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When asked the important questions such as ‘What Australian biscuit complements your cup of tea in the green goom before a show?’ REMi really doesn’t know how to answer at all. We’re chatting about his new record Raw X Infinity which was released over the last few weeks and he is relating to me about how the after-party following gigs can go either one of two ways. They can be what you’d usually expect, or the downtime and relaxed post-show celebrations would most likely involve Chinese jasmine tea and a serve of Mongolian BBQ, rather than a hard Australian biscuit.
It’s been a massive couple of years for REMi who, since being unearthed by triple j, has become one of the biggest hip hop artists in the country. Together with Sensible J and Dutch, they have created an intense and high energy set which has seen them support the likes of Joey Bada$$ and grace the stages of Falls Festival, Push Over and St Kilda Festival.
Describing the new release, Kolawole feels that the record isn’t that far removed from his debut. “The new album has just come out and it is both similar and different in the same vein. There is quite a variety of music on it; one minute it’ll be straight hip hop then boom, it’ll cross into more electronic stuff. There are a lot of options on this record and I think that these songs are some of the strongest we’ve written as a band. Everybody is loving it at the moment which is fantastic. I can’t wait to take it on the road.”
Touring around the country throughout June, REMi is checking in on the Karova Lounge in Ballarat for one night only. “It’s really cool that we’ve been a band for a year or so and released a couple of records and people come out to our shows. There are a few regional places that we’re hitting on the tour for the first time. If you haven’t seen us before, expect high energy levels, live drums, and possibly a megaphone.”
The diverse range of influences on this record have allowed for a lot more experimentation and interpretation within the tracks on Raw X Infinity: throughout the main singles ‘Tyson’ and ‘Sangria’ there are a lot of different sounds that have been influenced by Radiohead, The Roots, Mos Def and early Kayne West to a certain degree. “I think that on this record I was listening to music with a message. We listen to whoever we’re feeling man and there is no real blueprint for whose path we should cross. That’s the main reason that the album is so eclectic I think.”
The same week that REMi was named Unearthed Artist of the Year in 2013 he dropped by triple j to perform for Like a Version. Covering the classic Avalanches track ‘Since I Left You’, there was no other fitting track to pay tribute to for the segment. “Musically, that album is beautiful. It jumps around from straight Spanish grooves to hip hop. No record to date has been made out of so many samples. A true Australian masterpiece.”
Who knows what the setlist for the upcoming tour will entail – you might just hear a bit of ‘Since I Left You’ if you’re lucky.
When&Where: The Karova, Ballarat – July 10
Written by Tex Miller