Remi is currently one of Australia’s most interesting and intriguing rappers, from making genre-pushing tunes with Sensible J to his unique delivery and style. We chatted to him ahead of his Groove In The Moo dates and his ‘For Good’ single tour.
You have such a unique delivery and style unlike anything in Australian hip hop to date, did you intentionally set out to break the mold or was it a happy coincidence?
Honestly it’s a happy coincidence. From day one Sensible j and I just wanted to make music we had fun making, and that felt natural to us. I also think that if you stay true to yourself you’re always gonna end up sounding different, because there’s only one you.
Without giving too much away, what can we expect of Divas and Demons?
Divas and Demons is the most introspective and, I guess, emotional body of work we’ve ever done. It deals with a lot of relationship issues I went through in the last months and how those emotions were dealt with. On top that of that there’s a few social observations we thought were important to inject.
Sensible J and yourself are basically a power couple of Australian hip hop, whatever you guys create is always a crowd pleaser, can you tell us about the process you both go through when you create music?
Hahaha that’s very kind of you to say. It’s a pretty basic process to be honest. We spend pretty much every day together working on music, our label House of Beige and just kicking it in general. Whilst that goes on J’s cooking up beats, and I’ll hear one and jump on it, or I’ll have come up with some verses and he’ll have a beat for it. But, especially for this last record, there’s been a lot of after thought put into each song. A lot of tinkering with sonics and editing of lyrics. Hopefully we haven’t over tinkered hahaha we’re pretty happy with how its sounding atm so I guess that’s all that matters.
You’ve played some pretty amazing festivals here and abroad, what are your three essentials for any festival circuit?
1. Sensible J (can’t play the show by myself)
2. Jamesons (get you warmed up)
3. A stack of people ready to get down.
You’ve shared the stage with Danny Brown, Vic Mensa, Joey Bada$$, De La Soul and also lent a hand to Damon Albarn on his Australia tour, do you have any anecdotes from any of these performances, and what was your favourite gig?
That’s a real hard question to answer cause all these gigs were in formative stages of our careers, and each one taught you something new. The one thing I can say about them all is that when you perform with people who are doing that well in a city 24hours from where they live, it inspires you to go as hard as you can.
Sampa The Great’s silky vocals and poetry perfectly accompany your delivery and tone in “For Good” how did this track and collaboration come about?
We met Sampa last year when she was doing an instore performance at Northside records on Smith Street. We’d heard her incredible mixtape prior to meeting her and were blown away. But after her instore it became quiet apparent that this young lady was the chosen one. We bro’d down from there, got cool, then J and i had ‘For Good’ sitting in the studio and new immediately that we’d love Sampa on it. She came through to the House of Beige, wrote and recorded her verse, hook and backups for my verse in about 20-25 then rolled out. Superstar.
Have you always had the musical touch or is it something you discovered, as you got older?
Hahaha I’ve always liked music, but it wasn’t till I met J that it became a real thing, however Js been in and out of bands since he was about 16 and has been making beats for I dunno how long.
If you could collaborate with anyone passed or present whom would it be and why?
At the moment, personally it’d be Jay Electronica. Partly cause he’s so illusive, partially cause he’s probably the best rapper alive but mostly cause i’d love to have a convo about the world with that cat. He’s on some other shit.
Who’re you loving in Australian music at the moment and why?
Man Made Mountain, Hau Latukefu, Sampa, Baro, Silent Jay x Jace XL, Hiatus Kaiyote and pretty much anyone who is making music that is not only original but authentic to who they are. All these cats are making world class music and it sounds like nothing that’s happening anywhere else. So beautiful.
What’re three things you wished you knew when you first started out creating music, for any aspiring musicians out there?
1. Staying true to yourself is the most important element apart from having fun.
2. It doesn’t matter what anybody you know from a past life thinks about your music.
3. You need to work at this shit every day.
You can catch Remi and Sensible J on the ‘For Good’ tour on these dates.
Thursday, 19th May
The Foundry, Brisbane
Friday, 20th May
Newtown Social, Sydney
Saturday, 21st May
Friday, 27th May
Jack Rabbit Slims, Perth
Saturday, 28th May
Fat Controller, Adelaide