Q&A Scene:  Kirklandd

Tell us about your new single.
Our new single is called Helpless Eldest, and it’s a unique infusion of golden age hip hop and funky edm synths. I wanted to create a contagious upbeat energy in order to explore a darker, more intricate story of a sibling who loses his mother and is faced with the impending responsibility of raising his younger brother himself, all the while battling his own infatuations and desires.

What’s your favourite work at this point in time?  

We released a single last December called Right Now. It was my first attempt at fulfilling a musical vision – I wanted to create a climactic, contemplative soundtrack of, for lack of a better word love. I’ve been facing a lot of scepticism towards my current relationship, and making a career in rap foreseeable, so I guess that was my way of combating all of these things. I brought the idea to Cam Bluff down in his studio, we pushed ourselves til 5 in the morning, and that track was the result. I’m eternally proud of it, an early effort as it was.

Tell us a quick, on the road or studio, anecdote.

Last week, myself and my crew went and hit a college party as part of O-Week. We were booked for an hour long set, and damn keen to bring the noise to rowdy uni students – and rowdy they were. By 9pm (when we started) guys were smashing bottles against the walls, girls were topless, and the energy was peaking right before I stepped on stage. We got about halfway through the set when the track I mentioned, Right Now, started to spin. It’s an apeshit track live, and we were halfway through the 2nd verse when my size 14 foot tripped the main power cord, and cut all the lights and decks into utter blackness. Suddenly the vibe was pretty tight. So told everyone to put their phone lights on, shine them my way and I spat a 5 minute accapella in the crowd while the sound guys fixed up the sound. Shit was hard. My feet are too long.

What, or who, inspires you? 

I think what inspires me or my generation most is seeing people our age achieving feats well beyond their expectations or age. To know that some other 21 year old, right in front of you, down the street, or on the other side of the world, is inspiring people by doing what they love on a mass level is in itself a truly inspiring idea. I’m truly working to be in a position to reach mass amounts of people with my message, so to see people spreading theirs is straight fuel to the fire.

Which song do you wish you wrote?

Gold digger. Hot damn.

What’s next for you?

Our new single is dropping as we speak – it features the sabre tooth goon Genesis Owusu, the finalist of Triple J’s Unearthed High comp last year. It’s a hard hitting track with a lot of swing, once again produced by the good homie Cam Bluff.

What’s your scene?

Sitting on the peak of Morocco’s city of blue, Chefchaouen, overlooking the sunrise. I envisioned what I believe to be some of my strongest concepts there.

Tour dates:

March 19th Art Not Apart, New Acton, Canberra. 

When you hear the music that is Kirklandd, the first thing envisaged is a bygone era, a time when hip hop was a means of storytelling and unity; where creativity pushed artists far beyond their limitations and circumstance towards a previously unheard sound. Growing up in Canberra, his influences date back before hip hop was ever birthed, before Kool Herc identified the secret of beatbreaks, before Tupac Shakur sparked a revolution through music, before Kanye West discovered the unprecedented beauty of sampling. Now at 21, accumulating such influences has moulded an iconic, golden age sound in Kirklandd’s voice, exhibiting clever wordplay and thought-provoking lyrics, grounding himself as a young, eclectic Australian artist.

Kirklandd’s single ambition is to build an iconic hip hop sound, one that bridges the gap between the golden age of hip hop and the current Australian scene, further projecting Australia as a direct contributor to authentic hip hop worldwide.

He will begin this pursuit through his intimate live shows, having already performed alongside Citizen Kay and in support of Guilty Simpson, and with the launch of his first EP, with a producer who is synonymous with the identity of Australian Hip Hop. After becoming ARIA-Winning and platinum record selling from his production with Allday, Hilltop Hoods and Illy, producer Cam Bluff has presented a unique opportunity for Kirklandd to mould his musical identity as an artist. In bringing Cam every influence and reference from the early 90’s to the present day, the two have crafted a unique project that challenges every expectation for Australian hip hop, slated for release in late 2016.

This year sees Kirklandd embark on his musical journey, with an undying passion for his craft that is reflected in the shows he is doing all over the East coast, chasing his bigger international objectives that will mould Australia as a pivotal player in the revival of authentic hip hop.

… the revolution will be televised.

About Mary Boukouvalas 1576 Articles
Mary is a photographer and a writer, specialising in music. She runs Rocklust.com where she endeavours to capture the passion of music in her photos whether it's live music photography, promotional band photos or portraits. She has photographed The Rolling Stones, KISS, Iggy Pop, AC/DC, Patti Smith, Joe Strummer, PULP, The Cult, The Damned, The Cure, Ian Brown, Interpol, MUDHONEY, The MELVINS, The Living End, Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against The Machine, The Stone Roses –just to name a few - in Australia, USA, Europe and the Middle East. Her work has been published in Beat magazine, Rolling Stone magazine, Triple J magazine, The Age Newspaper, The Herald Sun, The Australian, Neos Kosmos, blistering.com, theaureview.com, noise11.com, music-news.com. She has a permanent photographic exhibition at The Corner Hotel in Richmond, Victoria Australia.