Vulture Introduces: Hau
Former frontman of ARIA award-winning duo Koolism is Triple J’s Hip Hop Show host, rapper Hau.
Transitioning to a solo performer is no easy feat, but this man is about to make waves bigger than Mr Probz. The Australian hip-hop scene has finally found its legs and Hau is about to bring his wisdom and innovation to the forefront.
Vulture Magazine: Your career has spanned 20 years. What is your secret to longevity?
Hau: Moisturiser. My mum taught me from a young age to use moisturiser so I’m still looking like I’m 21. No, I have genuine love and passion for what I do.
VM: Your success with Koolism has really paved the way for you to branch out as a soloist. What prompted the decision to move on from Koolism?
H: We’ve always talked about doing our own projects and I’ve always liked writing with other producers as well. It really gave me a chance to explore myself and delve into some concepts that I wasn’t too comfortable doing with Koolism. I love being a part of Koolism, but I wanted to be able to have at least one solo album where I was able to explore myself and have the complete freedom of doing what I felt.
VM: What would you say is the most important thing you’ve taken away from your time with Koolism that you have now implemented into your solo endeavours?
H: I’m not sure. That’s a good question. Maybe it’s the art and the act of compromise. I tried to be selfless, but now I can be selfish. I did learn a lot from Daniel [Elleson] in terms of musical education, but I also learnt a lot about teamwork as well.
VM: How difficult is it to transition from an Aria award-winning duo to a soloist? Do you feel like you have to start from scratch in a way? Or is that part of the excitement?
H: It’s a bit of both. I definitely feel in a lot of ways I am starting again because it is a solo venture and it’s pretty much unchartered territory for me, which is both scary and exciting. I’m grateful to be able to still make music like you said 20 years later, and I’m thankful that people are still asking me to feature on their tracks and to work with me. So I’m very honoured and I feel very blessed.
VM: Why is now the time though for you to come out with your own music? Why not say 5-10 years ago? Why now in 2015?
H: I’ve often thought about that but I believe there’s a time for everything. Maybe I could have done this 10 years ago but maybe I wasn’t ready then. I feel that as I get older I get better at my craft. I think if you make timeless music there’s no real capsule or moment in time. I feel like this is the moment because this is the moment.
VM: Your first single “Kill.I.Am” has a really fresh sound and plays a lot with rhythms, which we love. Was it important for you to really step outside of your previous sound and create something new as a way to reinvent yourself and establish yourself as a soloist?
H: Yes, definitely. You’ve hit the nail on the head. I just felt at this point in time in my career, with my age and the last Koolism release being in 2010, I could have come out with something that was a bit middle of the road that people liked and say that’s a really cool song, but I wanted to come out with something kind of edgy and maybe surprise a lot of people. The aim was to really perk peoples ear’s up.
VM: You just released the video to the track. You’ve got elements of The Matrix, the freaky TV girl from The Ring, a bit of Black Swan. What did you want this video to convey?
H: I didn’t want to have your traditional hip-hop video. I wanted to have a video that if you were to watch it with the volume turned down, you wouldn’t think it was a hip-hop video. I was trying to think outside the box and I really wanted to stamp my name on the game and separate myself from a lot of what is happening at the moment.
VM: What can we expect from your debut album The No End Theory that is coming out very soon?
H: Being a solo artist there is no expectation besides that it needs to be of high quality. I worked with Sensible J & Dutch who produced the majority of the album and we were just on the same page with a lot of things and we wanted to kind of rock the boat a little bit and just represent ourselves and the art first, rather than how many we were going to sell or if the rest of Australia would like it. It was all about the art and musicianship.