Wordplay interviews – currently – local emcee Soma about his new EP, The Blackmarket.
I interviewed you back in 2012 and you mentioned you were working on an album, now it’s finally released! Tell me about the process of making this EP.
It was pretty straight forward really. Ramzee hit me up asking if I would like to do an EP over his beats and then just sent me a bunch of tracks and I started writing, or I had lyrics sitting around that worked on certain beats he gave me. When I was all ready to go I headed over to Melbourne and we recorded the EP in one day at Crate Cartel HQ ran by Geko. Geko also mixed the whole project. We then waited a hell of a long time for all the post production stuff like cuts, guest spots then one day it just all came together and I am real happy with it!
Sometimes people will smash out an album in a couple of months’ time, but with this EP it’s been nearly 2 years. Why did the process take so long?
A couple reasons… One, I am pretty slack [laughs]. Two, I tend to change my mind on projects and abandon them half way, like I had another EP ready to go but just went off it so scrapped it. Then Ramzee hit me up and I loved his beats and decided to concentrate on that for my next project. Another big part is I wanted consistency.
I feel today that so many albums just come out sounding like a bunch of tracks as opposed to an album where you can listen front to back as one work. We also had a vision of what we wanted and had to achieve that no matter how long it took. Also my writing process takes a while, I really concentrate hard on crafting my bars, I hate to rush them and am anti filler lines.
You have collaborated with Ramzee, who I have to admit I am not familiar with at all. Tell me about Ramzee, how you two linked up and their contribution to the EP.
Ok so Ramzee produced Geko‘s EP called The Horror. I met Geko in Melbourne through some mutual friends and went to record there and did a track with him over a Ramzee beat. A month or so later when I was back in Perth, Ramzee contacted me saying he loved my verse and if he could send me some beats. Then the rest is history really.
When I interviewed you back in 2012 you were moving to Melbourne, but during the past couple of years I’ve noticed you have shifted coast to coast, why has that been? Has there been any influence / effect on your music?
Oh I am just a flaky nutcase [laughs]. I tend to change my mind on what I want to do and where I want to be constantly. Like last time I went back to Melbourne I decided one morning to go and went that night. I have a lot of friends out there and I also find just the overall atmosphere of the place inspiring. I believe its the mecca of hip hop in Australia and I always leave that place ready to write. I am sure I will end up living there properly one day.
The Blackmarket EP has a dark vibe with the lyrics and the beats. What were your influences making this EP?
I suppose the darker nature of the lyrics just sort of reflects my frustrations and my situation really. Living in squalor, losing friends and family, never having money, seeing people around me degenerate, then frustrations with the music scene etc. Just a lot of shit I was going through and I was always pissed off cos of it, and when I get pissed off I usually write to release it. The theme for the whole EP is basically about how people who drop knowledge are becoming increasingly harder to find, so like the black market you have to go to a black market to get your fix etc. but yeah just stuff that was on my mind at the time.
I use writing as my only source of release really, so I put what I am frustrated about on a track and move on, but I happened to be in a bit of a darker place when I wrote this. The darkest track on the EP is probably Chemical Generation. That one is inspired by William Burroughs who just wrote crazy surreal nightmare-esque non linear stories. Chemical Generation is real bleak surreal delve into the less pretty side of society, it’s pretty much all inspired by late night walks on my own through the city which I do quite often.
What’s next for Soma?
Gearing up for the digital release of this. Then we are gonna release the vinyl in around a month [and] I will probably do a launch, maybe tour it then back in the studio to finish my next solo project called Ghost Town Laureate!
Interview by Kylie de Vos