Hailing from Sydney Australia, Hip hop artist, Mugzy has been grinding since 2014. His hyperactive life has led him in dozens of different directions. From rapping to acting, to teaching a hip hop class at The University of New South Wales. We caught up with Mugzy to talk about Hip Hop in Australia, Power Rangers, and what he has in store for 2017.
What is a typical day like for you?
I wake up Hip Hop.
Go to sleep Hip Hop.
Dream about Hip Hop.
Cause I AM HIP HOP.
How did you get started rapping?
I became interested in hip-hop music and the culture of hip-hop when I was 14. So 2005, my early years in High School. Around that time I guess you could say I was a bit of a loner which caused me to get punk’d/bullied a lot. Also, my grades were failing and I had no avenue in life when I finished school. So instead I bought myself an iPod and started listening to artists such as Eminem, 50 Cent, Tupac.
Eminem was the one I could relate to the most, even to this day. I know It sounds cliché because I’m a typical white boy myself. But just the Aggression/Anger in his wordplay/lyrics It kinda gave me a voice to say ‘I Don’t give a fuck a platform’ to fight back and take no shit in this world.
Starting off, I would drop down small rhymes in my workbook but I knew if I wanted to progress I would have to write full lyric songs. Also, I knew if I wanted to be known or respected by the general hip hop community who loves it as much as I do then I would have to do my homework. Take a trip back in time where it all started in the 70s of South Bronx and learn bit by bit
What inspires me about the culture of hip-hop is that it is the only music form that you can express yourself in any way/shape/form possible. You pick any other music genre Rock, Pop, RnB etc… Trust me, they don’t have the same effect that hip hop brings that’s why I love it
Hip-Hop changed my life completely I’ll rep it till the day I die I love it too much… Saved my life.
What were your major influences?
50 Cent, Tupac, Eminem, Nas, DMX.
How would you describe your sound?
A lot of artists nowadays seem to be doing this Auto-Voice, Quick Syllable rhyming (Which half the time makes no sense), Plain Beat Futurist GARBAGE.
New artists AND Old artists (who change their ways just because it is popular) seem to all be doing it
It is like this massive pool of trash doing the same thing over and over there is no uniqueness anymore and their all fighting for this one spot which is the dream but you all sound the same?
With me, I grew up in the generation of hip hop where lyrics and making your music sound TIGHT was everything to the listener and I’ve stuck by that from day one. I’ve been told from me staying this way it’s made me unique. Like when people see me they instantly know I’m hip-hop affiliated and that’s because back then in the 90s/00s character/image was everything too.
You are currently working on your third release now. When is the release?
My 2nd album (Understand Me) released in 2013 so its been 3yrs since I’ve released anything I’ve kinda been slacking on music and getting into a lot of acting. But I miss music so much so I’ve got a ton of work to do.
At the moment I have a ton of beats on my iPod. Most are other people’s instrumentals but when I sit back and listen to them I can hear them sounding like masterpieces. So when the time comes I’ll figure out how to use them. Also for my 3rd album, I want to do a two disk and pile as much music/craft out as possible. I won’t be leaving 2017 without releasing another album. so 2017 you guys will def hear something.
What is the Hip Hop scene in Sydney like?
In all honesty, this is what I’ve experienced on my journey throughout the music industry/hip hop community is I’ve realized that U.S artists are very humble they always want to network and connect with each other or whoever has a dream of being a rapper. Whether it is in the United States or here in Australia or wherever it may be They always want to find ways of making this dream happen for them they are always open to NEW ideas (Whatever you bring to the table they will eat it up) and that’s what I love. That’s why I have been given so many opportunities over there
Here in Australia, we have SO MUCH LOVE for the hip-hop culture it is crazy. Whether its Rapping, DJing, Graffiti, Beatboxing, Break-Dancing or just general hip hop knowledge we want to eat it up. But in saying that there is too much criticism here especially with accents. Like hip hop heads here say (Rap in ya normal talking voice…don’t do this fake USA accent) most call it a “Wacksent”.
Now there are two sides of the coin here. I can understand we want to put our Australian input on the map as natural as possible. But I’m gonna be 100% real about this. Rapping in your normal voice has no flow it’s plain (IT DOESNT SELL). To make ya music strike the ears of the listeners it has to be catchy n flow well so putting some USA slang on it doesn’t hurt. (Didn’t the art form originate from the states so why ya hating for?)
