It’s not every day you get to chat to Australian hip-hop superstar Allday. Having just released his 2nd album, Speeding, and preparing for his national tour with Japanese Wallpaper, Nicole Millar and Mallrat, Allday took time out to answer some questions from Catalyst about his new album, touring, and missing home.
Catalyst: How does it feel having Speeding out there? Allday: It feels nice. I think most of it is pretty good. There are some parts I wish I could change now but the clock was running down.
Do you have a favourite song off the album? It used to be Ghost. It might be Baby Spiders at the moment. In Motion is objectively the nicest song on there.
Speeding feels more RNB influenced, was this a conscious shift or just representative of what you were listening to at the time? During Startup Cult I remember thinking “hey bro you should make some songs that sound more boom bap so Australian audiences have something they get”… I didn’t have that impulse this time around. The aim was to make the music I would listen to, but increase the quality so much that my current audience could come along and enjoy it. Hopefully I did that to some degree.
Mallrat features on the last 2 songs of the album, has she influenced your sound at all? I wouldn’t say she’s influenced my sound on Speeding in terms of the direction. But as a friend she has influenced me a lot. For instance we’ve lived together for a lot of this year and we’ll walk to the shops in the morning and get coffee. We walk past this security guard every day and she says hello to him and then says to me “ahh how good is the security angel?”… I’m like “what the fuck has he done that qualifies as angelic?”… Her position is that he’s an angel until he proves otherwise. Mallrat’s attitude to life is completely infectious and has changed me a lot. I think that will definitely impact my music.
What surprises are in store for the tour? If there are surprises I surely won’t spoil them here. But I hope they’re going to be the best, most engaging shows we’ve done.
How did the collaboration with Japanese Wallpaper come about? I think I just asked him? And through that I went to his studio and we listened to some songs. He played me all of Thirsty Merc’s songs, he’s mad about them, and I am also a fan. Then we made the track and took a walk to get some lunch.
Do you consider Melbourne home now, and do you miss Adelaide? Adelaide is home first and foremost. Because I grew up there. But Melbourne is my adult life. When I walk out of the airport in Melbourne I exhale and think “I’m home” too. I do miss Adelaide but I’m well used to it. And I spend lots of time there every year. I do wish I was around my little brother as he finished high school. But you also can’t pause your life because you’ll regret it later.
You’re very much a social media focused artist, how do you find being so accessible to your fans? I think I used to be better with it. Especially when I had a girlfriend because when you have someone that loves you they take pictures of you all the time. So I just always had stupid pictures on my phone. In terms of me spending time replying to people, it stems from gratitude. Everyone wants to be a rapper. People decide to send my video to a friend or post it on their wall or whatever. So I try to thank those people when I can.
Do you consider yourself associated with the Australian hip hop scene, and why/why not I don’t know what the scene is exactly. I make music in a room with my engineer.