Mind Over Matter

31 July 2012 | 6:00 am | Rip Nicholson

"A lot of what I’m doing now, I never would have expected to do. I don’t think I can be disappointed whatsoever in what I’ve done to this point because I’ve done everything, and I really think I’ve got an amazing result with this album."

"It's been a long time coming. I can't wait to see it on the shelves,” states an enthusiastic Mead, who has been flat out on the run since the last time we unwrapped a Skryptcha CD. “After Numbers came out I started working on this one straight away. I started sourcing beats and writing. I've put a crazy amount of time into writing and a lot of travel around the world, and I've had a lot of work to do here in Sydney, so it's been pretty damn crazy the past two years. I haven't stopped.”

Inspiration for Mindful was brought on by travelling to where music is at its most vibrant. Always the keen traveller, Mead set off on the creative path of his second album. “I sat down with my booking agent before doing the album and explained to him what I wanted to do with this album. He said, 'Man, you've gotta go to New Orleans. You've gotta go to Memphis.' Without music there is no New Orleans or Memphis. They have such amazing performers and musicians, so I drew a lot of inspiration from those places.”

During his travels, Mead made the point of stopping in at Illmind's Brooklyn, New York studio for what turned out to be an intrinsic working relationship as heard throughout Mindful. “It was crazy man. He's such a nice guy, a pleasure to work with. It's often so hard to put into words what you want and it often sounds so vague. You can end up going around in circles. It's so much easier when you have someone who gets what you mean and is able to deliver on that; it's a massive boost.”

Working with someone whom he considers to be one of the best in the game, Mead felt compelled to really strive above the bar to deliver his best work for the international producer. “I think when you meet someone of that calibre — same goes for the major producers in Australia — you really push yourself and you wanna make sure that you produce work to that standard. And I knew how much of a privilege it was working with this guy. It drove me so much harder to come up with the best stuff I could possibly get out of my head, because I really wanted to do the partnership justice.”

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With Mindful iust released, Mead is preparing to join labelmate Illy for several shows on the Bring It Back Tour with Chasm Soundsystem over August. “We're doing a joint set so that should be great. Me and Illy have been collaborating for so many years now, so it's gonna be good fun to be on stage with him.” Illy joins Mead on My Way Up as they rap about exceeding expectations in their careers now that they're both two albums deep into their catalogues. When asked if he is satisfied with where he is at today, Mead admits that although he has high standards for himself, he's pleased with both his album and career.

“I've been lucky enough to be on a label with some this country's biggest artists and now I'm getting plenty of radio love. A lot of what I'm doing now, I never would have expected to do. I don't think I can be disappointed whatsoever in what I've done to this point because I've done everything, and I really think I've got an amazing result with this album.”