'Don’t Get In The Game Because Of Fame Or Money' - Scenario Fest Acts Talk Aus Hip Hop

30 April 2018 | 2:30 pm | Velvet Winter

'Concern yourself with learning before money.'

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This weekend will see the second annual Scenario Festival take over Brisbane's The Triffid featuring some of the greatest established and up-and-coming MCs in the Australian game, including Queensland locals Jesswar, Resin DogsIiiconic, Perth's Ziggy Ramo, NSW North Coast collective Gratis Minds and much more.

Velvet Winter caught up with some of the acts on the line-up to get their take on the Aussie hip hop community, what it takes to make it as an artist and how hip hop in Australian can grow stronger.

how has the Australian hip hop scene evolved in the last five years?

"I feel the Australian hip hop is in an amazing spot right now, when you look at the biggest act that has broken through, AB Original, cleaning up all the awards last year. These guys are great role models for Australian Indigenous music and hopefully we will see them take over the world." — Resin Dogs

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"You have so many young artists coming through carving out their own lane, their own sound. I feel like in the last five years the hip hop scene in Australia has really started diversifying. There are a lot of talented people from all different backgrounds making strides here. It’s a great time to be a creative in the scene and also an amazing time to be a fan of music in general because I feel like we make music with a chip on shoulder, we all have points to prove." — Ziggy Ramo

"I feel there's a whole new pool of rappers coming through that all have the ability to break internationally. I believe technology has a big part to play in this. We now have access to hip hop from all over the world and we are influenced by what we listen to. Also, being able to record a song anywhere and make it sound like it has been recorded in a studio is wild. In the last five years, I've seen rappers get better and better from live shows to music videos and performance on a track." — Jesswar

"I have seen the biggest transition from old school hip hop to the new wave. Everything from the music to the image of musicians has changed so dramatically. And I think that’s due to the downfall of traditional media and the culture realisation from triple j. Everything seems to based on the audience nowadays, and that’s amazing to see because we can actually make music for our fans and present it however we want to." — Iiiconic

"We feel that there have been some barriers broken in the last few years which have allowed people to express themselves more freely rather than sticking to what the general public think ‘Aus hip hop’ should sound like." — Gratis Minds

how can the Australian hip hop community improve from the point it's at now?

"I feel that we take the time to educate ourselves about the struggles of our fellow sisters and brothers. I think we have drifted away from what being a part of the community is. We need to be unified. However, the only way to do that is to find common ground. By taking the time to learn and understand what is going on outside of your bubble you actually indirectly benefit. We are not self-sufficient, we need community for survival, so by strengthening the bonds within Australia we all profit." — Ziggy Ramo

"I think there needs to be a lot more listening from new artists and old artists. There seems to be an 'oh, they are too young' or 'you're too old'-type of finger-pointing that has gone on. I also think that if the community banded together they could be a lot more powerful and be able to create their own industry." — Resin Dogs

"We think a proper hip hop festival in this country, with both international and local acts showcased, would be sick to see. There is some amazing music that is coming out of this country and to give a chance for the artists to reach a bigger platform and fan base would be ideal. There is so much crazy music just waiting to blow up." — Gratis Minds

"I feel as if the government should give more funding to urban hip hop radio stations. If there was a large scale radio station or audio platform in Australia that is based on hip hop, we can create our own form of mainstream hip hop that can give the hard working and influential hip hop acts the attention they deserve at mass." — Iiionic

What's some advice for aspiring MCs that want to get into the game?

"It's going to be long, hard and you will probably want to live a normal life but if you can see yourself doing this as a career and you love it, then go balls to the wall and go get what you want." — Jesswar

"Don’t stop. If this is really what you want, knuckle down and put the work in. You may lose some people along the way and it will most likely consume your life, but this is not something you can be halfway about. Network with other people in the community and just don’t stop working hard. That's the most important part."  — Gratis Minds

"Concern yourself with learning before money. It all takes time and in my experience people who spend their energy challenging themselves to grow, to attempt to push themselves in their discipline, the rest will sort its self out. Obviously don’t be naive, you definitely have to be business minded, but if you are asking people to pay you, you better have something worth paying for. Also, just be true to yourself and never be afraid to learn." — Ziggy Ramo

"Don’t get in the game because of fame or money. Nowadays, music, especially in Australia, has become something that is recognised by real people who love real content. You need to bring something different to the table. Whether it’s in your music, or it’s in your representation." — Iiionic

"Be open, be willing to listen and take some advice. Don't just jump on the next fad or ride the wave, hip hop has always been about creativity practice your craft." — Resin Dogs

what are the Aussie hip hop acts people shouldn't be sleeping on?

"Nerve from Syntax Junkies. He's a dope rapper, doesn't commit to one style and is not afraid to try different beats and genres, also cause he makes some great beats as well so it makes him a double threat."  Resin Dogs

"Chesiko. He is a super talented friend from Perth. Nothing but love for him, a flow like butter and can really saaangg. Mark my words, he is going to get his shine and I look forward to the day it all happens for him!" — Ziggy Ramo
"Aywin! Go and play Bitch Boy on Soundcloud now." — Jesswar
"Our DC brother Z. Lewis, that dude is seriously on his own level!! Actually, the whole team we apart of go hard - Midas.Gold, I AM D, Rari, GALLVS, HARVEY4k, Carmouflage Rose and our brother tomtom." — Gratis Minds

"Travy P. The Australian artist signed to WVS. He makes new wave music and has the best personality which young fans can really relate to. He’s a great guy with great content." — Iiionic

The Second Annual Scenario: The Newstead Hip Hop Festival will take place from 1pm — 1am, Saturday 5 May. Entry is free, head to theGuide for more information.