Five Minutes With Remi
We had a chat with Aussie hip hop star ahead of the release of his new record Diva & Demons.
Header image taken by Jacob Collings at GTM 2016.
It's been a busy first half of 2016 for Remi, running around the country on the GTM circuit before heading off on his own headline tour with Man Made Mountain. He had a bit of downtime when the hectic touring schedule wrapped up a couple of weeks ago, so we took the opportunity to chat to the Melbourne based hip hop star about his recent link up with Sampa The Great and impending arrival of his huge new record.
Support Remi, buy For Good feat. Sampa The Great on iTUNES.
Firstly, how did you guys enjoy GTM – any particularly highlight sets or moments?
It was crazy! Cliche as it sounds, every show was pretty special. We got to go to a bunch of places we never thought we'd get to, all the crowds were crazy, the venue organisers and staff were g's. Was a really great few weeks there.
For Good is such a groovy track, how was it working with Sampa The Great?
Was incredible. She's a gem both musically, and spiritually. It's always crazy working with people who immediately get the vibe of what you're trying to do, and have both the skill and forethought to take it to that next level.
You’ve talked about the importance of having a male and female perspective in the song, and now the clip, tell us how that helps convey the narrative of the track?
For me, personally, it helped make it real. A lot of times when talking about these issues they're very one sided and can offer a very biassed point of view, by having both sides of the coin involved it adds that perspective and that reality to the situation. Plus Sampa's great.
You guys have always been known to have a sick stage presence, can you share what you do to prepare yourselves before your live sets? How do you cultivate that energy?
Before this year I would’ve told you nothing really. Sensible J has always been the analyst, planning as much as he could, whereas I used to try and think as little about the show as possible to stay calm and ready for everything. However, this year I wanted to make a shift and plan as much of the show as possible. I wanted to make sure the people were getting everything and more that they could ever want from our performance.
Can you tell us a bit about your partnership with Sensible J - when did you guys first start working together and why do you click so well?
We started working together about six months after I started rapping. We met through his beautiful lady, Jelena, as she was my bff and boss at my old job. We clicked straight away as he’s a well of knowledge, and I was a sponge for hip hop. Since then we just kinda became brothers, when you spend that much time creating with someone it’s a special bond. On top of that we actually mess with each other heavy, which can sometimes be rare between artists. He’s my brother and I’m his.
Your new album Divas & Demons is set to drop later this year, how’s it coming along and what can you tell us about it?
It’s coming along slowly but surely, but I think that's important when you wait two years to release a body of work. Bluntly, the album is about depression/mental health, relationship problems and social observations. Lyrically, it’s a diary of my last year and a half and where my brain's been at. I won’t lie, it’s been hard to feel comfortable releasing something like this, but that's how I know it’s real. Beats wise, I feel like Sensible J has taken it to another level, it’s more musical than Raw x Infinity, and I feel it's definitely a step up from where we’re at. However, in saying all that, the people are the only ones who will be able to tell you what it’s really about and whether it deserves to be played hahaha.
Relatively speaking you’re a bit of an “old hat” when it comes to the Australian hip hop scene - how has it changed over the past five years, and how do you think it sits currently in the Australian music scene overall?
Haha, I dunno about old hat, I’m sure some of the old hats would have something to say about that! But I’ve definitely noticed a change since I’ve been out here. The main one is that I see more diversity then ever, whether it’s in the music, the racial background or religion of new artists coming up. That makes me so excited, because it’s a real representation of Australia. We are not one colour, religion, or genre. We are all. So I feel all should be represented.
What’s coming up once the tour wraps up?
We’ll be playing at Splendour alongside a gang of incredible acts, as well as touring with Seth Sentry and most importantly releasing our album in September. It’s gonna be a fun year.