Raised in South Auckland and brought up on rapping in schoolyard cyphers, BEEWERE’s music is reminiscent of the golden age of 90’s hip-hop, with a unique twist of his own.
Bursting onto the scene with two recent singles ‘Infamous State Of Mind’ and ‘Fool’s Fate’, produced by friend and frequent collaborator Lxngshot, BEEWERE is looking to leave his mark in 2020.
We caught up with the Auckland rapper to get a sense of what shaped his music, tall poppy syndrome in New Zealand as well as his plans for the future.
Check out the full interview below;
Tell me a little bit about yourself? Where you’re from, where you grew up?
I currently reside in a sleepy part of the North Shore, Auckland, but I grew up Southside rapping cypher style in the schoolyards of Pap.
South Auckland is renowned as a hard place to grow up for NZ minorities – it definitely influenced my style and made me the man I am today.
What were some of your early experiences with music? What did you grow up listening to?
My earliest experience was back in 4th form at a talent quest in Otara. We performed our own written raps and wore our own merch, in front of about 40 to 50 people.
I grew up listening to RnB and Hip Hop – Brandy, Monica, Deathrow, Dogg Pound, 2pac, Dr Dre, Nate Dogg – It was strictly West Coast until I matured and started listening to Biggie, Mobb Deep, Wutang.
Tell me a bit more about how you got into making music yourself? What inspired it?
I grew up in a musical family – my old man slapped the bass and my mum is a soul singer. She bought me a radio with a microphone input when I turned 16 – the passion just grew from there.
When you’re not making music what do you get upto?
Kickin’ it with my Queen who’s currently nurturing my firstborn, grinding 4 long days a week at a dead-end job which has kinda been a blessing in disguise giving me time to perfect my musical craft with my producer.
Tell me some of your musical inspirations? Both locally and internationally?
Locally it’s gotta be Melodownz, he’s done a heck of a lot for the NZ hip hop community and The Doqument who are heavily underrated here. Internationally for me, the new wave artists would be Roddy Ricch and J Cole who has perfected the path of growth and conscious rap without selling out.
You’ve been working with Lxngshot on your last couple tracks, how did that come about?
I met Lxngshot through his brother who I’d usually freestyle with for hours on end at parties or gigs. He told me to come over and jump on the mic, in an hour from scratch we had our first ‘throwaway’ but after hearing and seeing the potential we have been cooking up fresh vibes weekly for months.
As an artist, I feel I have grown immensely and every session is more polished and refined between us.
How do you guys work together? Does he send a beat and you jump on or is a bit more natural?
Both, either he sends a beat and I’ll write through the week while at work or it will spontaneously pop out at the studio. It’s just whatever the vibe is on the day, but yes, it’s all-natural whenever we’re creating. We’ve tried to force a hand or vibe at times, but the best material happens when we let it flow and the work/life mental balance is on point.
Your recent track ‘Fools Fate’ explores the idea of Tall Poppy Syndrome, what are some of your thoughts/experiences with Tall Poppy?
Tall poppy experiences happen all the time, it’s whether you let the experience affect you or fuel you.
I’ve had people talk me down in the past regarding my style or how I sound… This only fueled my hunger to prove them wrong, which is where Fool’s Fate came from. Rolling in the wrong circles as a young buck, a life behind me now, there’s always been pressure to keep it strictly hard so growing as a true versatile artist has been very freeing for me as well
Do you think NZ has a bit of a tall poppy problem?
YES! 2020 around the bend you’d think people would wake up, acknowledge and shed that low balling NZ mentality.
What do you think of the New Zealand rap scene, and a bit more locally the Auckland scene?
I think it’s up n coming, we’re finally making moves internationally now with the likes of David Dallas ft Freddie Gibbs and now Melodownz ft Denzel Curry. I’m staking my claim here but I’m not limiting myself to these shores, ya dig?
What are your plans heading into 2020?
Been in the talks with local sponsorship which is amazing. I also plan on releasing a number 1 song or viral hit, releasing my debut EP mid-year sometime, live or private shows through my management team at DRMDLRRECORDS. Pretty much world domination 😉
Check out BEEWERE’s latest track ‘Fools Fate’ below;