It’s hard enough being an hip hop artist here in Australia, let alone running a label with some pretty dope rappers. Big Village Records have successfully changed the industry by just being them. By constantly bringing out some of the best in the industry and for being able to stay humble and support the scene. They are now celebrating their 5th birthday at The Oxford Art Factory this weekend with a killer line-up to showcase how strong the hip hop scene is today.
We chat to Lorenz Prichard aka P.Smurf about what their birthday wish would be, the hardships of running a label and what we can expect from their upcoming gig. Margaret Tra writes.
Congratulations on your 5th bday, did you guys think you'd make it here?
I don’t know if anyone could predict going back to the future. 2015 is on some twist of fate type-ish. I’m anxious/excited to see what happens next.
Do you guys have a birthday wish?
World peace. Some good presence at our birthday party. That everyone who has released music through, performed with or supported Big Village since its conception, has a prosperous end to the decade.
You have the vinyl release this Friday, do you remember your very first dig and purchase?
My parents were massive vinyl buffs so I tended to rely on their wax to get me through. I grew up waiting in the St Vincent De Paul toys section for hours while my dad was digging. But I do remember just after I got my own set of 1200’s I went down to Desire Books & Records in Camperdown with DJ Morgs and picked up Busta Rhymes “Anarchy.” I knew then that I was starting my own private collection. This is now another one to add to it.
What would be the hardships you guys have gone through running a label?
A lot of hard work goes into running Big Village and the hours can definitely take their toll. Financially myself and Rapaport (GM) do not pay ourselves any wages, so balancing the label with our own music, paid work, relationships and just everyday life issues can be a struggle. Ultimately though we have gained so much knowledge through both the ups and downs. Each day is another stepping stone.
What can we expect from your upcoming gig?
We have got a massive show lined up featuring the vast majority of our BV family including live sets from True Vibenation, Loose Change, Ellesquire, Suburban Dark, Soul Benefits, Mathas, myself (P.Smurf), Rapaport, Billie Rose, Billy Green, Roleo and 26th Letter. Expect a booming array of high quality hip hop sprawled across a broad spectrum of eager heads waiting to scream out again in ecstasy.
Are you proud of how the rap industry has grown here in Oz?
Learning more and more about the history of hip hop in Australia and around the world has given me a huge appreciation for how it has developed in this country. I can sit down and crank some Def Wish Cast from the early 90’s, Bias B from early 2000’s or some Remi from 2 days ago and still bang my head in bliss. We are jumping in leaps and bounds both style and production wise, but the true essence of hip hop will always remain strong. That being said, diversity is amazing, let’s keep it moving.
Do you have any advice to urban indie artists in Oz?
Keep on moving, learn from your mistakes, be open to advice, stay true to your gut, never forget about the music, if you doubt yourself and fall off - get the fuck back on the horse! And in the words of my main man Q-Tip “Industry rule number 4080, record company people are shady!”
What Stimulates your soul?