Rap heavyweight Tornts is almost to Melbourne what the harbour bridge is to Sydney. So entrenched in the makeup of Melbourne and its often grimy exterior, the “Hells Burn” native embraces the often harsh reality as an extension of himself. Already 4 albums deep, there is no stopping this workhorse who has just released his 5th full length LP “Street Visions”.
You’ve got a new album out in “Street Visions”. Tell us about that and who you’ve got on board this one?
Rapwise as well as myself i’ve got Kings Konekted from QLD on a track, Dr. Flea, my cuz Diem and Murky on a track, also a killer HG crew track featuring Bigfoot, Ciecmate, Billy Bunks, Murky, and Diem.
Productionwise i’ve got myself, Melbourne up and comer Kharnivor, Beat Butcha (UK) who’s produced for Prodigy from Mobb Deep, Lloyd Banks etc, plus Ciph Barker (Holland).
The recent single with “Apprentice” seems like something different whilst still being somewhat familiar from you. How did that track come about?
Yeah I wrote this track and knew it was a real street anthem type joint. Wrote the hook and thought, “You know what? A proper gangster dancehall singer in the style of Sizzla or Mavado would sound sick on this beat.” So I put the word out that I was looking for a dancehall/reggae type artist and was recommended by a friend to Apprentice. I hit him up on the phone and said, “check out my tracks, if you’d be interested in getting on this track, let me know.” He was keen so we met up and hit up a studio down Fitzroy. He was real down with what I wrote so he got in the booth and killed the hook, sounded dope. The track is one of the best songs I’ve done….check it out it’s called ‘THIS PLACE’ with a video up on Youtube. I think it really stands out amongst local hip hop.
Not only have you got this album coming out (which is already starting to sound like a monster), you’ve been working on a Booze Bastards album too I hear, with Billy Bunks?
Yeah me and my bro Billy Bunks have got a Booze Bastards mixtape dropping in December, it’s gonna blow minds haha. We basically meet up and write a lot of back and forth raps drunk as fuck. It’s a chance for me and him to let loose on the world basically. The modus operandi is drink, write, talk shit, win, ha. A lot of people have been hounding us about when it’s coming out. Shit is gonna be heinous.
For first time listeners, how would you describe your music if you were to introduce them to your stuff?
I describe my music as original, hard, street, honest, and very visual rap. Deep subject matter. Modern with international sounding production. Innovative. Tracks about life and reflecting on the city of Melbourne that I live in.
What first got you into hip hop? What record or track did you first hear and be like, “yeah im going to do that”?
Well I started rapping when i was like 16, when local rap was in it’s very early beginnings, so there wasn’t any local artists that I really looked up to to start with. I just used to think I could do it better than those that I’d heard haha. I honestly think when I heard rappers like Ice T and a few others very early on, I thought in the future i’m gonna write some shit for sure, so I did. Way too many influences from the US that got me into rapping than I could even mention here haha.
Most people know you for your rap but is there any music you listen to outside of rap that might surprise some people?
Well yeah I like a lot weird 80s movie soundtracks that have a lot of synth and dirty drum machines. I like artists that tell a real story like Paul Kelly, and Archie Roach. I like a lot of gangsta dancehall shit like Mavado. I love UK rap like Giggs and KKoke. I listen to a lot of trap joints from down south America that people probably wouldn’t expect me to like, also French Montana, Coke Boyz and them. Ace Hood, Gunplay, Waka Flocka Flame. I’m open minded when it comes to music, I like it to sound original so the artist doesn’t sound like anyone else and is innovative.
There is a massive resurgence in wax at the moment with Trem, Maundz, and more putting up limited numbers and selling out in minutes. Any thoughts of releasing street visions on wax?
Yeah i’ve been overwhelmed by the response to this album and how good it’s going, so many people have hit me up about wax so i’m thinking i’ll do a limited run for all the vinyl heads out there.
Finally when will we see you in Newcastle, I know I’ve been asking for a while now haha.
Man when it’s sorted right I’ll hit up Newy for sure, looking at Sydney gigs now too so hopefully I’ll be up in that part of the world very soon. Any interested promoters can hit me up on the Tornts Facebook page or Twitter.
Cheers for the chat, anything final you want to leave us `with?
Thanks for the interview, thanks to everyone supporting my music out there, and go check out ‘THIS PLACE’ and ‘I DO THIS’ on Youtube now!! STREET VISIONS OUT NOW!! Stay up... T