Interview: The Tongue – Chasing The Australian Dream

The Tongue is closing in on putting out his latest LP Surrender To Victory, due out this Good Friday, 29th March. With Surrender To Victory, The Tongue, real name Xannon Shirley, has attempted to tackle the many issues facing Australian society from a more positive, solution-finding angle.

A card carrying member of Elefant Traks, The Tongue has a vital, although at times unsung, part of the growth of Australian hip hop for around a decade. In his endeavour to forge his own sound, Xannon has at times found himself at odds with the more radio-ready formula of some of his peers.

“It’s really hard in this country. There’s only one outlet, really. If you’re starting out making hip hop or even if you’re where I’m at, the only way to get that initial exposure nationally is through triple j … Music directors, they’re only human so they’re going to pick the things that they like.

“So therefore if there was another national radio station they might have a different taste. So I think it’s kind of natural that there’s a certain formula. But I think it’s also important that artists always go against that, if they can.”

The Tongue

  • New track Rhymin’ (Unplugged At Music Feeds Studio)
  • Meaning behind album title Surrender To Victory
  • Getting together the special guests
  • Avoiding the Aus hip hop radio formula
  • New Track Top Score dealing with ‘Keyboard Warriors’
  • Concept of new track Australian Dreaming

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