B Wise on introducing himself through his debut EP Semi Pro & not compromising his style for anyone

Meeting up with Sydney hip hop artist B Wise for a chat at BIGSOUND was a bit of a highlight for us. Having been supporters of this guy’s music back in the early days of his career, to be able to nab some of his time ahead of what would wind up being an extremely well-received live showcase in Brisbane that week was a lil’ special. This Friday, B Wise’s debut EP Semi Pro is finally going to be released (through Elefant Traks) – a record B Wise says balances both fun and introspectiveness well.

I was listening to a lot music…people’s first records they put out.” he says. “…What I kind of did was like, ‘Well – what did artists, who were in my position back when they came up with their first releases, what were they trying to say? What were they trying to do?’ It gave me a framework to say, ‘Give a bit more of yourself, start to introduce who you are’. Leading up to the EP, I would put out singles on their own which were to say, ‘Hey this is who I am, let’s have some fun – this is a cool song to have fun to’, but now I think that the influence that I applied to the EP was to introduce who I am a bit more, but also at the same time, still have those elements where it can be fun or on the other side with “No Questions”, can be reflective.”

Coming into the Elefant Traks fold this year, B Wise comments on the way in which the Sydney label has welcomed him and encouraged him to keep on doing him without having to compromise his creative direction for sales, appeal or anything else.

Tim Levinson (Urthboy), was very open to what I was doing and he liked what I was already doing,” he says. “They don’t want to change the formula too much, [they] just want to add on to what I’ve already doing. That seems to be working, to put it to a bigger degree. I guess that was important for me, and it still is today, to be able to express myself and feel like I’m not compromising who I am to be someone else.”

The trip to BIGSOUND was B Wise’s first to the conference and festival, a prime opportunity for him to try out some new material and roadtest the makings of a new live show people around the country will be seeing him tour this year, when he hits to road with Horrorshow in October.

“I was a bit nervous, to be honest.” he admits. “I always put a bit of pressure on myself when I perform live, I set a high standard for myself. It was a bit nerve-wracking to be honest but maybe after the first song, I eased into it and got past it. …We’re trying to do a bit of a new set to what we’ve been doing for the past couple of months so that’s always something to adjust to, as well.”

Touted as one of the exciting new crop of hip hop artists coming through the ranks, B Wise is careful not to get caught up in hype and has already determined how he’s to weather it all, especially once Semi Pro drops and his profile will, understandably, grow.

“I’m excited to be a part of this new wave of artists who are coming up from Australia in the hip hop genre.” he says. “I just kind of felt that the best thing to do was just to be myself and tell my own story. That’s probably the best way I could differentiate myself from other acts. there is this whole new wave coming through that has to do with people’s origins and background and also their different experiences; I think we’re now becoming more open, we’re not so closed off from the rest of the world. We adopted hip hop, like everyone else did, from the States, but we made it our own. Now we’re opening back up again to say, ‘We can compete with the rest of the world and have the same standard’.”

“I also think that it’s important to give credit, because it’s not just this new wave of people like myself doing this music and it just bubbling, we have to give credit to the Australian original hip hop pioneers. They’re the ones who have also shone some light and have said, ‘Hey – look at these guys, they’re changing the way and approach, get behind these guys’. ”

Watch the full interview below!

B Wise’s Semi-Pro EP is out this Friday via Elefant Traks. He’s going to be out on the road with Horrorshow through October – grab tickets HERE.

Header Image: Zakarij Kaczmarek


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