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Mr Grevis

SALT-3_Mr-Grevis

Grevis may be a relatively new name in Australian hip hop, but it’s a name increasingly finding its place on gig posters, CD shelves and plastered all over Facebook timelines. He found time before his upcoming shows on Friday , November 22 at The Rosemount and Saturday, November 23 at the Prince Of Wales, Bunbury to chat with NICK SWEEPAH.

Having just landed from a stint in Melbourne, which primarily revolved around playing in the Robert Hunter Cup – a football match in honour of Australian hip hop icon, Hunter – it’s no shock to hear the first name he puts forth as a major inspiration. 

“Australian-wise, Hunter would definitely be in there. Bias B’s Beezwax was actually the first Australian CD I bought, a lot of early Downsyde stuff and The Calling. The Calling was massive,” he notes, referencing what was arguably the breakout album not just for the Hilltop Hoods, but for Australian hip hop in general. His international influences on the other hand, may be more of a surprise. “US-wise I guess Naughty By Nature was the first tape I ever got.” It was their self titled album and it might be the only track that some people know. “I heard that O.P.P. track and was like, ‘fuck yeah this is the music I wanna listen to’.”

Today though, he’s often likened to another well known voice about town – Drapht. “I actually get it a lot, people saying I’m influenced by Drapht and I used to hate it, but over the last six months I realised that I am, because every time I hear one of his songs it makes me wanna write! It was just sort of hard to say publicly because we’re such good mates.”

Channelling these artists in his own way, led to some great feedback for his first album, The Sampler, and aside from one nonsensical online accusation of being a sell-out (for the record, that album was independently produced and distributed by Obese) – the praise continues for his new one, My Escape.

“It’s incorporated into the artwork,” he explains. “I told Deej (the cover artist) what I wanted and he captured it perfectly… I’ve previously lived a bit of an abstract life and after going to prison and coming out I was like, ‘I need to start making a change’. I started getting all this positive feedback for the music and it made want to stop the other illegal activities. All the positive things that people were saying made me feel really good about myself, and I’d never felt good for doing good things before. People were always giving me props for being a bad person. It’s basically called that because it helped me escape from the lifestyle I was living.”

The positive vibes are paid forward too, sometimes encouraging his fans to get involved in the live show and often interacting with them via social media. “I like to be good to people who are always posting my shit. Even the vinyl that I did – I pressed 20 copies and gave ten to crew involved with the first album and gave 10 to my fans.”

A self confessed bad-guy-turned-good, hopefully Grevis will continue to inspire the next generation of local rappers.

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