DJ Snair, Funkwig, Social Change
Three lads who've been kicking around the Adelaide music scene for years, but have only recently come together to make some qualilty hip-hop with passionate lyrics and super-tight beats.
Interview: 25 February 2008
Describe your music ...
... our music is pure authentic boom bap. The new E.P is very much an introduction to Social Change and the directions we are going. It is out now through our label Butterthief and available in all good music stores. We decided to call the E.P "V.High.E.P" as it is a snapshot of the upcoming album due for release mid 2008 titled "V.High.P" - which is a play on the phrase "Very High Purpose".
How did you meet Funkwig and DJ Snair?
I met Funkwig and DJ Snair many lifetimes ago in a galaxy far far away. We knew instantly that we had to work together and make music. More recently we all grew up around hip-hop culture, getting into it in the late 80's, early 90's. I was making music with Funkwig by ’95, recording demos using live bass, guitar and live drums with an old reel to reel. Between '96 and '98 is when we all started to participate more actively in the scene. Funkwig and I had already been in bands together, but we started doing straight-up hip-hop shows with the Expressionist and DJ Reflux in about '99, while DJ Snair started battling around 2000. Over the following years Funkwig and I performed with numerous well-known international and Australian artists as well as our live band The Funk Movement, and DJ Snair in his own right shared stages with the biggest names in hip-hop. Funkwig, along with homeboy deNorthwode produced tracks for the likes of Lazy Grey, A-Love, Delta, Hilltop Hoods, Brothers Stoney, The Herd and Resin Dogs to name only a few, as well as put out the highly acclaimed F&d album "Worship the Grit" which featured Social Change. DJ Snair has won both ITF and DMC state championships and is the current 3 x DMC national runner-up. He has featured on projects with Adroit Effusive, the Defenders, Mortar, Staen 1, Battle Hoggs, Taylor Made Tactix and the Hilltop Hoods ... By 2005 Funkwig and I started recording with DJ Snair for a Social Change mixtape we later decided not to release, and it was during this period that we rediscovered the chemistry the three of us have. By 2007 everything was in place and we started recording and doing shows as a group. It is a blessing to be friends with Funkwig and Snair. At the end of the day, Social Change is the name of the group before it is the name of the rapper.
What's the best advice you've been given and who was it from?
I'd say it's my father who always says "be a leader, not a follower".
How did you find the recording process for your V.High EP?
Funkwig and Snair have both done plenty of recording, and over the years I've recorded albums of unreleased songs, so the recording process is familiar to us all. Once we decided on the track listing for the E.P it was all go. We are all on the same page as artists and we were all clear about how we wanted the CD to sound. We moved Funkwig's equipment from his studio up in the Hills to join my studio in Croydon and we set up camp. Funkwig and Snair basically lived at my house until we got it all done, mixed and mastered. Funkwig oversaw all production and DJ Snair crafted all scratches and samples. Our homeboy One Above produced the first track on the E.P. All background vocals were done by members of the Butterthief/V.High.P crew (Dialect, Matchless GIft and Inkswel) and all tracks feature additional instrumentation by Funkwig and musicians from the Funk Movement. I handled all the graphics and photos, and we mixed the songs at our studio with good friend Matt Zioberski. Having completely handled the recording process in-house, we then brought the mix to Neville Clark of DIsk Edits who worked closely with us to achieve the final master. The E.P is an introduction to the full length album out mid 2008 titled "V.High.P" and is the first official release from Social Change and our label Butterthief.
You recently performed in the US and the UK. What was that experience like?
Yeah, to kick off 2008 I went over to London and met with a bunch of industry heads and shop owners and put the Social Change E.P in stores. I also performed the E.P tracks at a Hip Hop night hosted by Yungun and The Spin Doctor. The show featured DJ Vadim, Mr Thing, Mr Drastik, IRS, Triple Darkness, Pyrelli and Black Twang. It was an amazing experience and definitely cool meeting all the heads in the audience including Jehst who remembered me from when i jumped up with Delta at Slum Village the night after his show in Adelaide. I then went over to New York City where I stayed with good friends in Brooklyn. I visited all the stores and handed out the Social Change E.P just as I had done in London. There was a big open mic showcase on while I was in NY so I went along and performed. It was an honour to get involved, and everyone was digging the tunes. I ended up connecting with some artists who I really respect and we are working on some music together now, so keep ya ears open for that in the future.
What was the last album you bought? What made you buy it?
I'm always bumping something so I'm gonna have to say a few CDs for different reasons. Firstly A-Love "Ace of Hearts" because my man Funkwig has production all over it, and I was at his studio when he made the beat for the lead single "Love Is". He asked me "what do you want to do with the track, use it or give it to A-Love?". We only had to listen to the hook once and it was obvious. "That track is perfect for her" I told Funkwig, so he played it to BVA and the rest is classic material. Secondly the Common Cause E.P on vinyl. I mention this because it is super dope and we launched our E.Ps together in a dual launch show. They are my boys. As far as international releases go, I picked up the new Little Brother, Percee P and Ghostface Killah joints because I really dig what they all have to say. Also Del, Brand Nubian and Ultimate Force (Master Rob and Diamond D) all had unreleased albums finally hit shelves in the last year or so. I had to snatch them all up. Lastly I must mention that in Brooklyn I picked up an instrumental CD by a producer called The Audible Doctor titled "Brownies" which is a full length album of beats made exclusively of James Brown chops and samples. Gotta love that.
What have you got planned for the future?
We are recording the full length album at the moment and working on a video for the track "Lifted". We will continue operating hip-hop workshops in schools. Social Change hosted five massive V.High.P jams in the last year where we invited fellow Butterthief artists and local acts to all perform. The V.High.P jams culminate with Social Change and the Funk Movement playing a massive live set which always feature a huge freestyle cypher at the end. We want to keep these jams happening regularly as well. We have recently supported Dr Octagon and Aceyalone, so the aim now is to increase momentum, play plenty more shows and promote our E.P and upcoming album. We've got the FUSE festival coming up at Electric Light Hotel on the 28th Feb, and then a gig with local crew Adroit Effusive and Pagen Elypsis the night after at VIVA on the 29th. We are playing a big fundraising show for 'Childrens Hope In Action' alongside Common Cause, Locker and Mesha at the Crown and Sceptre on the 8th March, and then there is the Red Tape Renegades tour on the 14th March with Damo, Balboa and The Optimen at VIVA. We are currently organising interstate shows and will announce dates shortly. We have also been recording tracks by artists from the V.High.P crew and hope to release the songs on a Butterthief compilation CD soon after the full length Social Change album. For further information on Social Change, the new E.P and upcoming live shows, go here.
Australian music is …
... where it's at.