Ivan Ooze

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Ivan Ooze

Entertaining, provocative and energetic are just three of the words you could use to sum up talented rapper Ivan Ooze. Returning to Beyond The Valley Music Festival as a headliner for the second year in a row, he promises a performance bigger than ever before.
“We’re getting everything prepared and I know there’s a lot of stuff that [we’re] trying to keep a little bit secret, but there is heaps of spectacular things that will be on stage. So yeah, a lot more energy, new songs, new everything. It’s gonna be pretty dope,” he says.
Having spent much of the past year touring, Ooze now counts Seth Sentry as a friend, and has supported Ice Cube, Cypress Hill and (infamously) Azealia Banks but performing at festivals is another story for the Melbourne artist.
“You have to really work for it to earn their attention, so you just have to try a lot harder,” says Ooze. “It’s a lot more fun doing it that way as well [because] you’re working harder, and you’re showing them what you’re made of. It sort of intrigues them, and they wanna come in and be like, ‘Oh, what’s this guy doing? Like he’s doing all this trap stuff and there’s a backflip, and he’s yelling a lot,’ and all this sort of stuff, so it’s kind of cool doing.”
Marked as an artist belonging to the new wave of Aussie hip-hop, Ooze prefers not to be pigeon holed, and prides himself on being an “all rounder.”
“Whatever I hear, like over a beat or something, that’s what I’ll put onto a page, and that’s what will be on the beat. There’s no specific sort of sound that I’m going for. I like to always mix it up,” he says.
This unpredictably is part of the essence of Ivan Ooze. As he says, “I just adapt,” and we see that clearly in his latest single ‘Fire’. “I wanted to start having tracks that were bangers. As in, bangers at your show, and in clubs that people get down to. I wanted to have a song like that everyone could lose their shit to and just yell at the top of their lungs,” he says.
“It was pretty much just so I could have a trap banger in my set, plus [I wanted to] start introducing other trap songs – you’ve got to grow as an artist.”
A personal highlight for the rapper is the rapport he has with fans, and this has been evident to him on his latest tour. “I played my first under 18’s show, and then I played my Melbourne show the other night, and it’s weird now to see that people know my lyrics. That psyched me out,” he shares.
“There was about 150 in the room, and they all knew that hook and that song, and I think that’s sort of a highlight, that sort of trips you out real bad,” he says.
Wrapping up my time with Ivan, I asked him about his name. Satisfying the geek in me, Ivan did not disappoint. “I watched Power Rangers, I watched Ivan Ooze and he is like a dark creature that like pops out of an egg. But he’s also extremely funny so I just took that name, just ’cause I felt like all the traits matched up to it.”
Written by Jessica Morris
Beyond the Valley is held from December 29-January 1 in Lardner. Tickets are available at beyondthevalley.com.au.