June saw the release of Best Kept Secret, the third solo album from Ballarat emcee Mr Esvee, and one partly dedicated to his sister. Given the sparse information on him to talent ratio, it is an appropriate title for him as well. Good thing then that we were able to steal a few minutes to learn a little more.
Hey Esvee, thanks for taking the time to have a chat with Forte Magazine. For those not familiar with your good self, please introduce yourself and tell us your trade.
My name is Salvatore Veca but as an emcee I’m known as Esvee. I write poetry for the real hip hop heads.
You are a born and bred Ballaratian and you have been emceeing for several years. Can you give us a brief background into your progression as an artist?
I have always loved rapping and used to make bedroom mixtapes just mucking around, but I released my first solo album Sovereignty in 2005. Following that came my second solo album Bleeding Heart Poetry in 2009. Now I have just released my third solo album, Best Kept Secret. Along the way I have been doing live shows and have featured on many other artists releases and compilations. I have always just gone with it and I have loved every minute of it.
Tell us about the scene in Ballarat when it comes to hip hop culture. We know some big acts such as Yacht Club DJs are killing the dance music scene. Is Ballarat as fruitful in the area of hip hop?
Ballarat has a good local support base; any time I have released an album or have performed live here it has been well received. I’m very grateful for the support Ballarat has given me on my musical journey.
You have recently released Best Kept Secret, an album you have been working on for a while. Tell us about the process behind making this release and talk to us about the album title.
Every time I make an album I just take it one track at a time, I never force anything when I write so the process does take time. I have always been a self-proclaimed ‘slow writer’ but that’s just how I have always done my thing. The album name Best Kept Secret is also the name of the signature track on the album. I wrote it for my sister whom I no longer get to see. It’s like I will never get to share my artwork/music with her so I like to look at the situation as though that’s how it’s meant to be. So it’s Best Kept Secret.
How would you describe your music? Obviously there are several sub-genres of hip hop – where do you feel you fit in the picture?
I always write about real life situations or conceptual stories that usually tie back to something real in my life or something that has happened. All in all I think I am just an Australian hip hop artist. But I have many times been told that I have a ‘diary’ type of style.
How do you think this release has improved in comparison to your first releases? Has there been a natural progression?
Yes, I think I have progressed. I am still doing the same thing but if time has passed and you are still doing what you love and giving it to people and they are enjoying it, it’s a progression.
You have a long-time accomplice DJ Bogues on the cut. How is ol’ Big Balls and what has the man been up to lately?
Yes, I have been working with Bogues for a decade now. He is well. He is doing the odd show here and there and has been working on cuts for all kinds of great hip hop that will be coming out soon. Oh, and he does the odd show with me as well.
Anything else you would like to tell regional Victoria?
Yes, thank you for listening and if you haven’t already get yourself a copy of Best Kept Secret! You’re all bloody legends!
Release: Best Kept Secret is out now