After splitting from the corporate world it’s safe to say this writer has had a lot of couch time trolling through social media hoping to stumble on some fresh Aussie artists’. I was beginning to get disheartened, however there’s lot of talent in this country, but at times it can be a struggle to find the authenticity in each rhyme. Out of nowhere 20 year-old from Marysville, Victoria rapper Jonny Chill pops up down the bottom right of the app on Instagram and it seems sometimes fate does stick it’s foot out trip you over.
MC Jonny Chill is changing the concept of viral rapping and brings with him a raw Mac Miller-esque flair with the conscious lyricism of early Q-Tip. Jonny and I talk motivations, Instagram, as well as common influences. Bree Stewart writes.
Tell us, who is Jonny Chill?
A motivated rapper with a fresh unique style and a positive outlook on life. I vibe off the calm nature that surrounds my hometown, Marysville. I'm confident in what I do, I have the utmost perseverance to perfect my work and I'm persistent in getting things done. I'm passionate on wanting to spread that positivity right through the Australian hip hop community.
So you’re my first interview purely from an Instagram stalk. Those freestyles are off the hook, do you think social media is changing the hip hop community for the better?
Thank you for acknowledging me, I really appreciate it. I definitely think that social media is changing the hip hop community for the best, it’s really helping up-comers like myself to reach a wider audience, we’re getting ourselves out there.
I’ve listened to a few of your raps on SoundCloud, your voice is insane - sounds perfect blended over some of those more mellow beats; who do you look up to in terms of vocal styles?
Thank you. I've been experimenting with different sounds for nearly two years now and I've definitely fallen in love with the more mellow beats. I guess I look up to Mac Miller with his style of smooth voice, I love the coldness of Wu Tang Clan and that raw voice of Seth Sentry. The confidence in Odd Future, I really look up to that too.
Is it true it’s all recorded from your bedroom? It’s pretty clean! How did it come about?
Yeah it's true, all my songs are recorded from my room. One day I just went out and bought a mic and moved it around my room until I found where it sounded best and recorded from there.
Your track ‘Daydream’ has an infectious flow...
‘Daydream’ is definitely one of my more pumped up tracks, it’s just a feel good song!
The ‘Waterfall Rap’ video on youtube is a grinner. Your Instagram also has a few vids of you out and about dropping rhymes, while a lot of upcoming rappers hide behind their bedroom doors you’re doing the opposite. Do you rap everywhere you go?
I do rap everywhere I go (laughs). I find it inspiring to rap in front of beautiful scenery and it's a good way to get your audiences attention. I love capturing the pure essence of my hometown and sharing it with others.
Do you prefer a collaborative environment or do you work best autonomously?
All the way up until now I have enjoyed working autonomously, showcasing myself. I feel my next adventure would definitely be to collaborate for sure.
What albums have been pivotal to you growing up?
When I was 15 the first rap albums to really hit me were High Life and Kids by Mac Miller, I then got into the album Enter the Wu Tang (36 chambers) and Bastard by Odd Future.
Is there a hip hop revival happening in Melbourne?
I've never really thought hip hop left Melbourne, social media is bringing more awareness to it all; so if it did leave it’s coming back in a big way.
What needs to improve in Australian hip hop?
I think the audience of Australian hip hop needs to be more accepting of the artists who haven't got that strong, iconic Aussie accent in their raps, everyone's got a different style.
Can we expect to see you doing some gigs soon?
Yeah definitely! I just recently did a gig at the Laundry Bar in Fitzroy, Melbourne. I'm always gig hunting and keen for the next one.
My dream collaboration would be with Joy Ride, the way he sings is amazing, I love his smooth style.
Do you live and breathe this talent - or do you juggle it with other endeavours?
Yeah everyday I live and breathe rhyming, I feel like I'm meant to do this so I keep my mind at it.