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the divine resurrection of real hip-hop
Headstrong Company is a 3 emcee Hip-hop act from Adelaide SA about to embark on the next chapter of their musical careers with the release of their second full length LP.
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Interview: 19 April 2010
Tell us about your music – how did you develop your sound?
Headstrong Company began as a 3 emcee (Visionz, Kahs and Cheech), strictly underground hip hop collaborative in 2004. We were never concerned about what the mainstream thought of us and never really made commercial appeal a priority. It was hip hop at its rawest, just heavy beats, conscious rhymes and sick flow. We had a sound heavily influenced by the Americas east coast, hip hops golden era of the mid 90s. Even before we released anything we were out doing shows on the local scene, tearing mics and really making our presence felt. It was just what we loved doing. As we evolved as a trio and developed our own style and individuality, we began experimenting with bar trading, bouncing off one another and integrating our rhyme patterns as apposed to spitting the standard 16 bar verses that we too commonly hear these days. Musically we were still far from where we wanted to be. We needed to lift our production game if we wanted to release a product that complimented our rhyming abilities and truly reflect who we are as emcees. We needed to create tracks, not just make tracks. Cheech began sampling more live sounds and started exploring anything from soul, jazz to classical music. He really advanced in his ability to chop and arrange complex samples in ways a lot of producers struggle with. O-mega was soon adopted as a solid asset into Headstrong Company in 2007 and brought another dimension to the production side of things. By the late 2009 release, we had crafted a solid debut that boasted a variety of styles and concepts. The diversity of the album was the conclusion of our vain attempt to find our own unique sound. We definitely have something for everyone, no matter what style you dig.
What can the audience expect at a live show?
We have always taken our live shows very seriously. Before we had a product to show for ourselves, the live scene was where it was at. First impressions last. We gained a solid reputation for throwing down a live set with maximum energy, stage presence, start to finish. Now that we have an album out it's more important that ever. Making music is one thing, but it’s no good if you can’t back it up. Our live reputation has paved a way for us to perform along side some of our biggest idols including Redman and Method man, Raekwon, M.O.P, Xzibit and the list goes on. When we rock a live set just hope your crew isn’t jumping on next. We came to burn the stage down.
Tell us about the hip hop scene in Adelaide – it would appear to be thriving…
The hip hop scene in Adelaide is really unpredictable. I wouldn’t say it is thriving but I wouldn’t say it is dying either. The scene has been flooded with new up and comers in the last 3 years and there is a lot of talent out there, but unfortunately there is a lack of local support for individual acts because of the sudden surge in popularity of locally made hip hop. It can be really hard as an aspiring emcee to get noticed and filtered out amongst so many other quality acts and you can easily fall under the radar. There are often live shows put together with a few local acts that pull decent crowds, but sometimes the turnout can be dismal. The problem is most events are centrally located and not everyone who wants to can make it into the city. I also think the vast amount of international acts rolling though our state has also slowed down the local live scene and put the peoples out of pocket.
What's coming up in the future?
We have just started working on our second full length LP. The first album was more or less cleaning out the fridge of the old and new. With this album we can start fresh and continue to evolve as we move from strength to strength. We plan to step back from the live shows in Adelaide as we concentrate more on making new music and recreating a new live set to go with it. This winter we are hoping to take our set interstate and show the rest of the country what we are about, something we have talked about doing for a very long time.
Australian music is?
Australian music is yours truly, Headstrong Company
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