It’s fair to say it’s been a whirlwind period for Melbournian Remi Kolawole. Numerous shows supporting some of urban music’s biggest names under his belt, not to mention dates at revered gigs including Falls Festival and NYE On The Hill – at 22, the youngster is at the top of his game. RK talks to the up-and-comer about his musical background and the release of his new album, Raw X Infinity.
“From the very beginning, I’ve been playing piano and cello,” explains the upbeat REMI. “It’s something I’ve enjoyed doing since then and it’s something my parents encouraged me to do. Initially, my self-interest was low, but when I got into hip hop I decided I really wanted to pursue a life in music. I worked with Sensible J and Dutch at the beginning and we’ve been working together ever since.”
Raw X Infinity, just released by the trio on REMI’s own House Of Beige label, captures that REMI effervesence in a not-unlucky 13 tracks. The artist’s second album, it is once again a collaboration with partners-in-crime Sensible J and Dutch. “Sonically, I think it is very similar to our first record and in a sense it remains quite eclectic,” REMI says. “It’s still quite raw hip hop, with samples of afrobeat and so on. It also jumps into electronic bass with live drums and different ideas. It’s music we’ve released which we’ve also enjoyed producing. We hope others enjoy it too.”
From a writing standpoint, REMI explains the new album covers a variety of issues from race and drugs, to living and ignorance. This is the first release for the crew on the House Of Beige label, a project they’re really hoping to get off the ground. “We want to get things done and all sorts of things are happening there, so we’re super hyped about it at the moment,” he says.
Musically, REMI admits the trio keep themselves in a bubble, but is adamant they aren’t stuck too deeply in a mould. “Hip hop is at the top of our list and we can see it from the cultural influences of our music. But we also have individual tastes, and whether it’s hip hop or something else – or even a question of the state of the union in hip hop, who’s fallen off, who hasn’t – we avoid that stuff, you know? It’s not that simple for us. People look at things in different ways. We’ve had to search harder and dig deeper to keep our music fresh and relevant. It always gets harder to do that, but we dig deeper and make sure that whether it’s cool or weird, we’re across it!”
Finally, REMI shares a few words about their upcoming gigs around the country and what hip hop heads can expect. “We’re definitely going to be playing a lot of songs off the album – it would be wrong to do it any other way! We’re bringing a whole lot of guests with us and we’ve got supports and members involved throughout the whole tour. We’ve got artists from the hip hop genre to the electronic genre and beyond. We’re music lovers first and foremost and we want to keep things quite diverse. For the live show, we’ll be travelling with megaphones and drums – it’s going to be pretty raw!”
REMI drops Raw X Infinity at the Bakery this Friday, July 4, with his good mates KNOE and WZRDKID.