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Mc Simplex

Andrew Simmons aka MC Simplex's calm voice crackles onto the line when I reach him to talk about his debut album Audio Biography. The new record, scheduled for a release later this month, gives the listener an insightful and frenzied take on the 32 year olds life. Each verse a concise and measured remedy to the modern existence we lead. "Audio Biography is a reflection of myself. Everyone that works with music has their own sound- production and lyric wise. I have developed my own sound and this album is a snapshot of my life in that point and time."

 

Simmons recollects that his childhood was an integral stepping stone into the world that would quickly consume him. There was always an eclectic range of music being played within the household and at the age of nine he started his first forays in beat boxing. With his father being an established musician, music quickly developed into a necessity, "Music has always been part of my life and I wouldn't know what to do without it, I hate silence."

 

1995 proved to be the first of many breakthrough's for Simmons when the Aussie hip-hop group, Terra Firma was born. The group, consisting of Simplex, RaphAL, Mic Lez and DJ Dyems went on to release their first album in 2003. The majority of the album was produced by Simmons, but he also grabbed a little help for a couple of tracks from Suffa and DJ Debris.

 

In 1999 a group of MC's got together, including Terra Firma and decided to drop Culture of Kings: The Australian Hip hop Compilation, volume two and three were released in 2002, 2004, respectively. The originally Culture of Kings album provoked the forming of Certified Wise, simply because the MC's from Adelaide all wanted to ride under the one banner. The crew began with 13 MCs and three DJs, now there have 20 MC's, including newcomers Funkoars and Vents.

 

For all these years Simplex has kept his day job whilst continuing to pursue his musical dreams. His work boasts a long line of productions including perfecting beats for the Hilltop Hoods, Drapht and Downsyde. 2011 became the first opportunity for Simmonds to work on and release his own solo work, "Now seemed like the perfect time, the guys in Terra Firma have just had babies and have new work opportunities. I thought I would get it done whilst they are pre-occupied, before we start working on the next Terra Firma stuff."

 

Some may think it's strange that Simmons decided to drop his album under Melbourne based Obese Records rather than Adelaide based Golden Era. But, to him it was simple "I showed Pegz a few tracks I had been working on and he really dug them. So he asked if I wanted to sign with him and I said 'Why not?' We had known each other a long time and we shared a mutual respect."

 

The first single, Beautiful Day is a firm stance against the complacency and apathy of a generation. A counter attack at the mundane lives we can settle for and the 'keeping up with the Jones's' mentality that drives us. "The government is controlling us to buy new cars, have mortgages, go to work and own massive flat screen televisions because the next door neighbour has one." Simplex predicts Work for a Living will also be a hit amongst fans; it talks about why he hates working and why he turns to hip hop.

 

Me Vs World , is a consummate example of everything falling into its place, Simmons modestly shares, "Candice happened to be in Adelaide one night. She came up with some lyrics, we changed the whole beat and then recorded it to that, and it was so spur of the moment. As for Motion and Delta, I have always wanted to work with them."

 

Finally Simmons gives an insight into his thoughts on the future of hip hop, "Some camps are staying true to themselves and some are branching a bit. I don't mind because you need different elements in hip hop. Like, I can't just listen to Atmosphere or one of two artists all the time - I need to balance it out and that's what is happening in Aussie hip hop." Simmonds pauses before continuing, "I hope the scene doesn't turn too bling or pop, but if people stay true to the scene and true to where they live then hip hop has a bright future in this country."

Audio Biography by Simplex will hit stores on February 18 through Obese Records.

 

 

Samantha Charlton