Premiere: Meet Perth rapper Muka Vhatti, who finds his lane with new single, $he
The single - which features Dante Knows and Dolorres, and was produced by Tasker - sees the Perth rapper become one to watch.
Perth's hip-hop world gains an exciting new force on a near-weekly basis, and this week is seemingly no different. Introducing Muka Vhatti, a rising Zimbwawe-born rapper who over the last twelve months, has emerged as an exciting, up-and-coming addition to Australia's rap world worth paying attention to, building himself a small-yet-solid discography with tracks - such as March's break-out single Grey - offering a glimpse as to what the future of Australian hip-hop has to offer (let alone specifically that of the west coast).
In many ways, it feels like everything is coming up for the rising star. After refining his sound and furthering his skillset with every release he's put out (and those that haven't seen the light of day just yet), Muka Vhatti has taken a step up in recent months; Grey - the aforementioned single that quickly caught people's attention - capturing his charm in a way that made many fall in love with him, from Arno Faraji (who enlisted him as a support act for his Australian tour) and triple j Unearthed, who quickly pegged him as one to watch.
Now, with a new single premiering today, it's clear Muka Vhatti is the future. Premiering on Pilerats today ahead of its official release on Friday, $he is a cross-country collaborator that doesn't just highlight Muka Vhatti's strengths so early on in his career, but also lets him share the light with others also there; the track seeing Muka enlist his first collaborators in Sydney-via-New York rapper Dante Knows and Melbourne genre-bender Dolorres, while Sydney producer and all-around legend Tasker jumps on in the production chair, adding his Midas touch to the next generation.
$he is a change of pace for Muka Vhatti that really emphasises the versatility and experimental creativeness of hip-hop's generation; Tasker's airy, snapping production emphasising the trading verses on top that together, give the single this warped and distorted, almost-dystopian-type sound that you'd expect from someone like Earl Sweatshirt, or even some of Tyler The Creator's earlier, gritty work. $he is different though; distinctly a sound Muka Vhatti is carving as his own, separate to those he may be compared against throughout his rise.
"$he is a vibe about how a girl I was seeing who started acting funny because of the attention I’ve started to get from other people since my music started popping," he says on the single, which arrives ahead of a debut EP expected later this year that's sure to dive further into Muka Vhatti's wide-ranging and unique sound. "I wanted to get Danté and DoloRRes involved because I felt the themes of track were probably relatable to all of us coming up in this industry, and the way in which fame impacts upon the relationships we have with people in our lives."
It's an incredibly exciting track and with the world quickly becoming Muka Vhatti's oyster, take a dive into it below, and better introduce yourself to the rapper behind it:
Tell us about yourself?
The kid that’s next up is straight out of the 6 (Perth w.a). I was born in Zimbabwe and a lot of who I am was established in those few years growing up in Africa. I came over to Australia in 2005 with my parents, brother and sister. I was 6 at the time.
Music was a great part of my upbringing; I remember the long road trips with the family and listening to my dad’s music. I have always loved music but sadly growing up I was never praised for my singing voice as it’s not the usual beautiful sounding voice you hear, but as I got older, I figured out a unique voice can be just as great.
What’s the ‘vibe’ music-wise?
My music is pretty influenced by everything happening in contemporary hip-hop at the moment and I try to incorporate a bit of psychedelic influence but I don’t have one set genre I listen to; I just like anything I vibe with.
Funnily enough hip hop wasn’t the first genre I started vibing with either; I’ve got a love for indie folk and I’m big fan of The Lumineers which everyone is always stunned by. Chance the Rapper is one of the first hip hop artists I actually became a fan of. After listening to Acid Rap I was hooked, I normally don’t listen to full projects from artists but I actually found that project to be intriguing and listened to all of it from start to finish over and over because it was just a masterpiece.
Since I’ve started making music at an early age I’ve found myself integrating the sounds of these early influences and that of contemporary hip hop pioneers to find my own sound and voice which I’ve ordained Ocean TTrap: raw and honest music exploring themes of lifestyle, relationships and addiction.
What are your production and writing processes usually like?
My production when I’m creating is; I’ll listen to multiple beats until I hear something that like and go from there. Sometimes I listen to a beat and let it be for a few months before I sauce out my creativity and freestyle to it. That’s what it was like with my recent song Grey, I had been sitting on that beat for months till it hit me one day and I went in on it. Another fun fact is I couldn’t write at all back in primary school when I first tried writing, not a single bar, I actually remember asking my sister to write me lyrics but as I was growing up and started to experience life and relationships, writing started to come freely to me and now it is quite a natural process.
Can you tell us about your new single, $he?
$he is different to anything I’ve dropped so far; I won’t lie I’m very nervous about this one but very excited and cannot wait for it to drop. I don’t want to be boxed into one category so I’m trying to be as versatile as I can be when it comes to my music. I was in the studio in Sydney with Tasker, who produced the beat and we had a couple of great ideas and when I heard the synth on this one, I knew we had a vibe!
At the time I was seeing this girl from Melbourne who started acting funny because of the attention from music. I wanted to get Danté and Dolorres involved because I felt the themes of track were probably relatable to all of us coming up in this industry, and the way in which fame impacts upon the relationships we have with people in our lives.
What does 2020 have in store for you?
2020 was going to be a masterpiece but Covid-19 changed a lot of that. All my plans got pushed back but it’s cool, we will still prosper. I’ve got my debut tape dropping after the next single called Nyaya, that single is going to be wild because I got to work with my very talented mate Arno Faraji. Most people in my city know I have been hyping up the B4 TThe Wave tape for years, it’s gonna be a rager. I’m also in the final stages of dropping my Ocean TTrap brand and I have got some clothes on the way.
What do you want people to take away from the project?
I want people to see that I’ve have got vibes on vibes, and I am here to stay. The sky is the limit. I don’t have one sound; I am versatile and this is Ocean TTrap.
Where can we find more of your music?
You can find my music on all streaming platforms but if you want to hear some rare Vhatti vibes slide through to my Soundcloud for tracks that are raw and fun.