As a teenager, it isn’t difficult to be influenced by the urban movement. Beats, skateboards and keeping it real are kind of timeless notions.
Maybe not so hip anymore or even a little cliché, the movement in 2012 is a far cry from its roots. But the key ingredients remain, and Skryptcha is mindful of growing up around it all.
“There were these skating videos with mad soundtracks from Dre and Beatnuts,” remembers the Sydney MC. “That was my first introduction to music, really. We really put our minds to it in the beginning. We would muck around when we were going through high school, putting rhymes and things together. It was sort of one night where we decided it was pretty awesome, writing raps and going online on forums.”
And while there was no real plan at that time, one thing led to another.
“You get good feedback and it inspires you to do more. You start recording and things just keep rolling; I started to think bigger and bigger about things and felt like I was getting into music more and more seriously. It went well and now I’m putting out the ‘Mindful’ album.”
‘Mindful’ sees Skryptcha evolve as an artist, treading ground where perhaps he hasn’t before.
“I had been doing my thing with music, having fun. Then things sort of got to a point where I thought I was good enough to make a professional product. For me it was all about contacting labels and seeing what they had to say. To be honest, I wasn’t directly thinking about a record contract at that stage, I was more interested in getting good feedback so I could use that to build up my skills.”
Things got real when Oz hip hop superhero (and Obese CEO) Pegz called him out of the blue.
“I nearly fell out of my chair,” Skryptcha laughs. “He told me that he thought I had potential and I sort of flipped out. At that stage, I’d done basically one or two shows in my life and they were all for fun… that was around 2008 and he thought we could work together pretty well. We worked on things and kept in touch and you know the story, one thing leads to another.”
Before you know it, you’re putting out albums and continuing to nurture your passion for music while inadvertently helping to foster and build a local scene which could fairly be argued to be in its infancy.
“Hip hop in Australia is pretty new so there is a real opportunity to explore different parts of the genre and do different things,” says Skryptcha. “I really dig the soulful part of the genre and that really got me thinking as well. It was a real passion for me; I was sitting down with my booking agent one day and they looked at me and said I had to experience things outside of Australia. So I ended up in New Orleans, Memphis, New York and experiencing the scene over there – it was an amazing eye opener.”
No doubt, the emcee didn’t squander the opportunity.
“I was at a jazz festival and it was so inspiring and that led me to sort of embrace the soulful part of the genre that I’d really loved. I’ve just picked up a lot of ideas that have really evolved into something that I feel I have created. It was inspirational as I said – but it was really a big dream. I got to work with a whole lot of different people on the album and the result is something I’m really happy with.
“And then I hooked up with Illmind in Brooklyn and we basically put the whole album together. It was great to build a relationship that was basically made over the internet. I had heard his beats originally from a website where people would trade beats and then you’re working with a producer that you deeply respect. Wow!”
Regardless, Skryptcha has finished counting his lucky stars and is pumped for a series of shows that will showcase his most recent work. “Man, I can’t wait to get out there and do my thing. It has been a long time coming and I really feel like I’m ready to unleash.”
’Mindful’ is available now.