A HIP HOP HOORAY Hidden Treasures kicks off tonight

City of Fremantle’s winter festival, Hidden Treasures kicks off this Thursday July 6 and continuing every Thursday in July. After the success of A Hip Hop Hooray in 2016 presented by The West Australian Youth Jazz Orchestra (WAYJO) they decided to stage a second outing featuring leading WA hip hop artists Mathas, POW! Negro, Silvertongue, Alex Ford and Hyclass. The show has two separate sittings tonight, one at 8pm and another at 9pm at the Navy Club, Fremantle. CLAUDIA MOORE caught up with Brendan Scott Grey (Premiss) who was instrumental in organising the show.

What was the inspiration behind this show?

It actually started as residency we were doing in Perth, years ago now, where we put on shows using a live 8-piece band (Premiss) with various Perth MC’s. The concept was to create a platform for MCs to perform their original music with a live band as opposed to using a DJ or backing track to experience the pros and cons of that medium within the hip hop genre. This is a much more buffed up version of that really, though with a lot more versatility in what we can create and a massively bigger sound.

Are you exciting about working with WAYJO?

Working with WAYJO has been amazing. If it didn’t exist there’d be no way we’d be able to pull something this big together so we’re all insanely pumped for these gigs. As the arranger/ composer it’s been a true dream come true to get to work with an ensemble this size and caliber. Not to mention a massive learning experience to boot.

Has much inspiration been taken from the first Hip Hop Hooray?

Absolutely, we’re more or less running to the same formula. Each show we try to get new performers involved as well and add new tracks for members who have performed before. Along the way there’s been a lot of lessons to be had on putting on the best possible show so there’s been adjustments to how we run everything and how we structure our sets. Anyone who caught the last show will see about a 50/50 split of original material and entirely new content.

What are you most excited about with the show?

As always working with new artists is an incredible experience. Getting to arrange for Mathas and POW! Negro has been really enjoyable and the end product is really exciting – getting to play those tracks for the first time with WAYJO is going to be insane. At the same time getting to perform with Hyclass is always an invigorating experience and we’ve got Silvertongue and Macshane providing their consummate skills to both originals as well a few freestyle tracks.

Have you been a part of Hidden Treasures before? And what are you most excited about the festival?

Nope! This is our first time performing with WAYJO for Hidden Treasures though I believe a few of the MCs have done solo shows before. Like all festivals what I’m most excited for is seeing something/someone new with something fresh to say that really blows me away. That being said the hip hop head in me has booked time off specifically for the Kid Dingo, Grevious Bodily Calm and COLAB shows.