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Interview: Heavy

Interview: Heavy

Friday 8th August, 2014 11:50AM

Heavy is a relatively new kid on the rap block. Made up of couple Liam Dargaville and Reem Nabhani, the duo formed as a thrown together act for Chronophonium earlier in the year, but were quick to make an impression on audiences with dirty lyrics, humorous wordplay, loaded beats and banging bass reminiscent of the early material from Coco Solid and Erik Ultimate.

Going with the flow of their popularity, the pair are now set to release debut EP Tasty next week, which pulls together inspiration from Kylie Minogue, weed-toking and Sriracha hot sauce. We thought it would be a good time to ask the couple Seven Quick Questions...

UTR: Does being a couple ever get tricky when making music together?

Liam: If anything it makes it easier. Creatively we are both very different, but because we’re so familiar with each others mental process we tend to naturally compromise to a degree where each track comes out proportionately.

Reem: Most of our songs are written separately anyway. Liam writes the beats and hooks and I write the bulk of the raps. Then we basically just glue it all together.

What musical influences do you draw from?

L: I’m not much of a rapper but Jonwayne and Lakutis are definitely two that I fuck with. I mostly work on the beat production where I draw inspiration from the likes of TEED & Modeselektor, but they don’t exactly write the best beats to rap over. My beats always tend to start off quite fast-paced and "house-y", then I slowly work my way back from there whilst still trying to maintain a beat that will inspire a crowd to drop down and gyrate. My true idol is - Kylie Minogue. She knows how to put on a good show and release that inner queen in all of us. And I mean that in the most gangster way possible. 

R: Musically I’m inspired by everyone I connect with. Whether it be with a friend or a complete stranger. That’s mostly because spoken word used to be my favoured format which is why all of my raps vary from being quite self-reflective to the occasional plain, shit-talking vent bars.

I love Biggie. His word play is on point and as many would agree, he’s one of the greatest. And if You Don’t Know, Now You Know.

Childish Gambino is another artist I really admire. He lyrically paints a picture so vividly and sometimes horrifyingly that it gives me goosebumps. He is a true master wordsmith.

HEAVY started as a kind of thrown together act for Chronophonium and has grown into a successful project. Why do you think it took off so well, and where would you like it to go?

L: I can’t think of a show we’ve played where we haven’t left without sore thighs and sweaty backs. And for the most part I think the people who've come along have left in the same way. In my head, that’s success enough, so let’s attribute it to that. As far as where we might go I haven’t even really thought about the future of HEAVY Let’s just dream big and say being sponsored by ‘Sriracha’ hot sauce. But seriously, looking for that sponsorship. That sauce is tight.

In the end we’re just having fun with it to an extent where it might seem like we’re just taking the piss. I feel like people understand that which in turn makes them take it a little less seriously and just have fun with us.

What are your thoughts on the state of the rap scene in New Zealand at the moment?

L: I don’t know if I could really comment on the existing rap scene in New Zealand as we're not really a part of it.

R: However, there is definitely a very promising young pocket of rappers coming out of the woodwork these days that are extremely refreshing to see around the local circuit. Jules & Vince and BEIGEboys to name a few.

You've mentioned writing in a spoken word style, how does that realm differ from stuff you write for HEAVY?

L: I’ve never really written any spoken word. I tend to write the more "thoughtless" and catchy hooks that feature in our tracks. I fill them with a touch of filth and grime to add a little more humour.

R: My spoken word is very dark and reflective where as ‘HEAVY’ allows me to loosen up and give it a more comedic and twisted spin. It’s as if I have an alter ego. She’s like “Super OG fuck shit up 420 24/7”. It may come off as overly violent, sexual and absurdly ridiculous but it’s only an exaggeration of the truth.

Can you tell us a little bit about the EP?

L: It’s pretty much all new material a part from a few oldies we re-wrote as we didn’t wanna risk boring anyone with music they may have already heard, including ourselves. We recorded it all in my room which was pretty challenging for me as I’ve never really done anything like that before and Lawrence Goodwin from Career Girls mixed and mastered it for us.

R: The EP’s essentially just a little taste of HEAVY and an ode to our imaginary psychotic doppelgängers.

What’s your favourite post-420 snack?

L: Pretty much anything covered in Sriracha hot sauce. That sauce is my jam. Figuratively speaking.

R: Mac ’n’ Cheese, w/ extra cheese.

HEAVY are celebrating the launch of Tasty next Friday with a gig at Auckland's Golden Dawn with support from Slopey and DJ's Zac Arnold and Charlotte Red. More details over here.


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Fri 15th Aug
Golden Dawn: Tavern of Power, Auckland

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