I compiled a bunch of music that inspired my new album, The Past Beats Inside Me Like a Second Heartbeat. Some of these songs lifted me at low points, woke me up during a lull, snapped me out of a rut, all the good things that music does that nothing else can. Enjoy.
Q-Tip – Gettin Up Classic song from a brilliant comeback record. This wasn’t about loyalty to a group I’d loved forever, but more so an incredible return to form. It inspired me to see an artist that had been around for a while, do something with such undeniable impact.
Kendrick – You Ain’t Gotta Lie Can’t front on the fearless artistry on To Pimp a Butterfly (remember when everyone was freaking about about ‘i’?). I look up at the sun and see a force so bright that I wouldn’t dream of being compared, and that’s beautiful. Let the greats shine! His vision makes me not want to settle for less in my life, and I want to do things I thought I wasn’t capable of.
Ceelo – Gettin Grown Before Ceelo became a celebrity, he did amazing shit like this.
The Coup – Wear Clean Drawers Apart from my daughter, this was the inspiration behind Little Girl’s Dad. And although it’s in honour of her, LGD is an homage to this.
Raury, Big KRIT – Forbidden Knowledge To simplify a complex web of social injustice into an easily understood song concept is a stroke of genius.
Big KRIT – Saturdays = Celebration This knocked me the f out last year. The beauty and anger and frustration thrown into disarray by loss, it’s all handled so well here. I just hear resilience. Amazing.
Mura Musa – Lovesick In the world that Hermitude and a zillion wannabes inhabit, Mura Musa stands out. Downtempo electronic music has always struck a chord with me, ever since the late 90s where it wasn’t easy getting my hands on a lot of instrumental hip hop – I went to whatever was closest.
Jarryd James – Do You Remember When songs are everywhere. I think this is a classic.
Kira Puru – All Dulled Out You know those type of songs that you hear and can’t place them? Was this a hit from some big overseas act in 2014? I had a moment like that with this song a few weeks ago. It’s brilliantly written, gorgeously sung – a screamer of a tune. One of the songs of the year.
Joelistics, Kaity Dunstan – Out of the Blue I’d say this is under-appreciated because it’s not known as widely as it should be, but to the people that have really listened to it, and seen the video, there’s no under-appreciating going on. This will outlast a lot of the fad hip hop in Australia, and it’ll be one of the songs that is played for years to come. Beautiful storytelling.
Jayteehazard, (Leone) Rivals – Seen A tasty and moody gospel influenced electronic hip hop tune. Jayteehazard is my touring DJ, and one of the gentlest and funniest dudes you’ll meet. Rivals is a leader, a communicator, an artist and label organiser – his husky tones are like coals on a campfire.
And so much more.. briefly, Ngaiire’s Once was my favourite song of 2015; Caitlin Park guested on my album and I’ve included her personality-filled hooky tune Lemonade (you should hear her new shit tho); B Wise‘s 40 Days cos he’s about to tear the roof off this motherfucker; Okenyo’s incredible Just a Story (whoa!).
There’s 28 songs and almost 2 hours of music; play it while you’re cooking dinner, smoking a joint, brewing a coffee, whatever. Enjoy.