Melbourne emcee Seth Sentry is known as one of the best storytellers on the Australian hip-hop scene, with hits like ‘Float Away’, ‘Dear Science’ and ‘The Waitress Song’ all sitting safely under his belt. His new single released late last year, ‘Run’, stays true to his colourful and relatable writing style, garnering approval from critics and fans alike. He is looking to make 2015 his own after securing executive producer Styles to produce every track on the new album, as well as remixing his old material and thus revamping the live show. After making a guest appearance with the Hilltop Hoods at Beat the Drum last month, Sentry is making a return to the tour circuit to promote his newest single.
He had a highly entertaining chat with us about his new album, reworked live show and wanting to be part of a rap crew.
Been a bit of time between drinks for you, are you able to put a deadline on a new record? A name?
I’m not really into deadlines, but I will say it is definitely happening this year. I have been working 12 hours a day, seven days a week on it. I haven’t put a name on it yet, that’s something that comes last.
Have you felt like you’ve been under pressure to work on new material, or have you been just taking it as it comes?
With the previous album, I thought I would get straight back into the studio and punch out the next one, but I got a heap of mileage out of the last record. This one has been a bit stressful because the writing needed to come together quickly.
I don’t write on the road, but I’m always writing lines… song concept ideas. A list of words that sound cool. Then I take myself away on writing trips, and flesh it out.
I see you’ve got Styles on board with production, are you hearing much of a departure from ‘This Was Tomorrow’, or is he evolving your sound?
It’s been fucking awesome, it’s been the first time I’ve had an executive producer. Last time I was the producer and I didn’t know what the fuck I was doing. I was just using different joints, and it didn’t sound cohesive. Now I feel like I’m part of a super experienced team effort.
I’ve always jealous of guys like Hilltop Hoods and Thundamentals [for being] in a rap crew, and with the addition of Styles to my team it feels like I’m part of a crew.
He produced the new one, ‘Run’, and is doing every song on the new record. He also did ‘Float Away’ on the last record.
I’d say you’re known for your colourful narratives, how is that aspect of the new gear sounding?
First time I get a beat, I hear a story or an idea, and then I go away and I scrutinise that. I need a beginning, I need a middle and I need an end. It’s the only way I know how to write.
Every song on the album has a narrative, even it is just a small one. I’m jealous of guys like Kanye where the verse has nothing to do with the chorus. I do wish I could do that.
You make a point of not talking about rap life in your music, why is that?
It just bores me, it’s like work talk. There’s more interesting things to talk about. If they want to hear about rap life, they can listen to any other rapper. Any serious themes I do talk about are always hidden within my writing, like death. I don’t want to preach at people.
Any sneaky collaborations we could expect for the new project?
I’m working with other rappers on their own projects. But, so far, I’ve don’t have any features on the new record. I think its because there’s never a verse missing. It’s weird, I didn’t have anyone either on the last record. When I write a song, it has such a strong idea, I feel like I’d be forcing them what to say so I just avoid it.
I was interested to see you’ve revamped the live show by remixing your older material. How’s that sounding?
I’m yet to hear it, but DJ Sizzle assures me that it’s fucking slamming. I’ve got beats in my set from seven or eight years ago, and they don’t compare to my new stuff. It was hard for the sound guy and it was hard for us on stage. It’s gonna be mixed to a level that’s consistent, which is really exciting.
Can the masses expect a lot of new material at these gigs?
Yeah, we’ll be playing ‘Run’, but I’ll be trying out some other new stuff, and seeing how it goes down.
Seth Sentry ‘Run’ National Tour
Head here for tickets.
Friday, 20th February 2015
The Hi-Fi, Brisbane
Saturday, 21st February 2015
Saturday, 28th February 2015
The Republic, Hobart
Saturday, 7th March 2015 – SOLD OUT
The Hi-Fi, Melbourne
Sunday, 8th March 2015
The Hi-Fi, Melbourne
Thursday, 12th March 2015
The Cambridge, Newcastle
Friday, 13th March 2015
Metro Theatre, Sydney (All Ages)
Saturday, 14th March 2015
ANU Bar, Canberra
Thursday, 19th March 2015
Prince Of Wales, Bunbury