Dj Bonez

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Dj Bonez


Bonez is one of the poster children for Australian hip hop.

Bonez is one of the poster children for Australian hip hop. He’s done the hard yards, done the shows and done the touring – oh, and also released some pretty impressive bits of production; or half a dozen – no mean feat. And no easy slog for a hip hop artist down under either, but he has done it with hard work, determination and a love of the scene and the music. Here is his story.

“I first got into music as a kid just listening to music in general. I was into electro, funk and soul – and even all the electro and hip hop that was coming out in the 80’s really struck my interest. I was into taping stuff on the radio and stuff; I was pausing and rewinding and back and forth and making mixes. It was basic, but after a while I got into videos and studied the DJs in them; I was moving more towards that than being a rapper or whatever. I wanted to control the rhythm and then by the time drum machines came along it all became second nature. “

Likewise, getting on stage and ripping it is not something too unfamiliar for Bonez. “For me, there are two types of performances. There is the club DJ type performance; or the solo on-stage type of performance. If it’s the club DJ set, I just go with it. Music is my life and I like the experience of being put on the spot. There are some patterns I might use again and I might change it a little; but otherwise just go with it. As far as live showcases, that’s a whole different story. You have to plan it and get the right cut and stuff. I do that every now and again and I do that when I have to.”

And production wise, he still twiddles knobs however it isn’t his priority number one right now. “It’s been a little while since I’ve had a record out,” chimes the old boy. “I get asked a lot about why I haven’t come up with anything for a while. But the easiest way to answer it is to say that I needed a break. There are lots of reasons but mainly it was for myself. I wanted to re-evaluate those things. It was the environment and everything really. I’m always making music regardless – because not every piece of music I make gets put out. Everything I make doesn’t need to be a product, you know?”

“Really, I wanted to find the passion and love for making music in general again and I wanted to step away from production so that when I got back to it, I would enjoy making it again. It does become a job and you need to think about things to make sure you can still give it your best. I’m still experimenting with a lot of different styles and sounds and until then, it might be a month or a year who knows.”

Finally, we talk briefly about the state of the union in hip-hop right now. “In terms of the music right now, we have our own identity in Australia for sure,” he says. “It’s self funded and supporting its local artists; all of the hip-hop heads are doing things that they’ve never done before. It’s great to see it growing and doing its own thing. So much so that we now get overseas support and stuff. A few people are getting ahead now in the States and that’s amazing. But as far as emcees are concerned – there are a lot of guys from France and Germany are really getting into Aussie hip-hop.”

“As for production, there is no language barrier, you know?” “Reading stuff on the forums and stuff, you know there is no language barrier. Music is the universal language. American hip-hop is in a lot of ways different to Australia and things are different here, which is good. I am grateful that it’s still there – we’ve got it lucky.” True dat.

DJ Bonez [AUS] plays with Oh No [USA] Friday February 25 at Roxanne Parlour. It was also his Birthday on the 10th of February so if you bump intohim, make sure to wish him a Happy Birthday.