“How I set my mind right and finished my album”
So, the long time between drinks has finally come to an end. In all honesty, I didn’t think it would take this long to finish this album, sorry about that! Seven years ago I set out to release a self-produced solo album, upgraded my studio gear, started focusing on production skills… then everything changed.
You get told your whole life that everything will be different when you become a parent but you will never understand what that really means as a naive youngster. When I was in my teens and twenties my entire mindset was Hip Hop and this continued until the day my son was born. And then my priorities changed.
There were times during the last seven years that I gave up on music. When one kid became two, then two became three, I was too exhausted after a full work day to actually give a shit about anything creative. Along with trying to maintain a relationship with my wife, my kids had become my world and anything outside the scope of raising them right didn’t make any sense.
As I said above though, I didn’t feel like this all the time. When I was in my zone enough to hit the studio I would go through extremely productive periods, sometimes churning out multiple beats a night and writing until I couldn’t keep my eyes open. So, I kept at it, just more slowly than before.
Whilst squeezing music into my new existence as a father, I was watching my label mates churn out music of a consistently high quality. This excited me for the future; to be a part of the powerhouse that Crate Cartel had become. But, it also demotivated me because I was sitting on this music that nobody had heard and wondering if it was up to the CC standard. Comparison is the death of joy… am I right!?
Regardless of all the artistic insecurity and self doubt (‘cos lets face it, all artists do it to themselves) I had to get this album finished and released, so I powered through it. There are tracks on The Mirror that I’ve been fine tuning for over five years that nobody has ever heard. You can tell this from the lyrics as well. So, when you hear me say things like “I’m 34”, or “I have 2 kids”, you know why. I had to remind myself that while these joints are old to me, they will still be fresh to the listener.
Lyric wise The Mirror is a blend of deeply personal tracks, humor, wordplay and a dash of political frustration. I didn’t get hyper political like Ravenous 20Ten so if you are into the angry 27 year old from that album, I’m sorry but he has left the building. The Mirror, to me, feels more like my debut Humble Beginnings. As far as guests go, I kept the appearances few, but those that do visit the album are some of my favourite emcee’s from Australia. Thanks to Flu, Myk Reid, Mantra & Dialectrix for being involved, not to forget the excellent cuts by Relik & Shaker and the smooth vocals of Lucas Miller. Bless!
I called this album The Mirror because I felt it reflected the old, old me but it also has a futuristic, hopeful vibe to it. I worked with Wayne from Royal Pde Creative to build an art profile that reflected both sides of this vision, like a good mirror should. I think he nailed it. The cover art is an amalgamation of my ageing grey bearded face and my son Julius. The image reflects the wisdom of growing up, but also youth and hope.
I hope you enjoy The Mirror and feel it enough to tell a friend, because shit… it ain’t easy to keep someone’s attention in music these days. I should know, it took me seven years to make an album!
Peace, Hip Hop & The Good Life to you.