Pez Dispensing a Conscious Sound

Pez – Australia’s resident rapper with a conscience – is in the midst of a resurgence as he prepares for the release of his next solo album later this year.

His impending appearance at the upcoming Sprung Festival this October, alongside the likes of some of the hip-hop industry’s leading lights, follows an extensive government campaign that reinforced Pez’s status as the conscious and moral everyman of the hip-hop industry.

It was the Melbourne rapper’s genuine demeanour that led to his selection as the figurehead of the recent government campaign The Line, which heavily featured his track Shine.

The campaign itself was aimed at adolescents in Australia and dealt with creating healthy relationships and identifying behaviours that could be viewed as ‘crossing the line’, such as abuse, violence and rape.

Although Pez may not have envisioned himself in such a role, he said it was a great experience and allowed him to meet some like minded individuals who were keen to make some ‘changes for the better’.

“It gave me the opportunity to work with a lot of kids doing song writing workshops which I absolutely loved and want to do more of, as well as get out on the road and tour with a full band, which I’d never done before. It really opened my mind to a whole world of new possibilities.”

Pez’s positive outlook is reflected in the lyrical content of his songs, which exhibit a refreshing depth that chooses to deal with real issues as opposed to guns, cash and thug life.

“It’s very important to me that my music has substance because I feel like the majority of the population has been lulled into a trance by the continuous onslaught of propaganda being forced down their throat every day, so I like to talk about things that go a bit beyond that.”

When not tirelessly promoting The Line campaign, the east-coast wordsmith could be found performing at numerous benefit gigs for the flood relief appeal, further emphasising his desire to make a positive impact.

The workload doesn’t look to be getting any lighter either, with his solo album release, collaboration album with Raymes and a number of eye catching singles all in the works.

Triple J Unearthed winner Tom Ugly’s latest track I Was Somebody Else, which features the Victorian MC, is the latest of these single releases that demonstrates Pez’s willingness to stray outside the conventions of hip-hop and experiment with different sounds.

“Yeah I think I actually feel more comfortable blending different sounds than I do just making standard hip hop tracks, because I obviously draw a large portion of my inspiration from outside of hip hop, so I tend to connect with the music even more when I incorporate other elements.”

As for the solo album, we can only hope that it builds on Pez’s last release A Mind of My Own; an album that was largely responsible for his rise to prominence on the scene.

“I think this next album is a bit more personal than my last album, which was really me looking out at the world trying to make sense of everything.”

You can catch Pez at the Sprung Festival on October 15 with further information available at http://sprunghiphop.com.au/

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