Shire folk are a strange breed. Their fierce nationalism, fear of the unknown and dogged resistance to traveling anywhere ‘over the bridge’ doesn’t really bode well for the development of original hip hop in the area.
Oatley MC Skryptcha seems to be an exception. He’s just finished recording his debut EP Left to Write with beat master and uber-producer Chasm. I ask him how it all went.
“It was dope man. From the start I was comfortable. That’s really important for me, to feel comfortable with the person you’re working with and really have a good relationship outside of the music.”
Skryptcha had attempted to get things off the ground before, having “tried a few other relationships with producers in the past that just didn’t work. I just didn’t get a good vibe but the second we met he was really chilled out and really supportive and helped me so much in the process of putting together a release.”
That experience and the willingness to share it is something Skryptcha sees as important to the Australian hip hop scene. “It’s because we’re so underground” he explains. Without support from contemporaries in the scene “we’re not really much.”
“Hip hop in Australia at the moment doesn’t really have too much commercial backing. Even the biggest artists largely are signed to independent labels.”
At only twenty two years old, the MC has already been working on his music for six years. But he “kind of wanted to wait a bit, you know, I could have put out a release years ago but I really wanted to wait till I had something to say.”
The last few years have had their fair share of ups and downs for the developing artist, “I’ve had a lot go down in my life,” and he’s drawn on that as inspiration for his EP so he’d “have something to talk about rather than just battle raps or something.”
This notion of experience, and finding himself, “breaking out of the shadows” has infiltrated the release, becoming somewhat of a theme. “I think it was really that sort of break through feeling. Kind of just finding yourself and being at peace.”
Having signed to Obese records, Skryptcha is grateful for his new found popularity, but isn’t letting it get in the way of his aspirations. “It’s good to be a part of it at the age I am but at the same time I’m not complacent with anything. I’ve got my eyes on the next step every day, just getting ready to make the next move.”
He might still be coming to terms with his status, but draws support from others on the Obese roster. “It’s a good feeling to have that recognition from big experienced dudes like Pegz, that they really see a future in you.”
It’s a validation, and an assurance that he’s going to be scrutinised for his talent and ability. “It’s good to have that opportunity and know that people are gonna hear your music and it’s not just gonna be swept to the side. The feeling that people are digging what you’re doing is great.”
Not one to rest on his laurels, Skryptcha is already starting work in his debut full length LP which he hopes to release in early 2010. His success with Chasm has prompted the MC to start “networking with a lot of different producers. I’m gonna be using a range of producers on the next release, probably about four or five.”
Aside from “working hard with the beats and starting to write” he’s been doing as many shows as possible, just last week performing at the Loft Bar with the BingeThinkers for their twelve inch launch.
There’s a little mini Obese tour coming up, but the bandwagon won’t be heading to Sydney any time soon.
“Sydney is a bit busy at the moment. There are a lot of big acts coming through so I think Obese is steering clear until the end of the year when we’re gonna do the full Blockparty Tour.”
Photo by Bindi Cole