Paul Callow aka Black Poet is the proud WA winner of the Good Vibes Rising competition. This competition is aimed at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander acts that play live music in the style of Hip Hop, Soul, Funk, Dub or Reggae. Hailing from Geraldton, this young Hip Hop artist draws inspiration for his lyrics from his culture, personal experiences and beliefs. Also a Western Australia Music Award winner for his track “Here I Go”, this talented artist is definitely one to watch. Liz Sheehan chats to Black Poet ahead of his debut performance at Good Vibes…
Congratulations on winning Good Vibes Rising for WA! Tell us about the competition?
Thanks for the congrats! The competition came as a bit of a shock to me at first and the win was even more of a shock. I just thought I’ll give it a try and enter, just the experience of performing with the likes of Nas & Damien Marley and Ludacris itself is a big thing and a big crowd will be great to get the festival started.
You’ll be one of the first acts on the Roots stage, what are you most looking forward to about the experience?
Getting the crowd involved and doing my thing on stage. Also meeting some of the other artists will be cool.
How would you describe your musical style?
Dreamtime Hip Hop. Real down to earth, straight from the heart music for the people, one in a million, poetical hip hop ballads and stories that you can picture and feel and let you drift away into the song.
Tell us about how your culture and beliefs influence your music?
Well my culture plays a big part like respect for our fellow human beings, connections to our land, and respect for mother nature as well as respect for ourselves. My beliefs on the other hand can cause conflict with a lot of people but a healthy debate is a good one.
What attracted you to Hip Hop, Rap and R&B?
I think it was the movies “Breakin” and “Beat Street”. I was always into it as far as I can remember. I remember break dancing, beatboxing and freestyling as a kid. Reggae was also one of my favourite types of music but Hip Hop itself as a culture is always growing and changing and change is always good.
How is work on your debut album Black Poetry going?
Slowly but surely, everything needs to be perfect. It’s currently in the mixing stage at the moment while I work on the last two tracks collaborating with Mothugz Family and 2pac Shakurs last group The Out Lawz.
You also go under the name “Indiji Rapper”, do you think this could be a term used to refer to all Indigenous rappers or even as its own genre of music i.e. “Indiji Rap”?
Well my aboriginal name is “Murru Juma”, which means black writer/artist. It’s an alter ego like “Indiji Rappa” is the street name , the “Walkabout Kid“ is the old bushranger poet and “The Never Never King” is the one in a million leader, mentor and inspiration to all. I don’t like to class my Hip Hop as Indigenous because it’s for everyone and all generations but the possibilities are endless.
What do you think is the best thing about the Australian Hip Hop scene at the moment?
The scene is getting stronger and the creativity is thriving. It’s actually a good step for reconciliation for all our people (Australians) in this land we call home. The scene is getting recognition world wide as well, so it’s good to see us Australians recognised.
Do you work or want to work to encourage other young Indigenous Australian’s to express themselves through music?
I do motivational speeches and performances for all our younger generation – all races and from all backgrounds. I would love to teach and send my message to all but you know some people like Hip Hop some don’t.
Open mic session… say anything you want….
I can see my future clearer/like reflections in the mirror/from Dr Victor Chang to Mr Albert Namatjira/
Fred hollows, Smokey Dawson and the legend Slim Dusty/a new breed of writer yes the black poet must be/
I’m the caves with painted dots and hard like Ayers Rock/I can scream like Jimmy Barnes and I’m great like Bon Scott/
Lightning man dreaming/I can hear our land screaming/I’m the pride of Australia like my sister Cathy Freeman/
I Practice What I Preach/From The Out Back To The Streets/Yes The Mighty Western Desert To The Barrier Reef………
PEACE AND LOVE, BLACK POET