It’s hard to position Allday within the cohort of musicians that make up the Australian scene. From Adelaide to Melbourne to now, Los Angeles, the rapper still very much holds a place within the local music scene but to look at how his last year or so has rounded off, it’s evident that the Allday brand is being grown into quite the international feat. Based Stateside these days, Tom Gaynor, has continued to charm and impress his fanbase at home, most recently with his new album Speeding.
Before he returns home to launch the album via a brand new show, Allday fills us in about Speeding and how it represents the type of artist he’s working on becoming.
Congrats on the album, mate – there’s obviously been a lot of press swirling around it: how it matches up to Startup Cult, if relocating to LA has changed your sound…the usual subjects. Can you tell us how it’s reflective of your own personal style and the artist you’re moving forward as?
Thank you! I would consider Speeding to be more of a snapshot of a period in my life. I felt like making something that felt like winter and was really personal. I’m also aware of my place in changing the sound that a popular rap artist in Australia can get away with making. So I wanted to do something challenging for myself and the audience. Right now, I don’t think my next album will sound much like Speeding. I think i’ve got it out of my system a little bit.
You’ve indicated in other interviews somewhat of a dissociation with sectors of the Australian hip hop industry which I find interesting, given the genre – today – is much more fluid and open than it has been in previous years. Now that you are based in the States, do you look back much on the scene you left and would you say it’s changed much, in your opinion?
I can’t remember saying I don’t like it or I don’t associate with it recently, but maybe I did. Sometimes I just say that to be antagonistic. I’ve always been honest about the fact my music isn’t influenced by any rap from Australia. But I did listen to it and love it when I was a kid. I just don’t draw on it directly for my work. The current ‘scene’ is cool. I could probably name 25 rappers who I think are making cool shit or on the brink of making cool shit.
With Speeding, I feel like we see you really step things up a notch in terms of ambition and creative drive. Was there any one significant moment when you were making it that all the pieces fell together and as an album, everything just made sense, or has the final product stuck pretty close to your original vision?
There were a few incarnations of it. The first songs were mostly like 110bpm pop songs where I sung and barely rapped. It was like a happy 808s & Heartbreak. But then none of those songs felt right. The practical element was that on Startup Cult only two songs got the full Kanye treatment, by that I mean, getting the original stems and then rebuilding the beat with a producer until we liked it, those were “Right Now” & “You Always Know The DJ”. This time we did that with every song, but I probably took it too far by just not knowing when to stop. In that sense, it was like a first album.
Your fan base has diversified quite a lot since Startup Cult – would you say that’s a telling reflection of how much you, as an artist, has developed in a relatively short period of time?
I hope I’ve been growing as an artist. But when people assume I want to make more grown up music to attract adults instead of younger people, that isn’t the case at all. I make music for people experiencing new things, analysing themselves, having feelings, taking risks, having failures, being open, being vulnerable. Those qualities are in people of all ages. Actually when “In Motion” came out, my cousin who doesn’t usually listen to me messaged me and said she liked it. It is a nice feeling to convince people that I’m okay after all.
Tell us a bit about working with the likes of Japanese Wallpaper, who is obviously a very exciting young artist also on the rise – how important is it for you to be mixing with other creatives on some different and interesting tips?
I feel so lucky to know Gab (Japanese Wallpaper) as a friend and someone to make songs with. He’s a brilliant musician and I’m a rapper who sings. So the fact he likes my music is cool to me. I try to be around people who can teach me things and I can keep improving as a musician and as a person. You can hear somebody’s soul 10 seconds into a song, the better you get as a person, the better the songs will be.
Allday will be on the road with Speeding in Australia this July, supported by Japanese Wallpaper and Nicole Millar. Tour dates below:
July 7th | Festival Hall, MELBOURNE | LIC/AA
July 8th | Big Top @ Luna Park, SYDNEY | LIC/AA
July 15th | Astor Theatre, PERTH | U18
July 15th | Astor Theatre, PERTH | 18+
July 29th | The Tivoli, BRISBANE | U18
July 29th | The Tivoli, BRISBANE | 18+