“I’ve always been a firm believer in that kind of stuff – like, visualising what you want and setting goals and making lists,” he admits. “I’ve always believed that if you believe it, it can happen. This year I found out that that stuff actually works. I had a think about all the things that I wanted and I wrote down a whole big list of goals. One of the goals was to debut a Top 5 album on the ARIA Charts. Another goal was to play the Falls Festival and I got to do that this New Year’s Eve – that was just incredible, it was amazing. I also wanted to have a triple j feature album. I wanted to make a certain amount of money within a year, and it turns out that everything that I’d written down I actually ended up achieving, all of it. It’s weird, I know. I am officially a full believer in that shit. The only thing now is that I need to make a new list!”
While Colwell’s hugely-successful debut album Falling And Flying is still very much fresh to our ears, the rapper stresses the importance of staying one step ahead. Living in the moment is all good, but planning for the future is absolutely necessary.
“One thing I definitely know is going on ‘the list’ is to have a brand new album out by the end of the year,” Colwell states. “The way it’s looking right now, this year is going to be mainly about touring and my biggest goal would be to try my best to break it overseas, but I know it’s also one step at a time. I have done two rap battles internationally already, one was in the U.S. and another one in Canada, but to have the right impact you have to go about it a different way. My main focus is Europe. But I also feel like I’m really in the zone and like I’ve got a creative buzz at the moment. I’ve been writing a lot lately and I can tell you it’s leaps and bounds ahead of the stuff on the current album. People who know my music know that I usually write about very personal stuff, it’s all coming from my own experience.”
Dealing with his new-found fame is proving to be a predominant topic, as Colwell reveals – and while sometimes he admits he feels a little “hassled,” he also acknowledges some negative things come with the territory and are to be expected.
“I don’t mean to sound like I’m complaining because I know that there are certain things that come with having success, like having people recognise you. I guess I never expected it to be the way it is. There’s some songs that deal with going from nobody really recognising you to suddenly having everybody notice you. I’m still getting used to shit like that. It’s not too bad but people can start coming up to you and sort of not leave you alone when you’re just out trying to do stuff. You’ve got to look at it from a positive perspective – if people are recognising you out on the street it just means that they’re hearing your music and they know what’s going on with you. I’ve also recently quit drinking and partying too much – it’s actually been three months for me now, which is good. I’ve been writing about that experience too. I guess I could say that I started having a bit of a problem with alcohol and that stuff.”
Despite his upcoming national Boys Like You tour, Colwell reckons he’s confident he can keep up the good work. You don’t need to be smashed to enjoy yourself, after all, and as Colwell points out, his touring buddies only have his best interest at heart anyway. “I know it’s going to be a really fun tour because I’ve got all my favourite people onboard,” he enthuses. “Gossling will be coming along for most of the shows, and her performance is just mental. She is such a talent. Also Pez is doing some shows and I’m really hoping that maybe we’ll even get Josh Pyke to do a guest appearance, that would be awesome. Pez and I go way back, we first met when we were 15-years-old and we used to play for the same basketball club. It’s funny because I knew that he liked hip hop and he knew I liked hip hop but neither of us knew that we could both rap. When we realised it, we just decided to try and make some tracks which went pretty well. We’re really close, actually, at one stage I even moved into his house and I lived with his family for about three months. In a lot of ways when I think about it, it was really Pez who even got me to start doing this. I started rapping at 15 but I always thought of it as a hobby kind of thing. I only start thinking about it seriously as a career when I got to about 20-years-old. I was an apprentice carpenter at the time and Pez said to me, ‘You need to quit this and focus on music – I reckon we can definitely do it’.”
Pretty much the next day Colwell took his best mate’s advice and admits he’s never looked back since. Some people just enter your life for a reason and some things are just pure destiny, as he points out…
“I’m not really sure how else to explain everything that’s happened. On top of that, I’ve been so lucky to have the kind of family support that I have had, I know that not many people get that especially when they’re trying to turn their hobby into something serious. Mum and dad were a little bit concerned at first, but only because they wanted me to make sure I had something to fall back on just in case, but they’ve been so supportive of me. I just said to them, ‘Look guys, just give me a couple of years, I want to give this a real try and I know that it will work’, and so they did, and they are so proud of me now.”
And things can only get better from here on in, as Colwell points out, having kicked off 2012 in very fine form, not only at Falls but with a recent win at the [V] Awards. “That’s pretty special, yeah,” Colwell says. “I think it was out of 50 or 100 people or something. Basically, it went through the first stage of voting, then down to the Top 10 and then down to the Top 5 and it’s amazing that I actually beat out people like Gotye. I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that many of them didn’t really go hard on the social media thing like I did. When it comes down to voting, dudes are going to win if they get their hands on the social media and really work that side of things. It’s just how it is these days. I really did my best to put it out there and get people to vote as much as possible, and I ended up getting Artist Of The Year. So yeah, I think it’s probably both to do with destiny but also taking things into your own hands.”