Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at 3:04PM
Up-and-coming Melbourne rapper, Cautious Kieran takes a stand against the general attitude of confidence and pride that is ever prominent in the hip hop community. He embraces a tentative attitude, speaking honestly upon his own experiences in ways that others can easily relate to and is on the path to discovering his own musical style. He released his first EP, Optimistic Picnic in early 2014, showcasing a mix of sweet jazz beats coupled with reflective lyrical content aimed towards generating a strong positive force.
We chat to Kieran about his new releases on Soundcloud, his take on the Australian hip hop scene and the story behind his name. Bree Stewart writes.
Your newest release on Soundcloud “Tranquility” has some mellow vibes and retrospective lyrics, was that song written in hindsight toward a particular experience?
In part, because it was written over a long period of time, and in a somewhat vague manner. I think I was trying to find that place in life (assuming it exists), in which I could feel productive, yet happy, with a chill, stable mood. I don't think that dilemma is rare. So hopefully others will relate. Since most of the beats I’m rapping on are from other people, I usually, out of necessity start with the beat, then search for a subject to suit it. I feel like I should be doing it the other way round though. Maybe I'll learn to change...
Tell us about your namesake, what's the story behind ‘Cautious Kieran’?
'Cautious Kieran' was invented by Melbourne hip hop artist, Jack Hewitt. Jack noticed my cautious attitude and it seemed cool to choose a name that goes against all the ego and confidence that's typical in hip hop. No disrespect to that type. I do enjoy and listen to a lot of it, but it wouldn't be honest for me to pretend to be any sort of a hectic character.
Who have been your most prominent inspirations in the hip hop realm?
As a youngin’, I was initially inspired by prominent Australian Hip Hop artists like Hilltop Hoods, The Optimen and Muph n Plutonic. But since then it’s stretched to any and every time and place in Hip Hop. I’ll listen to modern Trappy beats, as well as something chill and introspective such as Homeboy Sandman.
What are your thoughts on the Australian Hip Hop scene?
I love the Australian hip hop scene, not just for what its produced, but for the community vibes it helps to foster. I’ve been to community workshops like 'Dig Deep' where established artists are putting in the time to help those who are just fresh to the industry. It's important to have these encouraging environments. They give people the confidence to make the music.
Which artist would be your dream collaboration?
In terms of collaborating, it would have to be with a Producer not another rapper. If it were a vocalist I'd worry that they'd outshine me. Someone like DJ Spinna, or El-P, a reliable producer that I know would make something crazy good.
What's rotating on your iTunes/Spotify/Soundcloud currently?
LucianBlomkamp, Vince Staples and Darkside.
Good choices. Back to your work, can your fans expect a full album release anytime soon?
I haven't made any plans for a proper album debut yet. More so, I’m focusing on smaller collaborative projects that I can use as a means to experiment and develop my style. One day I will. I just don't know when.
Cautious Kieran, what stimulates your soul?
My soul is stimulated by the incredibly awesome friends and family that I have. I don't have many of them, but those who exist teach me empathy and care. Without that - I'd have a reason to blow sh** up. I already crave explosions, so I need no reason to cause them.