Touted as one of Melbourne hip hop’s best kept secrets, One Sixth is ready to be known after the release of his debut record, ‘Electronic Mail’.
One Sixth began listening to hip hop from the age of 11 after hearing Snoop Dogg's ‘Doggystyle’ album. But growing up in Namibia, there was a limited hip hop scene.
“We lived 40km outside of town so after school it was straight home and I didn't really get to meet anyone or go to shows,” Sixth says.
After moving to Melbourne, he started attending open mic nights, free-styling and meeting producers. 'Electronic Mail' is a concept album consisting of love songs, disguised as songs about e-mail, social networks and internet acronyms.
“When people look at a title like LOL or SMS, the initial thought is laugh out loud, so people immediately pay attention to that, more than if I just called the song Love Or Lust,” Sixth says. “It's sort of like tricking people into paying attention.”
The album, out through Obese, consists of jazzy melodies, trumpet solos, synth bass electronics, old school and straight up hip hip. Sixth says his writing is hugely influenced by old school poetry and music he grew up listening to.
“I was into poetry from John Donne, Andrew Marvell, Ben Jonson and William Wordsworth, my parents listened to Stevie Wonder, Phil Collins and my friends were listening to all the hip hop stuff that was coming out at the time. Even the Top 40 music, normal pop tracks influence me in terms of melodic structure.”
In an industry where commercial music is easily mass-produced and often formulaic carbon copies, Sixth is attempting to break away from this robotic template.
“As an artist, this is me expressing how I feel about something, and hopefully it can resonate with other people. I want to bring back the human element to the music.”
‘Electronic Mail’ is out now.