Genre-hopping Wollongong native Up Late is back in the fold with a new single ‘DIVA’, justifying why he’s one of the most interesting artists on UNFD’s ever-evolving roster.
Dubbed his most “sinister offering yet” by Up Late himself, the song is a 90-second burst of total carnage, combining abrasive hip-hop, trap, and over-distorted EDM in a mishmash sonic assault on the senses.
A word of warning – the breakdown at the end is pure filth and one of the heaviest we’ve heard this year – from an artist well outside the metalcore mould.
“I often reference my own terrible, and painful moments in Up Late songs,” says the rapper/producer, real name Max Pasalic.
“Even if they sound like they’re a broad reference point, most of the time I can pinpoint horrible moments that I want to express, or get past through writing.
‘DIVA’ is about the contradiction of ‘being your best self. That colloquial ‘Instagram-typecast line’ can be a beautiful sentiment for some, but for the most part (in my opinion) it gives agency and cause to the self-destructive side of your brain.
“‘DIVA’ is about being ‘your best’ and also ‘worst self’ in the internet age, partying to access the smallest sliver of serotonin your brain has left – even if you’re going to feel even worse the next day.”
Pasalic goes on to note the importance of responsibility and knowing your limits, admitting that “I’m conscious that a lot of my teens and early twenties have been spent celebrating, even if there’s nothing to celebrate.”
“That echo chamber that you deserve to be your best self and drink till the early morning becomes a deceptive and contradictory cycle.
“I’m not sober but I know my limits and I like to be in control. I think now I realise you can have a lot more fun partying when you’re sober, and perhaps I have ‘DIVA’ to thank for that.”
The accompanying video is just as intense as the song, with grainy stills and grabs of Pasalic spitting his bars cascading over one another. Check it out below and keep a lookout for his upcoming sophomore EP, teased for release soon.