Gavver Is Here To Bring Hip Hop To The Forefront Of Australian Music | Interview

Gavver is out here chasing his dreams by creating the music that he wants. It was only a few years ago that he realised the rap talent within him. Since then he has gone on to release his debut EP Why Not in 2018 followed by his most recent single True. Growing up on the northern beaches of Sydney, Gavver says his sound was influenced by the all the music he listened to on his long bus rides to school every day. With his music, Gavver wants people to feel the energy and emotion put into every song and have people say ‘Shit, that guy went hard’. We chatted to him about his musical journey, hip hop in Australia and cheese curds.

Firstly, congrats on your new single! How did you get into making music?

Since I was like 12, I’ve had a love for listening to new music. When I was 16 I had the dream of being an EDM DJ and I learned how to DJ and messed around on Ableton trying to be the next Martin Garrix. In about 2016, I realised I was way better at rapping than making EDM, so I began listening to instrumentals and beats on Youtube and freestyling in my room. It was a pretty natural progression – I started writing down some of those lyrics then wrote a few verses then a few songs and then I eventually put them up on Spotify.

What’s your process of creating music?

I try to have some kind of overall concept or idea for each song I write and release. I’m super picky with my instrumentals, but when I find one which hits me – it hits hard. I’ll listen to the beat and just freestyle and sing until I find a good vibe for the beat, then I’ll start building the hook to go with the vibe I want to express. Usually lyrics come to me pretty quick, but if I’m coming up with nothing good, I’ll go for a walk and try to clear my head, while free-styling to myself with different flows and ideas until one sounds good to me.

What albums or artists shaped your sound?

Artists like Eminem, J Cole, Daft Punk, Drake and Jay Z are artists which I listened to a lot growing up. I used to actually listen to a lot of House & EDM, like David Guetta and Swedish House Mafia, which is why I’m drawn to more electronic, high energy hip hop for my newer music. Albums like Kanye’s 808s and Heartbreak and Drake’s Nothing was the Same really highlighted the power of melodic singing with hip hop, which is something I try to explore.

What local artists are you listening to right now?

Man there are so many cool artists coming out of Sydney and Australia at the moment. Western Sydney artists like ONEFOUR and Raj Mahal are always in rotation – they have a sick energy. Shadow too. Kwame and Manu Crooks are obviously massive in the scene and I’ll probably be bumping their new music for a while when it comes out!

You’ve been performing a lot of live shows, what’s that been like? 

Yeah, it’s been pretty hectic. I’ve been super lucky and have had the opportunity to perform a few times at Manning Bar to a full room which is a crazy experience. It’s pretty nerve-racking performing to a thousand people, but I just take a few breaths and try to enjoy the moment. I love the rush of performing and once I hit the stage I just get in my zone and do what I do best.

What’s your vision for your music – where do you want it to take you? 

I’d love the opportunity to perform on stages around the country and around the world. Hip hop is at a very exciting place right now, especially in Australia, and I would love to be a part of the generation of musicians who bring it to the forefront of the Australian music scene. Bands have dominated Australian festivals forever. I reckon it’s time for a change!

You’re also studying engineering at university. Why did you want to study this?

When I finished high school I didn’t really know what I wanted but I knew I was good at Maths/Science, so I was planning to just do a Bachelor of Science. At the open day though, I talked to one of the engineering professors who convinced me to do engineering or else I’d never get a job! So I took his advice and 5 years later here I am hahah.

Is engineering or music your first love? 

Music definitely came before engineering. Engineering is kind of a means to an end – i.e. a stable job. But music has always been in the back of my mind. I didn’t want to get to 40 and have music be a “What if?” in my life. I can slave away in an office at any age, but music is typically a young person’s game and so I didn’t want to miss my opportunity at doing something I love.

You did a semester abroad at University of Wisconsin-Madison. What was that like? 

Man, that was a very fun semester. Despite the political stuff going on, I absolutely love America. The culture is so intoxicating – when you’re in a sold-out stadium of 80,000 people cheering for the college football team it’s hard not to get caught up in it. The whole town was full of college kids as well and I made a lot of friends from all over the world who I’m overdue to go visit. 

How is the music scene in Australia different to that in the States? 

It’s much smaller over here, so everyone kind of knows everyone else. The benefit of that is that everyone is super friendly and it’s definitely a community but the downside is that there are less gigs and events for new artists to get their start – especially since the lock out laws have hit Sydney and heaps of venues have shut down. Hip hop is especially much smaller here than in the United States, and there’s not much love for local artists – at big hip hop festivals that are now coming out, you’ll only have 1 or 2 Australian acts on the line-ups. It’s slowly getting better with artists like Kwame and Carmouflage Rose getting mainstream attention, but unless you mesh with the Triple J vibe then there’s not much hope for you getting a big festival spot.

Where are the best cheese curds in Wisconsin? 

Dude, those things are straight up addictive. My roommate when I was over there took me to the Farmer’s market one time and I swear every second stall had cheese curds for sale. There was one bar, I can’t remember the name, which specialised in serving cheese curds with a selection of like 100 craft beers. If I stayed there more than a semester, I don’t think my arteries would’ve lasted long hahah.

Anything else you want people to know?

My new single ‘True’ is out now with a music video coming November! Been sitting on this song for a while and I’m super excited to let it out into the world. Go give my Spotify and Instagram a follow too so you don’t miss anything!

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