"I rap, I sing, and I say what's on my mind," - Rob Delirious talks new music and Tone Youth
We catch up with the Perth MC who teases a big year for himself and the Tone Youth collective.
Words by Jackson Lavell-Lee.
Rob Delirious is a Perth-based hip hop artist and part of the Tone Youth Music & Arts collective. His inspirations range from Charlie Parker and John Coltrane to J. Cole, and his vocal range is something similar. His new track Aliens had crowds up and about at Perth edition of the One Day Block Party, where he and fellow ToneYouth rapper S.O.X. went hard on new tracks produced by One Day favourite and fellow Tone Youth member Jimmy Drones. Aliens is a trap, R&B slow jam addressing the issues of unrequited love and modern day break ups, that bounce back and forward like the beat. Off the back of his new single, out this week, we had a chance to sit down with Rob in the bustling cultural centre of Northbridge to chat about his experience in the local rap game and a little bit of beef.
Yo man, thanks for taking the time to chill out. How long have you been on the local hip hop scene and who has been your biggest inspiration out of the local acts that you’ve seen?
No worries at all man, anytime. I've been releasing tunes out to the cyber-space-world for about six years, and have been playing shows for about the same amount of time. When it comes to local inspirations, I'm always going to be looking at people like Ta-Ku, Tame Impala, and HWLS. For other people in the local scene that inspire me to be better, I'm looking at people like S.O.X, OliThaGod, Chu, Gravy; they all have their own unique vibes.
What was the creative process behind Aliens?
Honestly man, I’m reflecting on someone that was almost perfect for me, but due to my own selfish decisions that chapter of my life had to be closed. The track is me coming to terms with that and realising I fucked up.
Your track The Lights - an ode to Perth that was produced by Cam Bluff, an ARIA-Award winning producer who has made beats for Hilltop Hoods, Illy, 360, Seth Sentry, and Allday - got a bit of love. How did that come about?
I slid into his DMs and he was digging the sounds, and we just went back and forth until we found the right sound for me. The result was The Lights. I might have to hit him up for another banger soon.
I understand that you’ve had a bit of beef with another Perth rapper lately, can you tell us about that and what that meant to you? What did the song mean?
Everybody has their own opinions, and their own take on a situation. I rap, I sing, and I say what's on my mind. Other people rap, and say what's on their mind.
You move towards more of a melodic sound with your voice in Aliens, which is different to your previous stuff. How long have you been singing?
I've always messed around with my singing. I would say that I like to blend rap and singing and make it melodic, to the point where you can't tell where one starts and the other ends. I used to play tenor saxophone, and sing old jazz standards like Frank Sinatra tunes when I was a youngen.
For all the aspiring hip hop heads out there, how often do you write lyrics and when do you feel that you’re comfortable with releasing a song?
To an extent, I'm writing all the time. I could be driving in the car and come up with a crazy idea, so I'll write it in my iPhone Notes or sing to sound memos to write it out later, always changing it up depending on the situation. After I’ve recorded and mastered a track I try not to emotionally connect too much with it, because if I listen to it too much, I'll end up hating it. So yeah, I'm comfortable now to release a track when it's been mixed and mastered.
Have you and the Tone Youth boys got any more gigs/releases we can look out for?
Indeed man! S.O.X just dropped a new banger on his Facebook page called 4 Da Squad, and look out for a Tone Youth collaboration, with production handled by Jimmy Drones. I've got a larger project in the works, so stay tuned.
Follow Tone Youth on FACEBOOK to stay up to date with all their forthcoming shows and releases.
Follow Rob Delirious: FACEBOOK / SOUNDCLOUD