Interview: Pez & 360
Pez & 360
Change It For The Better
By Chad Parkhill
Sydney-based rapper 360 became involved with the Federal Government’s The Line initiative simply enough. “It really just came from Pez – he’s one of the main faces of it,” he tells me. “We’ve been making music together for years and years now, so I just wanted to get involved with the whole tour. I think what they’re doing is a really good thing.”
360 will be joining Pez and Aussie hip hop icon Maya Jupiter in a series of dates across Australia for the ‘Change It For The Better’ tour this May and June. Part of The Line campaign, the tours’ aim is to promote respectful relationships and raise awareness about violence against women.
And it couldn’t have come at a better time for the pair. Their current single ‘Just Got Started’ is blowing up on Nova and triple j, with a signature riff sampled from an unlikely source; Berlin’s softly-spoken indie-disco group, The Whitest Boy Alive. “I went over to the dude who’s producing my album – Styalz – I went over to his house one day and he’d sampled that Whitest Boy Alive song, and he played it to me,” 360 says. “I was like, ‘Yeah, we’ve got to use this, this sounds sick.’ We were just going to use it as a mixtape song, just put it out for free because it was a sample and a recent one. But once we made the actual song it was like, ‘This could be pretty big.’ Everyone loved it, so we contacted Whitest Boy Alive and got their blessing to put it out.”
The unusual sample indicates the diversity of the music that you’ll hear on the Change It For The Better tour; both Pez and Maya Jupiter will appear with a full backing band, a rare occurrence in the DJ-centric hip hop world. “I’ll be opening the night up, just me and a DJ,” 360 says. “Then Maya Jupiter’s gonna come on with the band, then Pez is gonna slam it down at the end. I haven’t seen Maya Jupiter perform live ever, so I’m looking forward to seeing her with the band. It’s gonna be good.”
Pez is effusive about Jupiter’s talent, too. “She’s a real good person – the few times we got to meet her, we clicked really well, because she’s genuine,” he says. “She was slogging it out for hip hop over here well before it became cool, or it got any momentum. She was doing the hard yards for us, and we’re really aware of that – and I guess that for any of the new generation of Australian hip hop fans who aren’t aware of that, they’ll get to be brought up to speed on this tour.”
Pez is also keen to be working with a band for the show. “Even if you do perform with a band in hip hop, you’d normally have a DJ running a lot of samples,” he says. “This is going to be the first time I work with a band, and it’s entirely live, they interpret the songs. It’s amazing. I had a rehearsal last night, and you just fall in love with certain songs again, the ones which maybe didn’t reach their potential in their original form. It brings everything to life. I can’t wait.
“We get to go around the country and see a lot of people and connect with them,” Pez continues. “We can talk on a pretty real level; it’s not going to be pretentious shit. Just like-minded people pushing a positive message.”
What: ‘Just Got Started (Ft. Pez)’ by 360 is out now
Who: Pez, Maya Jupiter and 360
Where: The Harp Hotel, Wollongong / The Factory Theatre, Enmore / CBD Hotel, Newcastle
When: June 2 / June 3 / June 4