GUM recently had the chance to sit-down with Australian hip-hop artist Allday. The young rapper takes a unique approach to hip-hop, with moody production and a delicate flow, Allday has already earned a huge fan base in Australia. Recently wrapping up a national Australian tour and embarking on his first US tour, I spoke to Tom about his latest album “Speeding” and the importance of expanding the genres you listen to.
How are you doing? How was the AUS tour? How’s your first USA tour going?
I’m good! The tour in Australia we did a lot of bigger venues in comparison to the US. We played in San Francisco recently. There was a few people rapping the words which was cool. I’m really appreciative to be doing this US tour, finally getting to be out here.
I feel like you don’t really restrict yourself to a genre giving a listen to your music. However, how’d you first get into hip-hop and rapping?
I definelty grew up on hip-hop and rap. So like in high school you had that genre.. it’s like “Oh I’m this guy who’s really into this genre”. I started making rap, when I got my first recording session from a rap battle that I won. As I got older and listened to other stuff, I was releasing my first rap tracks. I tried to make an electro pop song under a different name, I put it on Youtube and no one liked it. As I got better at understanding different sides of music I tried to put more in rap. I always sing songs in the studio and then I can’t sing them live, so I realize I gotta go back and make more rap next time!
Where does the name Allday come from?
It comes from a dumb nickname I had as a teenager, my friend called me that because I would be taking “allday” to do some shit. That week I had my first recording session, so it sort of stuck.
Who are some of your influences?
Lots of old music, my mom listened to a lot of James Taylor and Jamie Mitchell. That kind of stuff, obviously rap and rock. With my friends at school we had like the rap kids hanging along with the rock kids. We were all the weirdos so we would listen to Rolling Stones and listen to all different kinds of stuff. I would have to settle on listening to albums we could all listen to because the rock guys didn’t like much hip hop, they would only listen to Wu-Tang if they were with us. For example the rap kids wouldn’t want to listen to Rolling Stones. I think it’s lucky I didn’t get stuck listening to one thing. I felt like I got educated in all kinds of music being with those friends.
What’s your songwriting process like?
I write things out of my phone like phrases, song titles, and sort of document different things. Sometimes if I hear something (production wise) I’ll go through these notes and see if anything works but sometimes that can be a little restricting. What often happens we’ll jam something and the idea will come quickly. I’ve found recently that it’s better if I’m not sitting in one place, I’ll drive around or take a walk.
You recently released “Speeding”, how do you think you’ve progressed from “Startup Cult” to this album?
Albums are really hard, just because there is so much pressure and there’s a lot of things to connect together. I feel like my goals are different on both albums, and for the next one my goals will be different again. I think on “Speeding” I felt previously I wasn’t getting the credit or respect for the music I was making. Releasing music feels good though, it’s the best thing ever! You can get so in your own head… when the process is over it’s like finally I can get it out there. It just felt good to release “Speeding”, because it had been so long since I had released music that it started to feel like a curse. I waited more than two years between “Startup Cult” and “Speeding,” and it was starting to weigh on me.
You also work with a lot of other Australian artists such as Japanese Wallpaper and Mallrat. What does the Australian music community mean to you?
It feels like an exciting time in Australia, there’s just so much good music coming out. The community is really friendly too, and so many people are making music that holds up worldwide. Having a national platform like Triple J that supports alternative music… interesting music, it helps emerging artists blow up. What’s great is that they find you and feature you and are constantly looking for what’s new and different.
Along with artists like Remi and Tkay Maidza, you’re part of a new generation of Australian rappers reshaping and rebranding the genre.
Well for example Tkay raps on like dance stuff, and Remi raps on boom bap beat type stuff. We’re not making the same kind of music, but it is definitely all of us taking a different approach to hip-hop.
Any artists we should be keeping an eye on?
A friend’s band called Mining Boom. Mallrat and my DJ, Mikey HUNJ. He’s making good stuff and doesn’t ever stop producing!