INTERVIEW: KRUGER JAMES TAKES A STEP BACK TO REALISE ‘I OWE EVERYTHING TO MY FRIENDS’ WITH NEW SINGLE
Starting the new year strong, Perth based rapper and beatmaking violinist, Kruger James, returns to our soundwaves with new single, ‘I Owe Everything To My Friends’.
Keeping up the momentum following last year’s release ‘Runner Up’ which saw the rapper exploring aspects of tall poppy syndrome, ‘I Owe Everything To My Friends’ sees James take on a different approach to both subject matter and production.
Is there a special memory or experience that comes to mind when you think of what inspired you to write ‘I Owe Everything To My Friends’?
Over the last few years I’ve faced some challenges. Losing loved ones to cancer and Alzheimers, breaking up with a long term partner, close friend circle’s falling apart, fellow artists quitting music, it was quite the list. Everybody goes through things like this, but all at once, well it can be a lot. When I was at my lowest I had a couple of friends that would pick up the phone if I called.
Despite the traditional method of rapping to a beat that sparks inspiration, the musician decided to shake things up and tailor his beats to his lyrics, making for an interesting workflow indeed.
So you’ve changed up the way you go about your production, by shaping the beat around your raps. Why did you decide to go this route and how has it impacted your workflow in the studio?
Producing for other artists made me realise how often the song can be better if the track just follows the vocalist. Looking at my own music I realised I was trying to fit my vocals to the track out of some sense of discipline. This can be good to sharpen your writing, but ultimately it’s not necessary.
This song stands as a marker in Kruger James’ discography; a piece that stands for new ways of working, new ways of thinking and another win under the belt for a piece that showcases all of the musicians’ talent - singing, rapping and production. ‘I Owe Everything To My Friends’ steps away from the artists’ usual ‘boom bap’ beats and this time takes on more of a dance influenced hip hop beat. All the usual elements fans love like big, bouncy drums and bombatious strings are still present, just with a new flair.
What do you look forward to showing fans in the coming year?
My album 'Lucky I’m Already Down' is coming out in March and has some really hard hitting tunes. It’s wild, dangerous and yet uplifting music. The production has been so fun to put together in that it’s very modern while simultaneously harkening back to a soul music aesthetic. That will be a lot of fun to see released. Additionally I’m producing Mathas’ next album, and that’s something that’s turning out so special. It’s cinematic and novelistic in style, a real saga of an album, with both introspective story telling and bangers rolling out and into one another. People are going to love it.
Make sure to listen to ‘I Owe Everything To My Friends’ down below!