Allday is a 26 year old rapper tearing up the Australian hip hop scene with a fresh perspective, smooth melodies and lyrical flow, hailing from Blackwood, the home of Hilltop Hoods in Adelaide. Blessed with an amazing honesty that is sweeping across Australia and creating electric connections with people, Allday’s tunes grow from influences like soul music, indie rock and classic hip hop.
Julie Ink-Slinger from Amnplify caught up with him recently to ask him a few questions.
How did your punk band, Sissycunt, inspire your interest in pursuing a music career?
I wasn’t in a band for long, I just think at that time as a teenager I was looking in all directions for the right outlet. I really wanted to sing in a band but I just knew so much more about Hip Hop, so rapping was always a million times easier. I was always interested in doing music, I just didn’t have the financial situation where I could say “hey mum, get me this gear”, that just wasn’t happening. Honestly if I didn’t win a studio time in a rap battle I may have ended up in a band.
What were you studying at art school and did your studies help with the creation of your own music?
I only got to first year. At the time I was doing graffiti and staying up until 5 or 6 in the morning almost every night. Then I would go to class at 9am and be so tired. Most days me and my friend Elliot would do shots at the pub across the road before class. So basically I wasn’t too engaged in my studies. I really love painting and drawing but I didn’t have the same ability for it that I do with music. I still find myself thinking of small lessons I learned there sometimes. And I control a lot of my cover art and merch designs.
Why were you so excited to move to “Cali”?
Your debut album Startup Cult reached number 3 on the Aria charts within a week of its release in July 2014, it was streamed online over 22 million times and sold over 20,000 copies in Australia alone. Did you realise, while writing for, and recording, the album, that you had such a gem of a record? Also, how did that success and recognition feel?
Thanks for saying it’s a gem. I obviously tried to make it good, but it’s also a hugely flawed, yuck record in a lot of ways. I’m the first to say that, but don’t worry I’ll sing my own praises too. There are some good moments on there. I was pushing myself a lot to make the album. I remember the first verse of Wolves took about 400 takes or something, which back then before I went crazy was a lot. And listening to that verse now I still hate it. Part of things like that taking so long was me learning perfectionism, part of it was our bad recording set up and bad microphones, and part of it was just my inexperience. Having people like it was really cool. I think at the time it went to my head a lot, but now I’m like “yo, you need to do much better than this.”
You collaborated with Sunni Colon and released the single Wolves in December 2014. Are the “Wolves” the media portraying you as a very wealthy, successful musician, with lots of very expensive toys, like Jay-Z? Are the “Wolves” an expose on powerful music labels that expect their artists to churn out one “successful” album after another? Are the “Wolves” something else entirely?
All of the above I suppose. I mean songs are for everyone so the meaning is personal to the listener. But I definitely meant Wolves as the ravenous darkness of whatever shape. I’m a rapper so I’m supposed to cover a certain subject matter, I’m supposed to let my ego rule, consumerism rule, basically be an idiot if I want to reach a lot of people. I mean that is a time tested theory. Jay Z once said something like “I used to rhyme like Biggie, Nas and Commonsense, made 3 mil I haven’t rhymed like Common since”… Can’t remember the exact line but it was something like that. The second verse was about a female going through an identity crisis with her value and the value of her beauty and her possessions. If it was a made up character it would seem like a pretty unimaginative depiction of a woman, but it was a combination of a couple people from my life. Basically Wolves is me on my early/mid 2000s conscious Kanye tip.
You have also performed stand-up comedy. Do you ever incorporate humour into your song lyrics? Also, what is the difference, if there is a difference at all, between performing music and performing stand-up?
You have worked with producer Cam Bluff several times. How would you describe your working relationship?
Cam isn’t replying to me right now for no reason that I can think of. He’s “on holiday” so I’m currently complaining about it in all of my interviews. Aside from that, we have a great workflow. I think on Speeding we probably got stuck reworking lame ideas for too long. We re-did some songs 15+ times that didn’t even make the album. I’ll take the responsibility for that. He’s a crazy drum producer especially. Watching him program drums on Ableton is like going to the Grand Canyon. Everyone should do it once in their life.
JoeWardAu online said “With Sides, Allday offers a perspective on how his success and journey as a rapper has not only moulded him musically, but has shaped him into a more resilient person with a deeper understanding of what makes him happy.” Can you talk a little more about the personal and professional evolution you have experienced as depicted in this song?
JoeWardAu is the best on Rap Genius, I love his perspectives on songs. Everyone knows I went away after Startup Cult and it’s probably fairly obvious I was just doing drugs and not worrying about much else. I mean I didn’t even know that at the time. It’s just like a slow fog. Sides was me trying to be lyrical and confident and boastful all at once. Trying to say “it’s the same me but better.”
With In Motion, who “hangs her arms around” your “neck”? And why is she “so unstoppable in motion”?
Japanese Wallpaper has been described as a prodigy, a multi-instrumentalist from a young age (https://www.triplejunearthed.
com/artist/japanese-wallpaper) . He helped produce your single In Motion. What was it like working with this very talented musician and producer?
He actually works in the area of Melbourne I used to live in (Caulfield) so I was back in my old neighbourhood to go to his studio, I think maybe that was part of our instant creative comfort. The process was very easy and fun. He’s such a good natured, funny person. Seriously can’t say enough good things about the music and the man. I’m super lucky that he likes my music and saw my vision for we could make.