Interviews

A Conversation With Scapegoat MERCY

April 11, 2020
Scapegoat MERCY

Producer/rapper/singer Scapegoat MERCY has released his introspective and melancholic single ‘LORD’. With a plethora of tracks across Soundclound ‘LORD’ marks the artist official debut release on Spotify, and is the first single of the artist’s upcoming album.

We caught up with the talented individual to talk about his musical journey, his recent single and future music plans.

You can check out the conversation below; 

First off, introduce yourself a little. Who you are, what you do and where you’re from? 

My name is Hamish Kokaua AKA That Hamish Over There AKA Hammertronic AKA Scapegoat MERCY. I do a lot music-wise and over the last three years, as I was studying at Massey, I was just trying to make the most of the student allowance by keeping myself busy musically in Wellington.

I’m originally from Dunedin so that may explain why I can be perceived as cold sometimes. I habitually conserve heat for when it’s necessary. 

Tell me a little about your journey recently? You moved out of Wellington, what was the reason for that?

My partner lives in Northland and I feel like my time in Wellington was coming to an end. Everybody has an ebb and flow and I just wanted to leave before I needed to leave y’know.

Tell me a little bit about High Vision Records and the work you’ve put into that?

‘High vision records’ is a label I put on everything I did in my last year. A group of my inspiring friends, collaborators and family put on shows and released material in Wellington. At the end of the day, it was a way to ignite energy that we can sustain and grow from in our various forms. Not a banner to limit potential but a platform to bounce off. One that I will carry personally for a long time and continue to operate under in various forms.

You produce, rap and sing. Is there one that you prefer over the rest?

I don’t have a preference, although I think most people would probably prefer I stuck to making beats. Why limit yourself or your expression in any way. For me, vocals have become more of a direct outlet and production is more of a meditative exercise for me. So I appreciate and practice all aspects where I feel appropriate.

Whereabouts do you get inspiration from your music? Is it more of a wait to be inspired thing or habitual?

A good mixture of both. Sometimes I get so inspired by how I connect with someone else’s music that I start writing lyrics as a reply of sorts. Sometimes I compulsively click on my DAW without thinking and start blank. Sometimes I try and practice by creating soundscapes. Music is limitless so I always like to wander around in the possibilities. 

Talk to me about the recent track you dropped, ‘LORD’? 

It represents different things to different people which I respect. I was definitely on the epilogue of some dark times and it’s me trying to articulate the varied ways in which I tried to evade my problems and eventually failed. In the song, I’m not praying to a deity. I am admitting my flaws and taking responsibility. I owe so much to the people I had around in those times. Always ask for help.

I understand you’ve got an album in the works as well; can I get a little more detail about that?

Absolutely! Its 10 tracks – around half of them are already available through SoundCloud but have been tweaked for Spotify and the others are tracks I’ve made over the last three years that I’ve been keeping in the vault for this very moment. I’m really excited to get it out because it represents an integral part of my life where I learnt a lot and I hope even some of those emotions translate or connect.

You’ve made a lot of music over the years, is there a different way you go about making something like an album?

Yes and no. For me and a lot of people I know, if you go about making something specific, you’re limiting the potential of the scenario. It’s like going into a date with cue cards. What I’d rather do is just make music with everything I have to give with everything available and for the purpose of accessibility, I would try and form a cohesive project for anybody popping in for the first time.

We’re in lockdown at the moment due to COVID-19. Do you think that’s a help or hindrance in terms of creativity?

I’m an essential worker so my lockdown is a bit different than a lot of others but I have noticed it does shift your perspective. Some are thriving and appreciating small details they may have missed. Some are realising they haven’t prioritised the right things in life and are using this challenging time to adjust and find a better balance. Either way, I hope we all make it out the other side healthier and bit more centred.

To end on something light, what is your go-to lockdown snack?

I’ve been trying to take a bit more care for food preparation and engage with the process but I’m lowkey missing KFC so much. So I’m going to buy some chicken nibbles and have a feast because the price for regular chicken is extortionate. Don’t judge me.

Love and peace.

You can check out LORD below.

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