Now I’m not saying go turn into an Iggy Azalea because she is as fake as her plastic surgery. I’m just saying whatever gets put on the table USE IT stop this back-n-forth criticism about whose real and who is not. Give it a rest. This is WHY we ain’t making a living off our dreams and have to go out to our 9-5’s is because we don’t come together and make something great. From reading ALL that it looks like I’m the bad guy but that’s what I see in our scene I don’t turn a blind-eye to it
that’s why I made the track “Aussie With An American Attitude”.
How did you get involved with the upcoming film Bleeding Steel?
Sydney Agency “Ispry”, who I use to be with, was holding auditions to see who would be suited as extras for Jackie’s film. I went down for the day to audition (thinking nothing of it because half the time agencies always cast model types). The line was massive and I was waiting around for hours.
When I finally got in to see the casting agents They took a picture of me talked a bit and went to the next person. Pretty simple. Later that night around 9ish I got a text saying (Congrats are you available at these times/dates for Jackie Chan’s Bleeding Steel film?) How could I say no?
You recently did some workshops about hip hop at The University of New South Wales. How did you get involved with that? How did the workshops go?
Hip Hop Dancer “Alan Lu” Member of “D2MG Hip Hop Society” at UNSW hit me up wondering if I wanted to teach a class about the culture of hip-hop. Teach things such as the culture, history, writing skills, performance, influences, generations, etc… When he Facebook messaged me about this I jumped at the opportunity ASAP. As I love to spread this culture anyway I can in Australia. A lot of my close friends went to uni to study the countless amount of things but I never got the chance to go because my grades were shit. Until now.
I headed down to the UNSW University to teach HIP HOP to a class of 20. Now who would have thought I’d be teaching a class at one of the best Universities in Australia? Not only that its HIP HOP it is SOMETHING I LOVE).
I was also running the course alongside Wollongong Upcoming MC “DOBBY” The course/atmosphere was dope. Dobby and I combined our knowledge/love for hip hop (Me: old school and him: new school) and the students took a lot of inspiration from it.
On the day we all had a lot of fun, laughs, coming together, and just all around good Hip Hop vibe. I truly hope to do this again.
Biggest Accomplishments so far? What do you want to do next?
I can’t think of one accomplishment at the top of my head. But [there is] one moment I’ll never forget because still to this day blows my mind, and I wish I could go back in time to meet once again.
It would have to be meeting my childhood hero Walter Emanuel Jones who played Zack Taylor/Original Black Ranger, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. That day would have had to of been the best day of my life 100%.
The Story goes he was doing a meet & greet session alongside Austin St. John (Original Red Ranger) last year at Sydney’s SUPANOVA Pop Culture Expo. My brother and I woke up super early to get down to the event. When we arrived at the DOME it was completely packed and I thought I’m never gonna meet him with this amount of people.
We then rocked up to his signing table and can you believe I was the 1st and only one waiting for him to come out. (True dedicated fan right here haha) At the same time, I was shocked because I thought it would have been packed out.
I had to wait for an 1hr for him to arrive. When he finally rocked up, he looked at me put his hand out and said “Wassup man, I’m Walter good morning” from him standing right in front of me just knowing this is my childhood hero that I’ve wanted to meet for so many years and now we are face to face I was LEGIT shaking & stuttering. But then I had to catch myself so I took in a deep breath and crazy as it seems we were chatting like two best friends it was incredible.
So his like “So my man do you want an Auto or Picture?” I said “Gotta have a pic man” His like “Do you wanna pose or do you wanna morph it up to the camera,” I said “We gotta morph man”
So we both grabbed the Power Ranger Morphers and out of nowhere this crowd of people surrounds us like an audience and then he goes “You ready man? 3, 2, 1” and we both said “ITS MORPHIN TIME” and the crowd went WILD.
Just doing that famous catchphrase from the TV show that I use to do as a kid while running around wanting to be like him. Now actually doing it with him next to me I legit wanted to cry I ain’t gonna lie Like I said before it was the best day of my life.
What do I want to do next?Just work on my 3rd album. But mainly keep doing what I’m doing.
Grinding every day, and hope that the day will come when someone sees my 100% . I’ve been giving year after year and they present me with the opportunity to let me live the dream.
I want to give MAD LOVE to my 14k & OVER Fans for supporting my journey. It blows my mind daily seeing that number of followers I have, so thank you.
I want to give mad respect to the Pioneers/Fathers of hip-hop who started it off. If it wasn’t for them I don’t know if hip-hop would even exist today. So thank you guys for giving me something in life. You guys saved my life.