Melbourne Hip-Hop artist Seth Sentry is quite laid back about his imminent tour of the country, and due to overwhelming demand he’s confirmed a second Melbourne show for his upcoming Run Tour in February and March. Seth will be bringing Canberra’s Citizen Kay and Perth’s Coin Banks along as supports on his national headline tour.
Music Editor Darren Hassan spoke to him about the music biz and life in general, and how he has turns his observations into song.
Growing up in a coastal town an hour or so north of Melbourne, Sentry found his calling amidst the mundane life of our education system. “I was probably the only kid in high school that was into rapping, and then I started free styling at parties and it kind of graduated from there- like a compulsion although no-one else in the little town I grew up in was really listening to it.”
Stereotypically, the genre of music has been the outlet of many a disadvantaged young soul coming from oppression or hardship, but for Sentry it came more out of necessity rather than any need to chase fame and fortune. “We were poor and I grew up in a broken home, but I don’t think that’s the catalyst for me getting into it (music). It was a nice coastal town but didn’t have a lot going on for it culturally so I made the move to get out. There was no music scene or anything there really, so we kinda’ did it because we loved it”
For a guy that has essentially carved his own path though, he remains quite unassuming and has a sense of maturity that could best be described as ‘street wisdom’. We discuss the hip-hop scene in Australia, and how it has evolved from an underground niche to the mainstream, with artists such as the Hilltop Hoods and 360 drawing such positive attention to the Hip Hop scene. “ It’s good man, it’s healthy. There’s a lot more competition and people are pushing each other despite having their own unique sounds. There was though definitely a time when everyone sounded similar, it was basically the typical Australian Hip Hop sound.” Sentry’s own sound is a more chilled, observational style and for anyone who hasn’t yet heard songs like The Waitress Song, he has the ability to create imagery and share the meaning of the music in such a succinct, straightforward manner.
In terms of his songwriting process, Sentry says that he creates music based on the beats that are laid out in front of him and finds one that gives him a ‘vibe’. “Once I pick that beat, I build a narrative, or a story in my head first and flesh that out with the raps thrown in later. The Waitress Song I basically wrote in fifteen minutes after going to a café. You need to be inspired by your own feelings no matter what you see, it’s too hard to pretend.”
Sentry has had a good run so far, with his tracks The Waitress Song, My Scene, Float Away and Dear Science all receiving significant national airplay on Triple J. He was nominated for an Unearthed J Award (2009), won Channel V’s Oz Artist Of The Year Award (2012) and was nominated for an ARIA under the ‘Best Urban Album’ category as well as appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live in the US. With all this in such a short time, it’s little wonder that the down to earth Melbourne rapper is making a name for himself as one of the big names in Hip Hop. He does though, acknowledge those who have come before him and paved the way for the genre to enter the mainstream. “Definitely the (Hilltop) Hoods, these guys were the first Aussie rap artists that I heard. We run into each other sometimes and they’re great dudes.”
It’s great to see Australian artists stepping up to the plate and taking on the music industry on their own terms. Look out for Seth Sentry as he hits the road on the Run tour on February 20 in Brisbane.
His album RUN IS AVAILABLE ON ITUNES THROUGH HIGH SCORE RECORDS / INERTIA.
Interviewed By Darren Hassan
SETH SENTRY RUN TOUR 2015 (With special guests Citizen Kay and Coin Banks)
*SECOND MELBOURNE SHOW AND ALL OTHER SHOWS ON SALE NOW
FRI 20 FEB | THE HI-FI, BRISBANE QLD Tickets available from www.oztix.com.au | 1300 762 545 | All Oztix Outlets
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