Over the last year, Mr Wilson (aka Chris Will) has cultivated a reputation within the Geelong rap scene since the release of his album Drift. A budding wordsmith with an interesting perspective and take on the world, Mr Wilson now takes on the modern hip hop scene head on with his new 14 track album To The Lost. We chat to Aussie rapper about his album, his influences and the Geelong scene.
First up, congrats on the release of your album To The Lost! Described as an album of loss, addiction and tough times, can you tell us a bit about these themes? Is this based on personal experiences or did you draw from other influences?
To The Lost is most definitely about being broke and being too wasted to care/change that. I figured out a long time ago that no matter the steps I take, or the hours of effort I put into worrying about the future, life is happening while I’m busy making plans… so I just get fucked up, make the music that my ears want to dance to, and the rest of my problems don’t seem so bad.
For instance, I fucked my life up yet again the other day worrying about what other people think of me, and if a track like ‘Between All The Sad Songs’ (track 11 on the album) had been playing when everything went down, things might have turned out differently.
It took 12 months to produce a 14 track album – which is crazy considering I write two to three songs a week normally – but I used the time to craft something I am incredibly impressed with.
This album follows your last release Drift. Did you take anything in particular away from that release in creating To The Lost? Any lessons or challenges?
Comparing the making of those two albums is actually interesting for me, so thanks for the great question. Drift was written really quickly; life was stable back then. It was such an angry piece of work, full of songs questioning everything and everyone around me. It reflected the fact that inside, I knew things really needed to change in my life.
To The Lost was an exploration of what happened when I gave away everything I ever cared about; my home, my family, the girl I thought I wanted to marry, the expectation of a stable 9-5 work day, they’re all gone, and I felt lost as hell… Still do occasionally. But the joyous thing, the truly blessed part of life, is that right this second I’m smiling. And whether this album or any others I release in the future are successful, I have an existence I can be content in. It’s not the easy thing to do; God it would be simple to go get a job as a chef again and make 80k a year that way, but I want more. I keep my own hours, answer to no one but myself, spend my time playing video games, writing music, and engaging with people that sometimes give me money to listen to my voice. Life is fucking grand.
The last time we spoke, back in June last year, you had only just moved to Geelong to discover the hip-hop scene. How have you found the Geelong scene since then?
Geelong’s hip hop scene, as far as it goes, is dead. The live scene, like everywhere else, is full of DJs, cover bands, and famous people. I’m a little bit over trying to play meaningful shows as a singer songwriter at the moment; know anyone on a decent festival that can hook a brother up? Seriously though, shoutouts to Riley Juiceboxx (the best rapper in Geelong hands down), but the only place in Australia worth playing is major cities.
What can we expect from Mr Wilson next? Any upcoming gigs or performances?
I have a cheeky little mix-tape I’m calling Logicallergy that’s occupying my time at the moment. I go on the road in a matter of days for an indefinite period with my music and no shows planned; more just travelling to promote along the way… although it’s guaranteed that you’ll be able to find me in a bar, park, shopping centre, performing arts centre, and wherever I am there’s a great chance I’ll have some speakers and a verse ready. Life is a gig, ya dig?
Release: To The Lost is out now.