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INTERVIEW: Spit Syndicate Talk Come Together 2016 & Who They Think The Next Big Hip-Hop Star Is

Written by Zanda Wilson on May 25, 2016

Aria-nominated hip-hop duo Spit Syndicate are getting back to basics. After spending much of the past couple of years recording and playing shows as supergroup One Day alongside Horrorshow, Joyride and Jackie Onassis, Nick Lupi and Jimmy Nice have just released their first new music as Spit Syndicate since 2013. With a headlining tour including an appearance at Sydney hip hop festival Come Together coming up, they’ve also got an album in the works.

“The album itself is coming along really well, and it’s really not that far off being done,” says Lupi. “We just have to work out what’s going to be the best way to put it out. We’re currently in the situation where we’re between managers and between record labels – which is both exciting and also throws things up in the air as far as release schedules go. The most important thing for us is to get the record sounding as amazing as we feel it can be and the other stuff slots in after that.”

Although on the surface, Lupi and his partner in crime Nice have been pretty much exclusively doing work as One Day, that doesn’t mean that Spit Syndicate has necessarily been entirely on the back burner. “Well we’ve been recording and working as Spit Syndicate while the One Day thing has been going on in the foreground,” Lupi reveals.

As a result, their latest single Know Better and the announcement of their upcoming tour doesn’t feel as much like a return for the duo as it might appear. Nonetheless Lupi is enthusiastic about this year; “It’s really exciting, anyone that makes music will tell you that you spend so long slaving away at it and crafting it behind the scenes that while it can be a little be nerve-wracking showing it to the world, that showing it off is the reason you work so hard on it. So it’s been a really exciting time for us.”

Although working as One Day came naturally to Lupi and Nice, it was still a learning curve. “We’ve certainly learned that it’s much easier making decisions with two people than it is with seven,” laughs Lupi. “But me and Jimmy have pretty strong opinions so sometimes there is a robust exchange of ideas that takes place. Mainly just the confidence in ourselves and what we do came from that One Day album, and we’re just trying to keep it rolling.”

Like a lot of hip hop acts, Spit Syndicate are fairly outspoken when it comes to the state of hip hop in Australia. Lupi sees Come Together as a vital part of the scene, and unlike those who see Aussie hip hop as a genre that’s emerging out of a period of struggle, he instead contests that the quality of work is as high as it’s ever been. “The festival market is quite soft at the moment and many festivals are going under,” he says. “So it isn’t the easiest time to be putting on festivals in Australia”.

“For hip hop it [Come Together] is an important moment because it shows hip hop fans that there’s an event exclusively for them. It’s a place where hip hop music can be celebrated and enjoyed, and what a crazy location as well right on the harbour with the bridge. It’s always a really big day and people look forward to it – artists and fans alike.

“I think Australian hip hop is in a fantastic place. I think it’s important to separate international touring and the output of artists in Australia because the last few years have been an exciting time for Australian hip hop, mainly because the quality of work that’s being released has improved drastically but it’s also a lot more diverse. Different voices are being heard that maybe didn’t get that much of a voice a few years back. The hip hop music that’s being release is a more accurate reflection of Australia, which is diverse. The future is looking incredibly bright for Australian hip hop.”

When asked about whom he thinks some of the key names of hip hop in Australia are at the moment, Lupi effortlessly rattles off names. “From your well established acts you’ve got people like Seth (Sentry) and Remi and Drapht, and Thundamentals – who are really pushing it. I think in terms of up-and-comers people like Baro are starting to push it. Sampa The Great is an incredible talent and it’s great to hear artists being themselves and expressing themselves and being confident in telling their own story.”

For Spit Syndicate, the upcoming shows will provide the first chance in a fair to play brand new music to fans and gage their reaction in almost three years. “Yeah, it’s always a great way of road testing songs,” agrees Lupi. “This tour for us is going to be pretty special because we are enhancing our show, adding live instrumentation, making sure that the show is incredible. You put so much effort into making sure the songs sound good on the record, so for us it’s really important that it translates live and we really get to do justice to these songs that we’ve worked so hard on.”

Spit Syndicate play Come Together in a couple of weeks, as well as their own 2016 headline tour. Grab all the deets below!

Come Together 2016 Lineup
Tickets on sale now

Dylan Joel
TUKA
Drapht
Allday
Spit Syndicate
Gill Bates
Mallrat
Manu Crook$ – triple j Unearthed Winner

Saturday, 11th June
Big Top, Luna Park, Sydney
Tickets: Come Together

Spit Syndicate Know Better Tour

Thursday, 9th June

Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane
Tickets: Spit Syndicate

Friday, 10th June
Shebeen, Melbourne
Tickets: Spit Syndicate

Saturday, 11th June
Come Together Festival, Sydney
Tickets: Come Together

Friday, 17th June
Rocket Bar, Adelaide
Tickets: Spit Syndicate

Saturday, 18th June

Mojo’s, Fremantle
Tickets: Spit Syndicate

Saturday, 25th June
River Inn, Thredbo
Tickets: Spit Syndicate

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