Seeing colours with Byron Bay duo The Hated

Last year the Australian rap group The Hated killed Splendour in the Grass. This year the guys are on a high from dropping their latest EP 'Colours.' The group consists of Leeze the Kid and Don Vitale, and the two lads represent hip hop in little beach town Byron Bay.  It was a bumpy road for The Hated as a trio, but the guys have reassured its fans that as a duo it’s smooth sailing from now on. As a duo the group have redefined their tune to something fresh with a light flow which is evident in their latest track "Light Up For Me," produced by C1. 

Stimulate Your Soul chats to The Hated about why the hip hop scene in Australia is still unfamiliar, what the transition into becoming duo is like, and why wearing shorts all year round may not be all it’s cracked up to be. Margaret Tra writes. 

How did you two lads meet?

Leeze: Friends of friends in a small town, maybe at the skate park.

Don Vitale: Yeah the ‘bay’ is a really small place. We had a bunch of the same interests. I can't even remember the first time we met.

How do you find the rap scene here in Aus for you two?

Leeze: The rap scene was fairly unfamiliar in Australia for me and still very much is so, but I have met so many radical people in the past few years through music which is dope.

It seems with every show we play we gain another dozen lords or so, all in all I’d say the scene has been more then friendly to us. There’s a new wave of artists emerging in Australia at the moment which is exciting and refreshing & I'm glad to be a part of that movement.

Don Vitale: It’s been good. We've met a shitload of legends. It’s all about working together and building the network. No time for the bullshit. Were focused on what we’re doing and were stoked on anyone pushing their thing.  It’s all about the music. 

Tell us about your EP 'Colours'

Leeze: It's colourful... (Laughs)

Don Vitale: We wrote a bunch of songs and our friends (C1, Hamley & DJ Butcher) produced the tracks. Those dudes all killed it on the beats and production. The tracks are a bit of everything. Many colours... (Laughs)

You guys just dropped Light up for me, produced by C1, loving the beat. Initially a trio and now a duo, how are you finding redefining yourselves?

Leeze: I’m so happy with how the song turned out, shout out to C1 he's a beast, and the visual turned out so dope. Big thanks to Maria & Ellen for the film & edit. As for the trio to duo transition, it’s been a bumpy patch but it’s all smooth sailing from here on out. We’re feeling real good right now. Good vibes everyday!  

Don Vitale: In the beginning it was just the two of us, so it’s back to what it was really. It’s a lot easier to just bounce questions off one person. Glad you digged light up for me. Blaze urpppp.

You guys live in Byron so I have no doubt that you guys are advocates for love and peace, would you guys consider ever moving away from there?

Leeze: Honestly we've thought about moving away a heap of times, but for some reason we haven’t seemed to be able to part from this little place as of yet. I feel like for now the bay is home & we have a pretty good relationship with our producers, so every mix or new beat is only an email away. Thanks to the inter-web.

Don Vitale: I’d like to do some time in Melbourne it’s good for music and skateboarding. Heaps of shit happening all the time and you can wear winter. Unlike Byron where you wear shorts all year. 

Is Byron a good place for hip hop?

Leeze : Not really the best place for hip hop. but the town suits us and our lifestyle. Yeah life. 

Don Vitale: It could be a lot better. Most of the scenes are in the big cities like Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide. Byron is a little beach town, there is a good club scene here for all the tourists but because the bars make enough money off of them it’s hard for a promoter to get a hold of a night at a club night and hold shows. So, short answer nahhhh, but Byron is dope so were staying here for now. 

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