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Eternal cool kid and self-proclaimed Chubby Boy Allday answers our Q&A about his obsession with driving, his new album, Speeding and a new collab with Amy Shark.

Tell us about the collab with Japanese Wallpaper.

I went to Gab’s studio in Caulfield (Melbourne) and it was a nice day with a cool breeze. We talked about music and found stuff we both like, then we made the song, In Motion. Well, actually I took home the instrumental and wrote on it for a while. I was quite nervous to send it to him because I had this weird paranoia he would say “actually, I want to keep this song for myself”… So I was relieved when he said he liked it. We started a new track when he was in L.A for shows, so I’m currently back in the agonising “try to make lyrics as good as this production” phase again.

You’ve mentioned before that you’re not keen on Aussie hip-hop, what genre/scene do you identify most with /are inspired most by?

I think people always ask me about Australian Hip Hop because they know I’ll say something inflammatory (can’t resist) and the article will get a lot of clicks and comments from people who drink Monster Energy. In Australia our underground rap has always been good, I’m just not a fan of the Pop mixed with Boom Bap that is big here… it all sounds like Jurassic 5 to me and I am personally not holding onto what’s golden. But I love where Australian Hip Hop is going, people are pushing out in different directions now.

What’s the story behind the house on the cover of In Motion single?

It’s some apartments right across from Cam Bluff’s studio where we did most of the production on Speeding. I would park my car there every day and have that exact view. So I thought it would be cool to use it for something. I also realised it looks like the classic Australian high school. And high schools are home court for painful, naive relationships like the one I’m trying to describe in In Motion.

You’re performing at GTM, anyone you’re extra keen to see perform?

I think I clash with Amy Shark which sucks because I’d like to see her set. And… we just made a song together. I can’t remember who else is playing right now. It’s a good lineup. I’ll definitely chuck a hoodie on and go watch all the sets.

What inspired you to skip across the pond to L.A?

I just needed a new challenge as a human and as a musician. It’s been really fun and productive so far. Also I had my VISA already so I was like, umm, why the hell not. I don’t have any children or a partner keeping me in Australia.

What’s the story behind the new album name, Speeding? Is it something to do with cars? (insert lame reference to Monster Truck)

Monster Truck, Raceway, In Motion, Speeding.. I don’t know, I think I have a weird romantic obsession with driving around at night. I’m not even a car person really. I couldn’t change the tire on my car or anything like that. I just had a lot of weird car imagery I had to get out of me.

You’ve carved out a niche in Australian music that’s distinct to other hip hop, what do you think has caused that?

Prior to 2013 I had just done music for fun, which sounds weird because I had 3 or 4 mixtapes out by then. But I was rapping on literally ANY beat I had sent to me, and recording things in 15 minutes and then releasing them. It wasn’t art or entertainment so much as a personal pastime. So all of a sudden a song of mine called So Good starts getting played on triple j and I’m doing shows and I have a manager. I’m like “ok what now?”. I had no capability to make music or money to get help to make music. And things had disintegrated with the producer of my EP A Skateboard Soiree. So I’m making Loners Are Cool in 2013 and I really want to quit my job, that was probably the peak of me trying to fit in. There was a moment after that when I realised that I probably wouldn’t listen to my own music… So Startup Cult in 2014 was the beginning of me making things that I would want to listen to. I suppose that’s a primary rule for me in making songs now… It seems obvious but it wasn’t obvious to me at the beginning. But I still love it when people say they love those old songs, I’m glad they have found something in them, it makes me glad things unfolded the way they did. It means that this was all supposed to happen. I think I’m a late bloomer, my best songs are going be coming out of me soon.

What are your fave new music/bands?

In the last few months, I’m liking Liss, Spike Fuck, LANY and Weyes Blood.

You used to spray paint around Melbourne, what’s the best thing you’ve painted?

Is anything still around on walls? Actually I had quit graffiti by the time I moved to Melbourne, I used to paint in Adelaide when I was a bit younger. I was never that good, but I did go out painting a bit. I think it’s a great hobby, but I got bored of it I suppose. I won’t tell you what word I wrote in case there’s some sort of psycho vigilante cop who has always wanted to catch me. I actually quit art school because graffiti kept me up until 5 in the morning and class was at 9. I quit university to focus on my graffiti career (lol).

What is the coolest thing thats ever happened on tour?

Fans just giving a fuck is always the coolest. Coming to a show, wearing a shirt, giving me a hug, singing the words, telling me the music means something to them. Can’t place anything above that. It’s my favourite thing in the world. Also we’ve had some fun parties.

Which candy bar would you be?

An overripe banana.

Is it potato scallop or potato cake?

We were just having this dumb argument for like 3 hours yesterday. It’s called a potato cake but I never liked those things. They have no flavour and they give me a headache. So there’s my hot take. Potato cakes/scallops are bad.

You started out with a lot of young fans, how has your fanbase evolved?

I (hope) some of those people have stayed listening to me, so we’ve grown together. I hope I can be the N’Sync and the Justified and the FutureSex/LoveSounds and the 20/20 experience for people. Someone who is growing up with you and morphing over time.

Allday’s sophomore album, Speeding, comes out today worldwide.

Michelle He

Live music enthusiast. Always at gigs with my camera.