Rowan Lockyer, also known as MC Willow – one half of Sydney hip-hop duo Mind Over Matter – has announced his departure from the act after a decade making music alongside partner Martin Brown, aka Smiles Again, citing “personality and creative differences”.
“I’d have to put my decision to leave the group down to personality and creative differences,” writes Lockyer on his Facebook page. “For example, being told by Smiles and our manager Luke that I would have to cut down on my spiritual/political content because they believe the majority can’t relate.”
“That sort of thing goes against everything that I stand for and I simply can’t resonate with people on that wavelength,” he adds. Brown also made a statement on the group’s Facebook page, confirming Willow had left but refuting the claim that he and their manager Luke attempted to stifle his spiritual/political content.
“I will say neither myself or our manager has pressured him away from any ‘spiritual lyrics’ that he wanted to write, in fact as many of you know our manager Luke is a spiritual man himself and supported his journey,” writes Brown.
“Unfortunately recently there has been a lot going on in Willows life, and both our manager and myself have been trying to get him through it for years, however ultimately he decided to take a step away from the crew and we will support him with that decision.”
It’s been a long journey for Mind Over Matter, who first caught the attention of the Aussie hip-hop world back in 2006 with the release of their debut mixtape, For Our Hip Hoppers. Since then, the pair have evolved into a dynamic rap force who unveiled their third studio album, This Way to Elsewhere earlier this year.
Both posts ended with the artist wishing each other the best in their future endeavours. Lockyer also asserted that he is going to be releasing solo music under the name Willow, while Brown shared an unmixed demo of a brand new Mind Over Matter track that he and DJ Ntaprize are working on.
“Mind Over Matter have a lot planned for 2015, can’t wait to ride the journey with you all,” he wrote. See the track and the two Facebook posts below.
Listen: Mind Over Matter – Don’t You Blame Me (UNMIXED DEMO)