Rapper and Aria award winner Illy just ended his national “One For The Cities” tour here in Adelaide last weekend. But there’s no rest for the wicked as the Melbourne hip hop artist gets back on the road in January to tour parts of the Eastern seaboard, and appear on the bill for Canberra motor festival, Summernats. The Street Machine Summernats was voted ‘Australia’s Favourite Event’ by the public at the Australian Event Awards in 2013. Around 2,000 spectacular cars join over 100,000 fans in a celebration of all things automotive at Summernats, the largest car festival in the Southern Hemisphere.
Not necessarily a motor enthusiast per se, Illy (AKA Alasdair David George Murray) said he is looking forward to playing to such an incredible crowd.
“I’m not a huge fan but I definitely can appreciate it. I’ve played the V8s before and I’ve had a lot of mates go to Spring and Summernats so I kind of know what to expect; but I reckon some of it is going to blow my mind, particularly the crowd. I’ve just been told there’s going to be about 100,000 people there. So it should be a really big show,” he said.
Summernats is known as the worldwide home of burnouts since they hold the Guinness World Record for the largest simultaneous burnout. However, Illy said he probably won’t be participating in the event; he’ll just stick to what he’s good at. “I don’t think I’m in the same league as these guys. They’d see a burnout I’ve done and laugh at me. I’ll do the rapping, they can do the burnouts,” he laughed.
Joining the bill with fellow hip hop royalty, Bliss n Eso, as well as the incomparable DJ Havana Brown, Illy is in good company.
Having shared the stage and collaborated with many artists in his career, Illy still maintains Adelaide boys Hilltop Hoods are his favourite people to work with.
“The Hilltop Hoods are such a big part of me getting into local hip hop and I’ve always been a fan of theirs. We toured Europe with them as a support act this year,” he said. “They’re on the album, and we got to play that track live for the first time when we were in Adelaide. So I love the dudes and that was a really good way to wrap up the tour.”
No stranger to Adelaide, Illy is a big fan of our fair city and our hip hop scene.
“The Adelaide gig was awesome. It was a great way to finish what’s been a crazy year of shows. Also, the people there are great. Every time I’ve gone to Adelaide it’s been a great night. I’ve also got to see some of the hills areas, which I haven’t seen until recent trips and they’re just so nice!” he said. “Over the years we’ve always had local supports on the bills and I’m pretty good friends with the Golden Era Crew so I know their music pretty well. I’m a big fan of a lot of stuff that comes out of Adelaide. “
But he won’t be returning to Adelaide for a while; first Illy is performing at Summernats, then he hits the studio to bring us a new album.
“I probably won’t be doing many shows in Australia next year because I’ll be working on a new album but we might do some North America stuff and some European stuff. As soon as I have some new music, I can’t wait to tour again but I need to let people miss me a little bit,” he laughed.
“I’d like to have the album out by the end of the year but we’ll see how it goes.”
But until then, if you’re heading to Summernats or checking out one of Illy’s summer shows, you can expect to see a pretty slick show.
“It’s a pretty well rehearsed show,” Illy said. “We’ve done like 70 shows in 2014 so we’re good to go. We’re tight; just a really high energy, fun show. I always try to make my music translate to a live set so people have a good time. We’ve got our stuff down now.”
By Libby Parker