Five Minutes With The Tongue: "We are in a fully-fledged war with the fun police."
2016 is all about the "hustle", says The Tongue.
Sydney rapper The Tongue could be considered the dark horse of Australia’s rap scene after releasing his latest album Hard Feelings and a decade-spanning career. The album, and his Australia-first 360 degree music video have set the stage for him to take the country by the scruff of the neck in 2016. We had a chat to him about how he plans to grind, work and stand up for what he believes in.
Congrats on a stellar 2015, which culminated in the release of Hard Feelings, what was the year like for you in the build up to that release and then also since it’s been out?
Last year I just zoned in on the creative side of things. I was focused on the music, making sure the album was legitimately my best effort. Now I have to switch into hustle mode; this year it’s about touring and promoting and bringing the record to life. So there will be shows throughout 2016…plus Papertoy and I have already started working on new material.
And extra congrats on the clip for Never Going Down? What spurred you to shoot in 360 video, and what was the process like?
Basically I had a friend who knew how to make a 360 clip and jumped on the opportunity. He handled the technology and I came up with a concept and we shot it in a night. It’s eight films that overlap and all play at the same time, so there were a lot of costume changes and a LOT of murders. Being a clip that the viewer can control makes it pretty unique - the feedback on it has been amazing. People think its witchcraft.
How long have you and Papertoy been doing work together for, and what put you two together initially?
The Hard Feelings album was the first project we’ve ever worked on together. I heard a song he made for my friends Thundamentals (Noodle Soup). I liked his sound and asked him for a beat tape. We instantly became good mates and had a great chemistry in the studio. That’s a sign. He’s in the UK now starting to work with some impressive artists over there. We actually did some recording in London together just last month.
You’ve had a prolific career in the Aussie hip hop scene, what’s it been like watching it grow over the past decade, and where do you feel it sits on the Australian music scene in 2016…where do you see it going?
Artists are making money now and actually living well off the music-business side of things - that wasn’t really the case 10 or 15 years ago. Hermitude sold out the Horden, Hilltop Hoods tour Europe almost every year now, M-Phazes won a Grammy. These are all huge steps that should encourage future generations of artists that hip hop can pay off in Australia; it’s not necessarily a pipe dream if you are willing to work hard.
It seems like there’s a pretty strong new crop of guys coming through, and given your penchant for fostering talent, anyone we should be keeping an ear on?
I really think Remi will deliver some special albums, Omar Musa is dropping a solo record this year. There are two up-coming Sydney rap crews I rate at the moment too: checkout Triple One and Beastside (who are supporting me at the Sydney album launch).
The album was released in November last year and you’re obviously touring it now, what’s the plan once the tour wraps up and moving into the rest of 2016 and beyond?
Good chance of another tour later in the year, new singles, more videos, the usual madness.
You’ll be back in Fremantle this weekend, anything in particular you’re looking forward to with your trip to the West?
The crystal clear waters of WA...I’m all about that morning-after-the-show swim.
Finally, given you are so ingrained in the Sydney music scene it’d be remiss of us not to at least ask about the current lock out laws situation. Being over in the west it’s very much a fish bowl for us, so it’d be great to see what it’s like from someone who knows what’s up?
We are in a fully-fledged war with the fun police. I’m not into curfews or lock outs or anything else that will stop me and the good people of Sydney from having fun. So I guess the old saying is true; you have to fight for your right to party.
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