Kid Mac has done a lot in a pretty short amount of time. An avid lover of hip hop, the youngster has just released his debut album No Man’s Landand is relishing the opportunity to grow his career in music. “Basically I grew up in an area where hip hop was pretty big. My parents were originally from Brazil, so they really encouraged me to get into music and pursue something. I began playing guitar from an early age and I was playing music through high school.”
Kid Mac would later get into punk and rock, wanting to fuse a lot of the genres he liked together. That comes through in his music, which fuses elements of fringe rock and urban vibes that has resulted in a fresh and completely relevant debut album. “I got into the production side of music and beat making and things at university. That sort of pushed me into taking it a little more seriously. And since around 2007 I’ve been doing a lot of touring and working on ideas for tracks and the like.
“From the outset when I started writing and recording a body of work, I was basically thinking that initially it was going to be an EP. I always knew it was going to be a big journey because at that time, I didn’t have my own sound. I was a young guy just trying to get into hip hop and I was doing the hard yards – a lot of gigs and things like that. But I never really got comfortable with the emcee tag and I felt like I had to play to my strengths so I took the direction to a new path. I put in a live drummer and bass player and that’s where I found the direction over the last few years; I wanted to use the sounds I was into and it sort of worked for me because a few years later I’m working with some pretty talented people who are helping represent me as a musician.”
Now, having recently secured two significant accolades in Artist Of The Year and Video Of The Year at the Music Oz Awards held at the Sydney Opera House, it’s full speed ahead for the multi-skilled Sydney boy. Having delved into the film world too, he is sure that he is on the right track. “When I started mucking around with music at a young age, I was really interested in film as well as music. So when I co-directed Bra Boys and it was well received, it opened up doors for me and I wanted to take that and capitalise on it.”
Likewise, his second foray into film – Fighting Fear – secured him a feature on ABC’s highly regarded Australian Story while the Bra Boys documentary won Best Documentary at Sundance, as well as becoming the highest grossing documentary in Australia. Not bad for a young local kid who wondered whether success would elude him. “When I got to tell a story in film, it was like a new passion for me; taking that and fusing it with music, putting the two together, I’m very lucky to be where I am. I’m still brushing up on each side of the fence – both music and film – and I’m documenting everything I do. If things keep going and take off to a point where I can do something that’s credible internationally, I’d really love to do that.”
So back to the album – the first track She Goes Off features US artist Mickey Avalon as well as cameos from Snoop Dogg, Steve Aoki and Sarah McLeod. It’s getting radio play on some of the countries biggest radio stations and is turning punters squarely onto his frequency. “The first collaboration I did on the album was with Matt, a mutual friend. I was a big fan of his and we had friends in the community; one time he invited me to support him on a show and afterwards over a beer we talked about ideas and music and stuff like that – that’s when we came up with the idea for the album.
“I really think it comes from an honest place; a place where I live and breath music. It was about taking artists I wanted to work with and working with some pretty clever people. For example, another mate that I supported on tour in the US hooked up with me in LA and we worked on some tracks in the studio. That was inspirational and taught me a lot about the business: it’s about trying to keep the girls happy and being able to have a good jam. I’m happy with what has come from it and pretty stoked on how the whole thing has worked out.”
Finally, he shares a few words on the tour: “I’m really pumped for the tour to be honest. It’s the second headline tour I’ve done; it’s always a little nerve racking getting up on stage because anyone who comes through the door expects to have a good time and be entertained. That’s why I really try to bring an upbeat vibe to the shows and I hope people walk out sweating and having had a great time. I want to see people jumping up and down and going mad. Let’s get the train moving forward!”
Kid Mac [AUS] performs at The Westernport Hotel, San Remo on Friday July 6 and at The Espy on Saturday July 7.