hop, they think of bands like Hilltop Hoods, or the Perth scene, which has artists like Drapht. What do you think the Melbourne scene is doing that’s different to the rest of Australian hip hop?
Actually, to be totally honest, I don’t know shit about the aussie hip hop scene. We’re considered part of the hip hop scene because that’s just what we’ve been lumped into. I’m a rapper and I’m Australian so people just think aussie hip hop. We’ve never really focused on making just one genre though, which I guess is apparent in all the work that we’ve done. We just make the music that we like, and the music that we make is really varied. We were never really involved in an aussie hip hop scene.
Your single that came out recently is called ‘Sangria’. I was wondering if you have a favourite bar in Melbourne to go to for a mug of sangria?
I’m probably going to let a couple of people down here, but I don’t like sangria that much. The best sangria that I’ve tried is the one we made for the album cover, I went online and found this great recipe so we made that up. But every time I’ve tasted sangria out it’s tasked like shit. I guess some of me favourite hotspots to go for a drink though are places like Section 8 in the city.
Raw X Infinity is available on iTunes and in stores now.