Illy tops up the Swear Jar before playing Cooly Hotel 27 February.

 

It’s been two years since Australians held tickets to his album-titled Cinematic Tour, and for the next month Illy is set to travel across the country for the Swear Jar Tour.

“I’m still alive,” he joked, “I still have new music coming.”

The Melbournian rapper is a proud resident of the Australian hip-hop scene – he has watched, he has wandered and he has spent the past decade experiencing all the changes of 21st century hip-hop.

“There’s definitely new, younger people coming up now which are taking their influences from all over the shop, not necessarily just hip hop or just Australian music,” he said.

“It’s been good in a way because people are gaining new influences and pushing the sound forward but I do think the community and supporting one another is kind of fading a little out of Aussie hip hop.”

But this 29-year-old isn’t one to follow the trend. Fellow rappers Dylan Joel and Citizen Kay will join Illy on tour and he said he is looking forward to having them as part of the line up.

“I always think that artists should support each other because in the end, competiveness is cool but someone succeeding doesn’t mean you can’t succeed yourself.”

Gold Coast fans won’t need to make the trek up to Brisbane to have the full Australian hip-hop experience as he stops over at Coolangatta Hotel on 27 February.

“We haven’t had a huge song and dance about the tour… so it’s mainly for the real fans not just the ones who hear something on the radio and rock up,” he said.

“I really think it’s going to be great for us to get back out there and I think the people are really going to enjoy hearing the old songs and the new stuff.”

Recently asking fans on Facebook what they’d like to hear for “one last spin”, Illy assured me there will be songs from his sophomore album The Chase on the set list, but alas, he joked there wouldn’t be enough room to hear all the favourites “unless people want to hang around for a three hour set.”

This isn’t the first or last time Illy has used social media to interact with people, regardless if they are a fan of him or not.

Whether it’s sharing his thoughts through social commentary or sharing his sense of humour with the greater public, Illy isn’t afraid to say what is on his mind.

“I just have a big mouth,” he said, laughing it off, “but I don’t think you necessarily have to express your views. I know a lot of my friends and just people I know through music aren’t as active, but for me, I like it, I like communicating directly with people.”

“For musicians it should be about the music, but I use that platform and I feel passionately about a few things so it’d be kind of a waste to not use it.”

Two months into 2016 and Illy has already made it to number 39 on Triple J’s Hottest 100, is part of the Groovin’ The Moo lineup and has hinted at dropping a new album over the next few months alongside the Swear Jar Tour.

So, what does the rest of the year look like?

“As long as this album doesn’t kill me before it comes out, I’ll definitely be doing a lot more later in the year,” he said. “But for right now, it’s doing this tour and having some fun.”

See Illy perform at Coolangatta Hotel on Saturday, 27 February. More at illyal.com.

 

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