Kerser’s S.C.O.T. tour stops in at Metro City this Saturday, March 1, with special guests DJ Dazastah, Bitter Belief, Complete and Omac. AUGUSTUS WELBY reports.
Australian rapper Kerser is a very creatively restless man. The Sydneysider has dropped three full-length releases in the last three years, starting with 2011’s The Nebulizer.
Right now he’s gearing up for the official launch tour in support of his latest LP, S.C.O.T, which was released in October. The record is Kerser’s most developed effort thus far, but its 15 songs by no means drained his creative well. “I’m sitting on about 10 or 11 songs now that I have written that I don’t know what I’m going to do with,” he says.
One option would be to use these freshly spawned songs to compile yet another album. However, it might be a bit hasty for Kerser, who likes to craft his records in one linear working period. “When I work on songs for the album I like to know they’re for the album,” he explains. “Me and Nebs, the producer, we sit down before every album and work out the path we want to take, what style of beats and if we want to mix it up here and there.”
Kerser has been working alongside budding producer and friend Nebs since he started making records. The title of Kerser’s debut LP is an obvious nod to the producer, who’s been central to Kerser’s creative process. “We always see eye to eye, which is good,” says Kerser. “Nebs is definitely a massive part of the music. I have to give him big props and shout-outs on that because he puts a lot of work into it as well. Without him I don’t think I’d be able to get as much music out, no way.”
As with Kerser’s earlier efforts, S.C.O.T has again been well received by the Australian public. The album’s first week sales managed to surpass the success of his previous two records, landing at number five in the ARIA charts and soaring all the way to the top of the ARIA Urban category. The MC’s continued success is particularly notable considering his music isn’t included on any major radio station playlists. It is peculiar that a young Australian artist with such a strong following continues to be ignored by radio programmers, but he doesn’t seem too bothered.
“I think social media has taken that over these days. When I release tracks onto YouTube they get the same amount of hype as if they were on the radio anyway. It’s kind of making the radio almost irrelevant, really.”
The fact Kerser’s audience is broadening even though he hasn’t been sanctioned by the gods of radio suggests his music has a personal effect on listeners. A Campbelltown native, Kerser’s lyrical interpretation of life in the hard-edged western city has always ensured him a strong hometown following. However, his growing chart success proves his following isn’t merely local.
“I get fans from all different walks of life. I’ve had fans that are into the usual Aussie hip hop that say, ‘It’s a good refreshing sound, you’re doing something different’, and people that aren’t usually into hip hop seem to like our stuff.
“When I first heard Aussie hip hop I was listening to the rappers and they were talking about BBQs and politics and things I didn’t really look too much into or could relate to,” he adds. “The style of music we’re doing and the subject matters I’m talking about, I think a lot of people hear it and think, ‘Yeah, I can relate to that’ and they haven’t heard an Aussie rap about that type of stuff’.”