Interview with Jason Matts : Northern Rap

 I. Classic oversized T-shirt vs. Standard T’s?   

I used to wear baggy T-Shirts…but now I got dress sense! Joking…but definitely a cap man, the people seem to like it. 

 II. Favorite spread for Toast?

Vegemite. I’m a big fan of salty flavors


Australian fans of Obie Trice would know that the Detroit rapper graced our shores last year. Among the stops on his whirlwind tour was the Standard on Oxford Street, where he was supported by Sydney based hip hop artist Jason Matts.

We had the opportunity to meet up with Northern Beaches rapper Jason Matts, part of the curtain raiser for the Shady Records artist. Raconteurs Inc. chatted with Matts about his current projects, career aspirations and general awesome happenings - “at the moment it’s just really exciting. It’s taken a lot of dedication to get to this point and there have been numerous times where I thought I would never get this far but then all of a sudden there’s fireworks”.

Having started making music in his teens, the now 26 year old is beginning to make a name for himself but where did it all begin?

This could take a while, but if I had to just pin point a few particular moments or reasons I got into rap then they would go something like this...

I was always a words guy. Shit at mathematics, but had a natural way with words. I wouldn’t say I enjoyed English classes in general but I really enjoyed when we had to write our own poems or short stories. I went from poetry to Rap because it was more accessible for me, and a more current way of expressing yourself. More relatable I suppose…music is a soundtrack to your life or a moment, and to me hip-hop definitely had its moments where listening to it made sense.

So Hip Hop is a words game but it’s more than just lyrics - it's a whole attitude?

100% this is what sets Rap apart from every other genre. It’s somebody’s thoughts and opinions scribbled down on paper. Rap to me is the closest you get to watching a film or reading a book when it comes to music. It’s so descriptive and real. There are all these different characters that you fall in love with or grow to hate or dislike due to their personalities. 

There are more funny things happening in rap songs, violent things happening in rap songs, romantic things happening in rap songs, political things happening in raps songs, more than any other genre I believe. It’s completely diverse because Hip Hop is the voice of the people, not the label, or the history of the genre, but the modern day person

And on stage?

When you have the support of your crew, you get up there and have fun – it’s pretty much a house party within this venue with your mates…as long as you’re having fun the audience is going to have fun.

You produce music within a crew but enjoy being an independent artist too?

Independent work – You get full creative control over everything, from the instrumental, the theme, the flow, everything. You can write whatever you feel you need to over it and not have to worry about maybe not agreeing with what the other artist is saying in their verse etc. I really enjoy organizing gigs with other artists, and jumping up on stage for a song in their set, but I will always be my own independent artist because I have strong views and a clear vision for myself.

Collaborative work – Love it. Sometimes I can have a song that I really like, but I can’t for whatever reason come up with a second or third verse that will do the first verse justice, or maybe I have a massive beat and a great chorus or hook for it but just can’t seem to get a verse down – bam – I send it off to one of the other artists and see what they come back with – most of the time you will find that what they put down inspires and motivates you to write – and you have no dramas after that. Another great reason for collaborating is having a new flavor on the song, something to mix things up. You also reach more people when you collab, it’s just like networking – your fans hear the other guy because they want to hear my song, and his fans hear me because they want to hear the song he features on. It’s a win win.

What projects are you excited about now?

Material wise –The songs I write about these days are the things that are a happening in my life and my represents me. None of this lame 15 track bullshit you see these days. I want people to be able to get to work and back without having to hear the same song twice. I miss those days…just having fun…a heavy beat and the flow.

Now I have the other members of the crew I have decided to have all of them on an album at one stage to showcase each other. I’m jumping on collaboration tracks with most of my crew, and also a few other Sydney Artists. I think I always wanted to be the ‘featuring...’ guy haha.

What’s on the horizon? 

What I’ve learnt is that it’s all about cooking your work. Cook it and cook lots of it. There’s no point dropping a single if you don’t have an album ready to back it up once you have the people listening.

So right now it’s collaborating with as many artists as possible, dropping as many mixtape tracks as possible, and doing as many shows and gigs in the Sydney areas as regularly as I can just to build up a home fan base.

At the end of the day, I’m not praying for expensive cars or a beach front mansion, I just want to be able to afford to quit my day job and continue to produce music and perform all over Australia and hopefully the world. It’s the experiences I’m dreaming of, not the money.

Click here to check out some of Jason's beats. 

Photos courtesy of Jason Matts