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By Barret Helander
June 23, 2014
By Barret Helander
June 23, 2014

In the midst of their success we managed to get a few questions over to Aussie favourites Hilltop Hoods. Really establishing themselves in 2008 with their own label (Golden Era Records), they foster local talent and work hard to earn the piece of the pie. We were happy to have a quick exchange with DJ NEXT about where the lads are at and their upcoming shows in New Zealand.

Looking forward to having you lads back in NZ. How was your last experience here in 2012? Any highlights?

We had an amazing experience last time we were in NZ! I can confidently say it was one of the best and most memorable tours we've ever done... Everyone was super welcoming and the crowds were really in to it. Highlight for me would have to be Queenstown. That place is crazy!

What are your thoughts on New Zealand hip hop?

We love New Zealand hip hop. There's seems to be a really healthy hip hop scene over there which has created a lot of great artists and releases. Being a DJ my favourite artist would have to be P-Money... he's not only an amazing producer but one of the best DJ's in the southern hemisphere (and a huge inspiration to me).

Where in the world been some of your favourite performances and why?

For me it would have to be Switzerland and NZ. The crowds, the people and the atmosphere are what leave an impression and those two places probably rank the highest.

Talk us through the creative writing process? Where is it done?

It's different for every track but it usually starts with Suffa producing a beat which he sends thru to us. If everyone is feeling it then Suf and P throw ideas back and forth at which point a concept or idea for the song evolves. They'll write their parts in their own time whenever inspiration strikes and during all of this I'll play around with some DJ/scratch ideas. By the time we get to the record/mix stage the framework for the track mostly there. A lot of changes to the writing can and do happen after the initial recording though... after we've had time to reflect on our own parts. It's different for every track but that sums it up in a general sense.

Your home city of Adelaide, if we were to come visit, where would you recommend we go for a lager? Favourite restaurant?

I'm probably the worst one to ask in the group. My culinary favourites are cheap, fast and fried. My favourite restaurant is a place called Barnacle Bills. I should say chain of restaurants - It's basically the McDonalds of seafood but it's exclusive to Adelaide... and it's delicious. As for a drink I would have to recommend the Lion Hotel in North Adelaide.

What goes on tour stays on tour. Yeah right. What are some of the best tour stories you have?

To be honest I can barely remember the best stories. I'm hoping they'll come back to me one day though.

Who are some of Hilltop's inspirations?

Growing up we were all inspired by the great Hip Hop artists of the time. Artists like Public Enemy, KRS-One, Rakim, Nas, Kool G Rap etc. Now I think it would be safe to say that we are inspired by good music in general.

Biggest lessons learnt in your career?

Hmmm... that's a tough one. Probably would have to be that your only as strong as the team around you.

What collaborations can fans look forward to?

You'll have to wait and see!

What else do you guys get up to in your rare free time?

My free time usually involves me tinkering away in my studio trying to find ways to make it better. Sad I know. I'm a studio gear/tech nerd at heart.

What's your ideal age to retire?

I haven't really thought about it but I wouldn't be mad at 50.

What to expect from your upcoming shows?

Plenty of energy, banging beats and crazy antics. We're currently in the finishing stages of our new album at the moment so NZ might get to hear some of it live before it's released if all goes to plan.

Published on June 23, 2014 by Barret Helander


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