Sydney MC, Chance Waters ditched his Phatchance moniker last year and is excited to show off his new style at Live It Up.
“I've never done an under-18s show in Brisbane before so that will be really great, it'll be nice to meet and connect with younger audiences,” Chance says. “I don't think there are enough opportunities for younger people to go and see music from bands that aren't absolutely massive.
“I think festivals like [Live It Up] are a really great initiative and are making a new niche and new opportunities for kids — young people are more passionate about music than older people so it's nice for them to get the opportunity to go and see it.”
Chance is also looking forward to playing on such a varied bill, alongside hardcore rockers The Amity Affliction, and electro-dance party band Pigeon.
“I think they're going half harder/ half hip hop selection, and I think that'll actually work. I don't know if they’re doing a one-stage or two-stage setup so that'll be the interesting part but I think it'll be great. There's more cross-combination of music styles now, particularly in the younger kids, than there used to be so I'm sure it'll be an awesome day.”
Headed north for Live It Up, Chance will also return in May for the Caxton Street Seafood festival. And the Sydney emcee says audiences at both events can expect an energetic set.
“There’ll be a full live band, we're doing banjo, I whip out the iPad at one point, I've got vocal effects, we'll have bass and guitar, keyboards and stuff. It should be a fun show; we like to mess around with it … maybe a Nintendo controller to rig up to some samples.”
Chance’s second full-length album, ‘Infinity’, was released last year and represents a change in musical direction for the young emcee.
“With 'Inkstains',” he says, “that record was very much a personal snapshot of my life and I don't think I went outside myself very much on that album at all, so stepping into this one I definitely knew I wanted to make something that was a bit more external and a bit more relatable to people.”
For ‘Infinity’, Chance has drawn upon his own personal beliefs to create at times humorous social commentary such as his single ‘Maybe Tomorrow’, which jokes about the end of the world.
“Well, I'm a bit of an agnostic but I guess I'm really into existential ideas and I'm really into broad social patterns, anthropology and the things that make humans tick so I like to work those bigger things in,” he says.
‘Infinity’ also sees a change in production style, with Chance almost exclusively employing the services of renowned hip hop producer, One Above.
“One of the big factors in the change of production sound was that I started working very closely with One Above; he produced 10 of the 12 songs on the record,” he says. “He has been changing a lot in regards to his production so we just grew together and the beats that he was selecting for me and the stuff I was choosing was all a bit different, not 'typical' hip hop.”
The change has also been influenced by other musical projects Chance has worked on in the past few years.
“I worked on an acoustic project between ‘Inkstains’ (2009), which was my release under Phatchance, and this album ['Infinity'],” he explains. “I think working with the musicians on that I developed a bunch of people I go to for stuff and my sound changed in that period. So by the time it came to work on this album I was much more used to getting more musicians through the studio and working with stuff that wasn't typically hip hop, and I think that stuff has carried over.”
Since his debut as Phatchance in 2003, Chance has seen the Australian hip hop scene change and evolve almost as much as his musical style.
“The first battles I was in were around 2003 and at that point it was still really a homespun genre,” he says. “When you'd go to gigs you'd know everyone there, you'd know all the performers. There were really only two or three acts of any large-scale notoriety and an act of my level back then, in terms of the ‘food chain’, would have had no hope touring … it was just a totally different scene.
“That's opened up though,” he adds, “particularly in the past year or two, I think things have started to change; there are a lot of people going in different directions and that's good … a bit of diversity never hurt.”
Chance Waters plays Live It Up Festival at the RNA Showgrounds Saturday April 13. He returns for the Caxton Street Seafood Festival Sunday May 5.