Premiere: ACT's Kirklandd links up with Mondecreen and Cam Bluff for latest release, RISE
The up-and-comer follows up a series of live shows with anthemic new single.
Some three months after the release of previous single VISIONS, ACT hip hop act Kirklandd has been a busy man, appearing as support for such acts as Dylan Joel, Coda Conduct and Man Made Mountain, as well as treating attendees of the recent FASHFEST to a brilliant headline appearance.
Now, after debuting the track's beginning's at the aforementioned FASHFEST, Kirklandd returns with latest release RISE. Co-written by Tigerilla, Mondecreen and Kirklandd himself, with production from local mega talent Cam Bluff, RISE finds the young artist at his anthemic best, embracing an exquisite vocal contribution from the previously mentioned Mondecreen to explore the extent of his own delicately weighted storytelling talents.
In what may prove to be his breakout effort, Kirklandd continues to set himself apart amidst the busy 'new wave' of Australian hip hop, offering depth, patience and lyrical talents largely unseen in such a way as presented on RISE.
In celebration of the latest release, Pilerats sat down briefly with Kirklandd to explore the origins of RISE, and what's next for the emerging talent towards the end of 2016.
What is the story behind the conception of RISE?
I first worked on the idea for RISE with Cam last October. At the time, I was heavily into Raury’s first album, and the clear religious undertones to some of the songs on that project. I’d been writing verses focusing on faith and infatuation along to the album, and Cam hit me with the pounding drum rolls you hear throughout the beat. Something just clicked. We started forming an absorbing, cinematic instrumental, moulding my flow tightly within the drum rolls and leading the beat with Cam’s emotive piano chords. To build the impact of the beat, we introduced several synths, string sections and even sax, and each of these elements have made for the most diverse instrumental we’ve worked on to date.
What can you tell me about the recording and writing process for this single?
Given the climatic impact of the beat, RISE quickly became a combative narrative against the current state of hip hop. It questions the illusion of fame and the struggle to remain true to any sense of faith if your passion lies with such a path. This culminates in the second verse, where the flow is more attacking and reflective — and the recording side of this was nuts. I have a serious thing about being able to deliver what I record in almost exactly the same way live, so by the final take of the 2nd verse my voice was completely gone (it’s crazy fun rapping it at shows), but I think it’s this precise delivery that hits hardest in the track, and each verse introduces a new flow.
As for the chorus, Tigerilla first wrote an anthemic, choir-sounding hook section, and a few months later Mondecreen rewrote it and the track became what it is now. Kay and I have had a heap of people contribute to the production and vocal sides of the mix, and it feels like these 11 months of steady development of the track has seen it reach a really unique and exciting final version.
Finally, what would you say is your vision for RISE and its release?
I think RISE is going to hit people in an unexpected way. I’ve slowly been working towards a style of hip hop that draws in listeners from so many different corners of genre – this track, for example, is as much to me a hip hop track as it is soul, but it manages to combine the elements of each genre in a flowing yet unpredictable way. RISE is the best offering of my intention to return to the sound of hip hop’s golden era (hence the Jarobi line), but attempting so in a unique and genre-bending way that hasn’t been seen yet. That’s what Cam and I are working towards with the EP, and RISE gives you the best taste of the direction we’re taking with the project, and the unique identity of each single on it... and we have a few more ready and waiting for when we take RISE on the road in December.