Grey Ghost is not your normal rap/hip hop artist. What can only be described as a hybrid child of indie-hip hop and electro-rock is his musical genre, and it is impressively unique. With an album, mix-tape and music videos currently in the works, 2012 is set to be the biggest year of his life.
Fresh off a tour with 360 and straight onto a plane to the United States, he has been recording new material for his début solo album. Jetting back to Sydney for a one-off show this weekend, Grey Ghost will be dropping his new tracks, amongst his single Space Ambassador, which has literally taken off on the underground hip hop scene of Australia. We caught up with the man himself.
MF: What are your main issues with the rap scene in Australia?
GG: I’m mainly excited by the Australian rap scene at the moment. I think it feels like what the 90s would have felt like for hip hop in the States. A Golden Era of sorts. Hip hop’s been alive long enough in Australia now to split off into a bunch of awesome sub-sub cultures.
MF: You’ve just come off the back of supporting 360 in his Australian tour; are there any plans for a tour yourself? Or just some more recording?
GG: Many many many plans! I just looked over a 6-month plan this morning actually, and it looks HECTIC! I’m recording my debut album part here and part in NYC; we’ll be producing a bunch of film clips over the next few months, recording and releasing my mixtape (made up of all non-rap beats, i.e. loops from bands like Talking Heads, The Cure, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Kasabian, etc etc). And, of course, I’ll be gigging and developing the live show constantly.
MF: What would you say is the biggest turning point in your life?
GG: I’d say the moment I met my wifey-to-be. I’m a big love-head so that’s the most important thing to me. And that inspires me to make my art.
MF: Now your genre isn’t restricted to one style of music in itself, you sort of combine an indie-electro backing track, which in itself would sell albums, and lay these epic lyrics over the top; how would you describe what you do?
GG: I’ve been calling it post-rap, mainly because I’m most inspired by the post-punk era, which in itself was a turning point from punk. I feel like I’m trying to be that turning point for rap. Although, it’s already happening around the world, so I also feel a part of a movement, which is cool ~ maybe we should gather together in a cafe in Germany and write a manifesto over some strong cups of coffee.
MF: Your single Space Ambassador has been likened to acts such as Miike Snow; how does that make you feel?
GG: Funnily enough, I’ve been meaning to sit down with some Miike Snow records; I’ve only heard random tracks here and there. From what I’ve heard, they sound really beautiful, so I’m happy with comparison. Also, I’ve heard they kill it live so hopefully we get that comparison with my live show.
MF: If you could go up against any artists from any time in a 1v1 rap battle, who would it be and why?
GG: Probably Vanilla Ice, so I’d win.
MF: Are you preferring life as a solo artists? Or do you miss life in The Melodics?
GG: I learnt so so much in The Melodics and I loved the experience and the songs and the boys in the band. But yes I’m MUCH prefering life as a solo artist. That said – it’s the experience I had in that band that brought me to this, so I’m very thankful to The Melodics. It just feels like the perfect time now as a solo artist and I feel like I’ve found what I want to do, end of story.
MF: The question that everyone is asking: when is your next release?
GG: Can’t tell you exactly when, but it’ll be some film clips and then the mixtape, which I’m pumped about – got some great tracks comin’ along with some killer feature artists, then the album later in the year.
Grey Ghost plays Upstairs Beresford this Friday 27th January