“I love it. It’s new, it’s fresh, it’s original and it’s honest of all things. Australians are real.” - MC Eso, on his passion for Australia’s hip hop scene
"When we first started doing the record I had no idea what to expect myself.” - MC Eso, on the direction of their new album.
June 10, 2010. By Jordana Borensztajn.
Bliss N Eso went back to basics in order to move forward through their recent creative process.
The staple Aussie hip hop trio is getting close to unleashing its fourth studio delivery, Running On Air, the highly anticipated follow-up to their 2008 delivery, Flying Colours.
Chatting on the phone to Nova during some wind-down time in Melbourne, the very relaxed and easy going MC Eso says even he couldn’t have predicted the direction the band’s new record would end up taking.
"When we first started doing the record I had no idea what to expect myself. Like, if the tracks were babies, we had to really wait until the babies came out to name them and know where the album was going,” he said.
“This one has a lot of different moods to it. You could wake up one day and feel angry at the world and there’s definitely a track on there for that, and one day you might want to embrace the world and there’s definitely a track for that too. There’s a lot of variety on it.”
MC Eso says this time they didn’t want to be tied up in a studio. So in an effort to enter the best creative space possible, the band spent six months in the Victorian bush.
“This time we didn’t want to just be in a city away from our homes, we actually just wanted to get out and we literally wanted to make that leap to the bush… There’s always something spiritual and healing about the bush.”
The music video for the band's first new single "Down By The River," unveiled exclusively on Nova today, captures and communicates some of the most significant feelings and moments from their time outdoors.
“The video’s basically three blokes in the bush that have borrowed the caretaker’s ute for the day and have made whatever they could with it, literally. You’ll see me in a poncho, screaming down through national parks and nearly falling out – it’s quite adventurous," MC Eso explains. "We could have done a silly flashy clip around a pool with models dancing around but that just wouldn’t have been us." Check out the video for "Down By The River"
“It was just an extremely fun track. We had fun painting the picture and our fan base enjoy our rambunctiousness and excitement and we wanted one of the first songs that came out to still have that kind of power – but we also wanted to describe a scene. It has Australian characteristics. Instead of it just being a partying track about a club, it had all these different elements to it.”
With a host of awards and nominations under their belts, there are a lot of eyes and ears focused on this trio – and a lot of expectations. MC Eso says they rarely think about the external pressure that comes along with releasing a new album.
“This has just been such a fun ride for us. We’ve embraced it and made a laugh out of anything. We take the piss out of each other and we love to make music, and if there’s any pressure to do an album it’s only just a push to do what we love to do.”
As one of the country’s pioneer hip hop groups, MC Eso says it's a huge privilege to be one of the fundamental groups that helped pave the way for so many other bands in the genre to pursue and succeed in Australia.
“There’s something deeply spiritual about it. I can remember when I was listening to my first hip hop records when I was 7, 8 years old. MCs or performers or artists that were making music were ‘magic makers’, they were gods. I didn’t know how they ended it or how they started it but they were all pieces of magic whether it was “Billy Jean,” by Michael Jackson, or James Brown, or the Beastie Boys, I always just imagined they were like superheros. We get a lot of young fans who have the same look in their eye when they look at us.
“It’s wonderful that Australian hip hop is getting recognised and it’s now noticed, and that at festivals you can expect about five hip hop artists to be on a stage instead of it just being a rock/pop roster.
“I love it, I love it. It’s new, it’s fresh, it’s original and it’s honest of all things. Australians are real.”