Verbill is a talented Brisbane MC doing things the independent way. With his self-titled debut EP released in December, and lauded as one of the best local hip hop EPs of 2012, a quick stint travelling overseas sees Verbill back on his home-turf for a night of EP launches, kicks and snares.
“Raven and Myk approached me about doing a dual launch with them in Melbourne and Brisbane and I was all for it. I am looking forward to it because not only do I get to put on my own show, but I get to witness theirs. Raven and Myk are some of Melbourne’s dopest MCs, and DJ Discourse is a very talented dude. There’s a number of great supports on the evening, including The Optimen. So for all the people in Brissy who appreciate good hip hop, make sure you come down and check it out.”
Born in Switzerland, and raised in Brisbane, Verbill has long been on the underground radar as a member of former crew Left One, and further cemented his status with a feature on Brad Strut’s ‘Legendary’ mixtape in 2006. While his hard-hitting flow may have been tempered by maturity, ‘Back In The Days’, the second single released off his debut, shows his hip hop allegiances with a streak of youthful irreverence.
“I’d just like to point out that every song on my EP, with the exception of ‘Buggin&Illin’, is 100 percent true… I moved to Australia at a very young age. Everything I talk about in that song, all the parties, drinking, all-nighters, girls, smoking, running amuck, dodging police and skateboarding, all happened here in Brissy.
“I have even had people from other parts of the world tell me they can relate to the content of the songs. It’s cool to think that we could grow up in places that are totally separated geographically but still share such similar experiences.”
Another standout on the EP is ‘Everything’, featuring the vocals of Jay from Paua, with the aftermath of a break-up providing the inspiration to tread the road of heartbreak. Too often in hip hop, break-up songs can be held captive by misogynistic undertones and resentment, but Verbill wanted to show a different side.
“Writing that song was pretty ironic, because when I was with the girl she always used to ask me to write something about her. I never did though, because I was too busy writing rhymes about how sick I was at writing rhymes, plus I didn’t really know how to write ‘nice’ songs at that point.
“When we broke up and went our separate ways, however, I wrote that song at a time that I was missing her. It came naturally and it was sort of my way of dealing with not being with her. At the same time, it is a tribute to her and a way to say thanks for the impact she had on my life and all the good times we shared together.”
Circulating through the same crowds, the EP is the result of his collaboration with well known Brisbane producer Nick One.
“I met Nick through his brother Sammsonite [The Optimen]. It wasn’t until years later that we started working together and he started showing me some of his beats. Working with Nick is great because he is very good at what he does. He was just as passionate about the project as me and brought a lot to the table.”
With the EP available since December last year, Verbill understands that in the music world six months can be a nail in the coffin, but the choice was made to put off a live show until all loose ends were tied.
“[The EP] probably took about two years in total, and there were probably four tracks dropped from it… Being my debut release, I wasn’t entirely sure how to put it out, but I definitely wanted to make sure it was done right.
“In the process I learnt a lot about the industry. The good things about the hassle I went through is that I now feel like I have the knowledge and tools to do things a lot quicker the next time around. I have the structure in place now… I guess the plus side to it is that people have had more time to digest the music before they see it performed live.”
With an LP in the works, this experience will undoubtedly come in handy.
Verbill plays the Transcontinental Hotel with Raven & Myk Reid Saturday July 20.