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Fatty Phew is now very familiar to cherished lovers of the music scene that is Hip-Hop. Growing up in the Geelong Hip-hop/Street scene, Phew saw that music culture was absent in his city and so he made it his mission to put Geelong on the Map.
Being from Geelong what are some of your favourite artist from around your area and what artist are you playing in your stereo today?
To me, Geelong has always had a thriving Hip Hop scene away from the rest of the country. It seems distant and tucked away but it has it’s own thing going on entirely. Spit and Luke Mac are the obvious ones, Ive known Luke for a good 7 years and Spit for about 12. Both have been killers for every year I have known them and only got better and better as every day goes by. Regardless of been crew they are the dope. There is a lot of upcoming MC’s in this city as well that I come across at shows on just walking through the city which I am thinking will build this scene bigger each year. I have a mixture going on in my car at the moment, Big L – Lifestylez ov da Poor and Dangerous, Tommy Illfigga – Walk a Mile, Immortal Technique – The Martyr, and a whole bunch of other mid to late nineties shit.
You have been in the scene for over a decade now, how would you describe hip hop development in Australia since you first started?
It’s come such a long way and it’s amazing to see. To think that artists you would hear on the radio or see in ciphers and on shitty little bedroom set ups are now getting #1 on charts and nominations for best artist of the year is incredible. When i first started Hip Hop was purely an underground thing, which was great, but its great to see it get more widespread. With the spread of Hip Hop nationally it has created more MC’s both commercially and underground which is what I like, more shit to listen to. It’s great to see how much it has developed from having an American sound to it to having defined our own sound entirely. We have that Australia Rock sound but we also have that New York Boom Bap sound, which both sound entirely different and I love it all. Cant wait to see where it will be in another 15 years.
Who are some of the people you have worked with and who would you like to work with in the future?
I’ve worked with a number of artists over time – Spit & Luke Mac, Autism, Alter Ego, Dj Bogues, Bwivdeece, Aetcix, Class A, Geko, Raven, Fluent Form, Maundz, G Force, Thorts, Kid Selzy, Ciecmate, Fraksha, Diem, Tommy Illfigga .. The list goes on. All these people I dont just like musically but I’m down with personally. I would love to work with each and everyone on a regular basis. It’s always been about making music with mates to me, that’s when I have the most fun gettin it done. There are a few artist that are missing from that list like Trem, Bigfoot, Bias and Trials. I want to have tracks with these dudes before my ink runs out.
You have been on a lot of line up over the years what has been some of your more memorable shows and for what reasons?
My Geelong launches. Sold out the past 6 times and every single time it’s love from front to back row, every body knowing the lyrics, everybody with smiles on their face. The number might not be as great as other places or other artists, but for me when I started I did it for my city so I love seeing Geelong go bananas.
Who were some of your early influences and how would you say they impacted on your style of music you create?
The first album I ever really copped was Onyx – All we got iz us in early 96, that shaped me greatly as a MC. I have always loved that grime and gruff voice with someone screaming into a microphone, and to this day I still that on a lot of tracks. From there is was the Bigs (Big L, Big Pun and Biggie) that shaped me. Biggie has the delivery, Pun has the flows and L has the punches and steeze. I always grew up with New York Hip Hop I was never a West Coast head really (not that I had anything against West Coast it was just never my style), so that really shaped my style of music without even noticing. When choosing through a catalogue of beats its the ones with that New York flava I end up choosing.
After your debut release of "23 years in the making" what has the response been like and how would you say it helped you grow as an artist?
I think the response has been great for what it was and what it is. I never pushed “23 years in the Making”, it had little to no promo and I didnt press up a great deal. For the amount of people I hear mention it or know it I am amazed it went as viral as it did. I have grown a lot from that album and learnt even more. When I released that I was still learning how to write a verse really, and by the end of I think I learnt how to make a track. After it’s release I think I got a good understanding on how to make a album. All 3 I dont say lightly because personally I have an overall goal when it comes to writing a verse or a track, getting it the way I want to hear it. After “23 Years in the making” I realised how I want an album to sound.
Currently you have two Mixtape for free online, what do find are the benefits from releasing your music for free and how has it impacted on the exposure of your music?
I could not put the benifits more simply then this – People hear my music. We live in a funny world where the greatest disc can drop and people either take a while to get or sleep on it entirely. It’s just the way the world works now. With “Best Things in Life are Free part 1 & 2” it’s there waiting to be grabbed at any time at a click of a button. I know some people dont like it because they feel it takes away from the tracks making there worth a lot less and its like I dont really give a fuck about it, but that far from the truth. The tracks are still quality, and its still me, it is just a quicker way for me to get it out and a quicker way for you to hear it.
What have you have got cooking up for "The best things in life are free Pt3" and what can we expect from this release?
Nothing planned yet and I think that's the beauty of these “Best Things..” that they just happen. I am endlessly trying to put out my second LP and that is my main focus. It has been my focus since before “Best Things in Life are Free part 1” first was up. If the stress and demands I put on myself to create the perfect LP become too much, Ill grab numerous beats off ‘Alter Ego’ and the likes and I am sure there will be another one!!
After focusing less on the production side of hip hop do you find that lyrical content is more profound and has it giving you more time to be more creative with your lyrics?
Most definitely. I miss producing/recording all the time. I really enjoy it. I find it hard personally to juggle them both. Writing taps into my introspective and philosophical side, while producing taps into my scientific and mathematical side. Personally I find it hard to have them both running at the same time. Proppers to the dudes that do it all like Geko and Trials. People need to respect that a lot!
When can we expect your LP, what can we expect from it and what does the future hold for Fatty Phew?
I definitely am not one to put release dates on anything, I wouldnt do that to myself and especially not to fans. I am in no rush to release a second LP, so when it’s done I guess. I am constantly putting beats in, taking beats away, scrapping a verse, writing a new verse, scrapping a track. I know a lot of people are getting frustrated, especially those who I have their beats haha!! This is what I have to do. I will only release a LP that I am %100 happy with and 10 years after it look back and still be happy with it. I wont stop till I get that. My future is what ever comes, a lot of people say this but a lot also dont mean it – I dont chase the dragon with this fame and recognition, I have no aspirations to reach number one or get nominations or to sell platinum in this country. Dont get me wrong, I go platinum, go to number one, win ARIA’s, sold out tours nation wide and make some coin I wouldn’t complain, and monstrous props for all those that do that. It’s hard work. I just dont think that’s me. Future for me stands like this, as long as I have ink left in my pen and as long as I feel I have something I can say, I will keep saying it.
Any shout outs you would like to give?
Insomnia brothers Spit & Luke Mac, Dj Bogues, Alter Ego (people should stop sleepin on this dudes beats) .. All Crate Cartel heads .. Bwivdeece .. and all the names I mentioned in my feature list, let’s make more music.