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Interview: Joey Legit

Brisbane based new wave hip hop artist Joey Legit has just released a new single Rare featuring Abraham Tilbury, following his 2017 debut EP “Falling Leaves”. Finding musical inspiration from a young age and being influenced by various music genres allowed him to create a multi genre soundscape full of funk, emotion and attitude showcasing his versatility. We got to have a chat with Joey about Rare and more, check it out right here, right now.

What drove you to start making music and where do you get your inspiration from?

I feel like my musical journey started very young, making up ridiculous songs with my sister and cousins on family holidays. Seriously…they were bizarre!  I even had a brief crack at trying to write rap lyrics in primary school, before quickly realizing being a rapper was still very un-cool in Australia. My first serious attempt at music though was through the school band programs that I participated in, playing the saxophone. I had a great teacher for a year or two that strongly encouraged improvisation which really set me on a path to be more actively involved in writing music. At 15 I decided saxophone was a nerdy instrument (how wrong was I?! Saxophone is awesome) and ditched it for guitar.

I think this changed pushed me to really become a song writer though, as I then had the ability to play and sing at the same time. From here it was a bit of a journey to get to the kind of music I write now, which I feel is very genre fluid. I went through phases of indie rock, punk, ska, reggae, folk and blues and enjoyed them all! And then got HEAVILY into hip hop and rap, which I’d been drawn to as a kid but never approach from a serious musical perspective.

The music I make now is pretty eclectic and draws on all of these genres for inspiration, but if I was to narrow it down to one majorly influential artist or group it’d have to be Gorillaz. Ever since I saw the video for 19/2000 on Rage back in 2001 my 9-year-old brain was totally hooked.

You’ve just released your new track Rare, what’s the track about?

Rare is a pretty fun forward track. There’s a lot of nostalgic feelings attached and in a lot of ways it’s about becoming reconnected to the simple pleasures, but really, it’s about cherishing feelings of love and happiness. It’s about acknowledging the “rarity” and value of these feelings, and learning to find happiness in the banality of “every-day”. I should also mention it features the amazing vocal stylings of Abraham Tilbury, who really stepped up and interpreted the vision I had for the track brilliantly. He comes in on the third verse and really brings a softness to the track that balances the high energy of my vocals and the amazing production work by Muller Made.

What’s your creative process like when creating music?

I talked about having a background in playing several instruments and being an all-round song writer. However, I usually get the most out of collaborating with other artists – particularly producers. I’ve produced a few of my own releases, but I often end up feeling limited by my own singular perspective. I feel the most creative when I have a sound or a thought to react to and often I’ll ad certain musical flourishes or melodies to instrumentals of producers works I feel are 95% there for me. Over the years of playing with friends and meeting and collaborating with certain artists I’ve kinda filtered it down to a few regular favourites, but I’m always keen to keep expanding that network!


Having collaborated with a few other talented hip hop musos, who would you like to collaborate with next and why?

Wow tough question! There are so many great Australian artists around I’d be really happy to work with, and there might even be a few unreleased collaborations on the way so I guess you’ll have to stay tuned to see. Really though, I’d love to start working with more artists outside of Australia! I’m really attracted to the vibe of a lot of music coming out of the Caribbean and I feel that their musical culture translates really well to an Australian soundscape – same sort of “she’ll be right” care free attitude that I channel in a lot of my music.

What do you want people to get out of your music or what messages do you want to convey?

I’m pretty bipolar with my music, in that I’m either preaching some doom and gloom “fuck the government, fuck the world” type thing, or I’m blocking it out by completely ignoring all of those issues by just having a laugh and a good time. I’ll probably keep doing those two things for the rest of my life (haha). So, if there’s something people can take away from my music it’s that it’s OK to be multifaceted like that. It’s OK to criticize elements of society you think are lacking one day and then wake up the next contributing to the same problem you were getting mad at. And it’s OK to just say fuck it and dance when all that becomes too much. Humans are pretty complicated creatures.

What’s next for you musically?  

I’ve got a few more single releases lined up for this year, and have been working on some visuals as well. I’ve also been in the studio a lot working on new demos and recording vocals for track I’m trying to get polished up. So, if you’re a fan, know there’s plenty more content for 2020. If you’re not, I’m sorry but there’s plenty more content for 2020. Unfortunately, performances are off the cards for the time being, with the ongoing state of medical emergency. However, if you were lucky enough to make it to the March show with Gratis Minds, there was a great atmosphere around the new Brisbane Crowbar venue and I’m really looking forward to getting back on stage.

You can stream Rare now here.

Written by Ash Wallace