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Interview: Spit Syndicate

Spit Syndicate

From Western Sydney to the Great Northern

Hotel Great Northern | Sunday 10 June | 8pm | $24.50

Sydney’s Inner West duo Spit Syndicate, made up of Nick Lupi and Jimmy Nice, are one of Australia’s most exciting, forward-thinking hip-hop acts.Nick Lupi of Spit Syndicate gave Seven the lowdown…

What was it like growing up in inner western Sydney? It gets a lot of headlines in the press these days for a range of things. What was it like for you two and your mates as kids and teenagers?

We’re extremely grateful to have grown up in the Inner West of Sydney. It’s got its rough patches, and it’s bloody expensive nowadays, but for the most part it’s a beautiful, multicultural, thriving part of Australia, supportive of the arts and creative industries. It was awash with graffiti when we were growing up, which was our introduction to hip-hop. We still make music with the people we grew up with. Many of Australia’s top bands are from the Inner West, which says a lot about the area.

How did living in that area inspire you musically?

I think hip-hop music carries an attachment to the area it’s created in, more so than other genres of music. For that reason, we’ve always put our neighbourhood in our songs, but it’s more than just mentioning the name of our area. Living in the Inner West gave us our slang, our style, in many ways confidence to be ourselves. That carries through in our music.

Does your music still reflect your suburban background?

More than where we live, I think our music reflects where our heads are at at this point in our careers. We’re 10 years deep in the game now, five releases under our belts, lot of ups, downs, plenty of triumphs and definitely no shortage of mistakes. Creatively, we’re the sharpest we’ve ever been, and for the first time we’re moving as a 100 per cent independent operation, no label or management, just us and our team.

Tell us about the inspiration behind your new album Orbit.

We felt the immediacy was missing from how we made music; we wanted to return with a new album as quickly as we could. We wanted to continue to push ourselves musically while also avoiding the traps of the process that can stifle creativity, such as overthinking or overanalysing the songs we were making. Finally, we wanted to channel any feelings of frustration we might have regarding music (and anyone who’s making independent music will tell you, there’s no shortage of frustration) into something constructive, something that people can hold in their hands: like an album.

You guys are a bit of a local hip-hop success story. Do you feel like that? Do you get mobbed by fans back in your ’hood in Sydney?

To be honest with you, we don’t spend a great deal of time reflecting on our achievements and patting ourselves on the back. Some people might struggle to believe that, because I think there’s always been a perception of us as cocky and arrogant. Success is a relative term. By some measures we’re incredibly successful, by other measures we’ve got a massive road ahead of us. Our personal measure of success can fluctuate. We get love in our neighbourhood, we get love in other parts of Australia, we’re lucky to have a lot of younger cats looking up to us. Neither of us have worked a side job for a few years now, which in Sydney is a massive victory.

What can people expect for your show at The Hotel Great Northern?

We both feel very strongly about Byron; we’ve partied there, holidayed there, written albums there. We haven’t played many shows there, though, so we’re excited about performing. It’s a public holiday eve so we’ll be going hard! We’re bringing our boy Turquoise Prince on tour with us and he’s an incredible performer, a true star in the making. Short answer: it’ll be a belter, don’t miss the show.

Spit Syndicate play the Hotel Great Northern on Sunday at 8pm. Tix through Oztix.


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