If you’re all ears to Australian hip-hop, there a three words that may resonate with you. Old. School. Futuristic. Marking his biggest year so far in 2014, Byron Bay local Peezo released his Old School Futuristic, delivering a soulful and unapologetic EP that packed vibes and authenticity. With executive producer Cam Bluff (Hilltop Hoods, Illy, Allday) guiding the EP, Peezo saw success on tour, online and in review. Whetting the appetites for hip-hop and indie fans alike, we talked with Peezo about his stance on the industry and his direction for 2015.
Q. Collaborating with big names like Allday and producer Cam Bluff, what’s been the most exciting thing to come out of ‘Old School Futuristic’ and the more recent single ‘Here Now’ ft. Cultra?
The most exciting thing to come out of Old School Futuristic (OSF) is just to see the vision develop into reality. I got reminded that last night when my friend Cam called from Canada and was just saying things like, ‘you’ve come so far with this series – when I’m back we have to get in and really finish strong.’
Q. Have their been any standout shows or situations that have happened when performing live at a venue space?
Just every time anybody comes out and sings my words back at me. It’s pretty unbelievable because they’ve obviously spent a lot of time listening to my stuff, especially if they can rap it back to me.
Q. Your track ‘Here Now’ ft. Cultra is infectious and has a new video in the pipes. What were your inspirations for the video?
My inspiration for that video was just culture and fun. I love artists like Kaws and I just wanted to bring that kind of a vibe to it whilst keeping it fresh and new.
Q. The title of your latest EP ‘Old School Futuristic’ is a great way of describing your sound and your mentioned inspirations. How do adapt their sound and make it your own?
Thank you, I just study ‘the greats’ and try to do things they way they may have. However, I can never pull it off exactly, of course, I can only be myself. It also helps working with such talented musicians. Being inspired by culture and art just makes me want to affect those worlds and keeps me ready to create.
Q. Australian hip-hop is often pigeonholed and sold a certain way, with artists like Allday, Baro and Illy trying to pull away from those sonic restraints. Have you ever felt limited by being a rapper from Byron Bay, Australia?
Not really, I always felt like it was a good thing because I was less pigeonholed than maybe being from an area where there is a certain aesthetic behind the music that is being made there.
Q. Do you consider yourself an artist pushing the genre and the boundaries of Australian hip-hop? What’s your view on the genre?
Maybe, but not really, I just consider myself as a guy who’s trying to make dope art and gain the respect of people for who I am and what I do. When other bands come out and are just good at what they do, there is never that much talk of the genre – they are just accepted because they are good. I make rap because I love hip hop and it’s what I know. How to do it, obviously, I’m improving, so I’m always just trying to push my own boundaries and limits.
Q. There’s a lot of soul and lounge vibes in ‘Old School Futuristic’, were there any standout inspirations when writing the EP?
When I made the first OSF I was listening to a lot of Dom Kennedy, The Weeknd, Hall & Oates , Lil Wayne and Marvin Gaye. Those were my main inspirations, as well as designers like Nigo and all things street related. One of my favourite things I look to for creative inspiration is just walking around in a good outfit and feeling good (haha).
Q. Favorite songs or music videos right now?
Right now I’m fucking with PartyNextDoor, ASAP Rocky, Travis Scott, old NAS and Riff Raff – he’s dope. Music video wise I find myself always watching classic rap videos like ‘2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted‘ by Snoop Dogg and 2Pac.
Q. What does 2015 have in store for you?
This year there will be a lot more music and converting of the non-believers onto Team Peezo! (Hopefully)