Back on tour and with new music in the works, Melbourne-rapper PEZ chats with Forte Mag

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Back on tour and with new music in the works, Melbourne-rapper PEZ chats with Forte Mag

Words by Chloe Waddell

Celebrating 15 years of his debut album A Mind of My Own, Melbourne-rapper PEZ is hitting the road for a national tour.

With a unique career so far, including two full-length albums, collaborations, award wins and nominations, and a couple of hiatuses, crowds in Ballarat and Geelong can soon see the rapper when he rolls into town this June. PEZ sat down to chat with us about his tour, career, and exciting new music on the way.

Keep up with the latest music news, festivals, interviews and reviews here.

Although performing has been a big part of PEZ’s career, it hasn’t always come easy. With a very quick rise to fame thanks to triple j, PEZ was catapulted from playing smaller gigs at the pub to performing to 10,000 people, which he was not entirely prepared for. In thinking about those early years of performing, PEZ shared that “it was so daunting and terrifying for me back then”. Now, however, PEZ says that it “is actually the best feeling in the world”. Looking forward to being able to actually enjoy performing this time round, PEZ’s upcoming tour promises new and old songs, and the chance to meet and connect with the people who come along. 

Being a dad has kept PEZ busy, and has also given him and fellow rapper Eso some new inspo. “It’s a pretty tongue-in-cheek song, it’s called ‘The Dad Joke’s On You’”, he says, “me and Eso were talking about the fact that we’re dads now, and being dad-rappers, and just how funny that was”. The soon-to-be-released song offers “a really good vibe” and, more importantly, PEZ shared that “it feels like me again”. 

Thinking back to how it all started, PEZ says A Mind of My Own “was so innocent and it was so naïve. It’s like, you just start making rap music because you love it, you make it in a bedroom, and then suddenly it kind of takes off and goes really insane, which I wasn’t really prepared for”. PEZ then signed to a major label, where “a lot of outside voices start to chime in” and it all became business focussed. “I didn’t deal with that very well”, and that experience, PEZ says, “made me realise that you need that little support network or foundation to protect you a bit, and help you keep being yourself and not get pulled in all these different directions to keep other people happy. It can get really contrived and just get weird, and I think that’s what happened for me, and then the love went out of it more than anything.”

“I think once I had a family and stepped away from music, all the love came back. Suddenly I was just living life and not thinking about it, and then before you know it you start writing songs again, and you’re like ‘oh, I remember this feeling! This is what it actually felt like to enjoy what you’re doing and it come from the right place’”. Now with his heart back in the game, PEZ is making music that “feels authentic again”. This authenticity is what PEZ attributed to the success of ‘The Festival Song’, which is ultimately what launched his career back in 2008. 

His second album, Don’t Look Down, featured Aussie icon Paul Kelly, who he met at a party. PEZ explains that he was contacted by triple j after an interview they did with Paul Kelly, where the legend was asked what music he was into; “He said my name”. At a friend-of-a-friend’s birthday, PEZ was able to introduce himself, and Paul Kelly shared that he owned and enjoyed A Mind of My Own, to which PEZ replied “that is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. If you ever want to do a song, that would be a dream”. Not too long after, PEZ was at Paul Kelly’s house throwing around ideas and listening to music. “That’s still a really special memory for me, just meeting him and having the chance to do that”. 

When PEZ last toured, us regional folk made quite an impression, with him saying that “some of the regional spots were some of the most rowdy, electric shows you would have”. “You would go to those spots and everything just goes up another level from what you thought a show was, and everyone was just having such a good time”. It was a pleasure talking with PEZ, and here’s hoping that the regional vibes are as immaculate as ever when he comes back to town. 

PEZ will be playing at Lamby’s Tavern on 14 June, and will be backing this up with a gig at Ballarat’s Volta on 15 June, before heading to Belgrave, Frankston, and Brunswick. Tickets are under $50, and the gigs are 18+.  

Head to for details, and to secure your tickets!