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360 Fresh Angle

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Recently embarking on a six-week tour of Australia, Matthew Colwell, AKA 360, fills in JAI CHOUHAN about what’s been happening on his end in the lead up to his shows at the Rosemount Hotel on Wednesday, April 29; the Prince Of Wales, Bunbury, on Thursday, April 30; Players Bar, Mandurah, on Friday, May 1, and the Dunsborough Tavern on Saturday, May 2, with support from  Coin Banks, LEVA and Creed Birch.

Aussie rapper 360 has had a lot on his plate of late, a 24-date tour of the country, getting the ball rolling for the next album, as well as working alongside a number of charitable causes around Australia.

Kicking things off at the start of April, the Retopia tour gives 360 a chance to take his third studio album out to the regional hubs where the fans have been itching to hear the songs live.

“I find the people in the regional shows are quite starved for live music; they don’t always get heaps of live acts hitting their towns.” The rapper says, “So when they do, they really appreciate it a lot. I love playing metropolitan shows as well, but the regional shows just get really, really crazy.”

The Melbourne-based artist took a lot out of touring with Eminem and Kendrick Lamar last year, stating Lamar’s performance as somewhat inspiring.

“We were playing in massive arenas that fitted about 60,000 people and watching Kendrick I learnt so much from just watching and analysing his show. He’s probably the best performer I’ve ever seen. Everything was so effortless and he made a 60,000-person arena feel like a 5,000-person show, really intimate.”

Back in the studio, 360 started working on a new album before the tour kicked off. Compiling beats and writing like a madman, he’s decided to take a somewhat new approach to his fourth full-length.

“With this album I’m really trying to approach it a little bit differently because I feel that with my first three albums I usually wrote a lot from personal experience and wrote sort of deep songs about stuff that I’m going through, stuff that I’ve been through, or things that I’ve seen other people go through. I sort of want to take myself out of my comfort zone and come up with some cool concepts to switch it up a little bit.”

The rapper asserts, “I don’t want to just make songs about hardships I’m going through, I want to try and be a little bit more creative about what songs I come up with and the ideas.”

It seems that the wordsmith is adamant about a new approach, recently stepping out of his comfort zone to record an acoustic version of Early Warning with collaborator, Chris Cheney from The Living End.

“I’ve known him for quite a while because my manager looks after The Living End as well, so I’ve met the dude on a number of occasions and we’ve become pretty close mates.” Colwell begins, “Just recently when he was down recording the new Living End album we decided to do an acoustic version of that song and it just brought it into a new light.

“When you do an acoustic version of a song you really focus more on the lyrical content, which is what I wanted to do, for people to really hear what I was talking about. It was good to work with him. He was really open because when he sent me the song that he initially wrote, it was in a totally different ballpark to what it is now. We totally made it into a hip-hop song but I think if he had his way it would have been more on The Living End kind of tip.”

Outside of music, 360 is also involved with a number of not-for-profit organisations from animal welfare to issues surrounding suicide and depression.

“On social media I’m constantly getting contacted by younger people saying that my music has helped them through depression and made them stop killing themselves. It’s crazy how many said they didn’t kill themselves because my music helped them. It’s absolutely insane. It’s really positive but it’s also negative because of how many people are going through such hardship.

“I also get contacted by people who don’t know what to do with themselves, like they’re in a really bad place and they’re basically talking about killing themselves and they don’t know what to do. So it’s important to be involved and refer them onto Lifeline or Beyond Blue so they can help them professionally.”

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