Introducing Perth rapper Sowdy, who stuns with his new single, Sunshine
The rapper, a one-to-watch amongst the bustling west-coast hip-hop scene, continues on from a string of singles last year.
We've spoken fairly endlessly about the rich talent amongst Perth's hip-hop scene, whether it's those that have been leading the charge for a long time now - Downsyde, Drapht - or those that are ensuring that the next generation is as incredible and diverse as it can be, from Hoodzy - one of our artists to watch in 2020 - right through to names including Arno Faraji, Hyclass and Shadow; three acts that represent three different classes of rap music, but are all united by their slick polish and home town.
The fact is, however, that new people pop up at such a pace that's it hard to lump all the excitement into one place, and an example of one of these names emerging into the spotlight is Sowdy - a Perth-based rapper who proves that there's always talent to be found amongst the underground. Over the last two years, the rising star has become a prevalent force amongst the city's next-generation, sharing full-length mixtapes - his debut, Leonidas, came out in 2018 - amongst singles and work behind-the-scenes with other musicians on the edge of their expansions: YNGRACH, Yung Buddah and the list goes on.
His new track, Sunshine, is one that takes him to the next level. Arriving following a string of singles that dominated Sowdy's year just-gone, Sunshine is a relaxed summer anthem that links Sowdy's quick-firing hip-hop sound with smooth and buttery R&B; an intersection crossing into localised waters after dominating much of hip-hop's continued international glow-up in 2019. That R&B twist - one that really puts the track into its own lane, especially when compared with the rest of Sowdy's discography - is largely thanks to his collaborator Andrea Onamade, someone who themselves is becoming a really exciting new face to Perth's music scene that we can't wait to see grow and evolve in the next few years.
Back to Sowdy, however, and you'll learn that Sunshine is only the beginning for his exciting year ahead. He's got a full album planned, with Shine - a record that hopes to inspire you to "shine and hustle in whatever your respective field is" - expected within the next few months, alongside some more unmissable shows here and there; after catching him dominate our Battle Rats event at the tail-end of last year, we know he has what it takes to be a potential dominating force in Perth's bountiful hip-hop scene.
In the meantime, check out Sunshine below, and better introduce yourself to the rapper-on-the-rise while you're at it:
Tell us about yourself?
I’m Sowdy, Rapper/Producer from Perth City. Music, specifically Hip-Hop is my true passion and has been my entire life. I grew up in a musical household, as my dad owned a record store and was a DJ, whilst my mum was an English teacher. I guess the two go hand in hand in terms of my musicality and lyricism.
The day that sparked my true obsession is one I can remember so vividly. At the time, I was about 5 and was late night shopping with my mum in Perth City and we went into JB Hi-Fi. I’d been listening to In Da Club non-stop on the radio and made my mum buy me Get Rich or Die Tryin’. Best day of my life.
What’s the vibe music-wise?
My music is Hip-Hop through and through, but is definitely influenced and inspired by certain sounds from a wide range of other genres. I like to try and make music that can be loved and appreciated by the younger and older generations. Whether it be the musicality and artistry that pure hip-hop enthusiasts can enjoy, or the flows and cadence the younger generation can tap into.
My music is always evolving and changing, so It’s hard to say what my exact style/themes is. I never like to make the same project twice, so It’s a big goal of mine to reinvent my sound each project, either expanding on my sound or going a completely different direction, whilst maintaining the Sowdy sound. I put a focus on tapping into my own personal experiences, making music people can relate to, learn from and have fun with.
What are your production and writing processes like?
I have a background in drumming from my childhood, so my strengths in terms of production comes from that. I never learned theory, so I go off my ear and what sounds dope to me. I usually begin with finding a sample to chop up or cooking up a melody, then adding bass, drums, percussion and any extra layers or melodic stacks.
I generally free flow in terms of how my vocals come out. Usually, when I make the beat, I have an idea of what the theme or topic of the song will be. I’ll leave the beat I’ve created on loop and just freestyle different flows or melodies, crafting my lyrics around that. If I do end up writing my lyrics, it’s still generally after I’ve freestyled something, re-writing it.
Can you tell us about your new single, Sunshine?
With Sunshine, I wanted to make a smooth summer anthem that is relatable to the Australian (specifically Western Australian) summer experience. I feel that weirdly enough, the idea of making music about the daily experiences we have here is very rarely done.
I had the song finished around October 2019, but felt the track needed something else. I called up Andrea Onamade, my personal favourite vocalist in the city, who previously featured on my single Running Up to add some backup vocals throughout the track. This turned out to be the secret sauce I was seeking for the track and it meshed so effortlessly together.
The single was made to be the final track I drop before I release my album, Shine!. The whole concept of my album is to shine and hustle in whatever your respective field is, to thrive, and show how blessed and talented you are. This also connects with the idea of being a summery, bright and vibrant album, using the shine concept as a double entendre. The vibes are very joyful and upbeat, and is pretty much a celebration of the ups and downs of life. For this particular project, I wanted to craft something that can stand the test of time, and be an album listeners return to every year, rather than wearing thin after a few listens with a single ‘moment’.
Any tour dates coming up?
No tours set in stone as of yet, but you can always catch me performing at local W.A. shows frequently. Myself and a few of my closest collaborators Yngrach and Yung Buddah have had discussions and want to get something in the works, but that’ll be announced later.
What does 2020 have in store for you?
2020 is all about the next chapter in my career, Shine!. I took the backend of 2018 and the whole of 2019 to work on my new sound, making hundreds of songs, only releasing four singles. This year I’ll be releasing my own solo album, music videos, collaborations and much more. It’s gearing up to be big.
The album will be around 12 tracks, written, produced, mixed and mastered top to bottom by myself. Shine! will feature a handful of some of my personal favourite Australian artists. I don’t want to give too much away on the songs, but the whole vibe is very beautiful, soulful, fun and summery.
Where can we find more of your music?
You can find my music on all streaming services. Keep a look out, there’s a lot to come. Run it up!
Follow Sowdy: FACEBOOK