HMO and Azza-D have been playing shows promoting HMO’s debut EP Heightened Modus Operandi. After almost running out of petrol, nights at Crown Casino, and very little sleep doing shows in Melbourne, regional Victoria, Sydney and Wollongong, it was time for Azza-D to ask HMO some serious questions about music.
Their next show is supporting US rapper Royal Skyyy at the Red Rattler Theatre in Marrickville on November 15.
Before they perform alongside one another at the Red Rattler in Marrickville next month, Azza-D caught up with HMO for an interview.
AZZA-D: What is your earliest memory of being completely immersed in a song?
HMO: I think I was about eleven and I was listening to Stairway to Heaven. It was actually a pretty pivotal moment for me as a kid. I still remember that moment to this day. My parents used to play great records like Rodriguez and Steely Dan when I was young, so I was always surrounded by music.
AZZA-D: Looking back now, was there ever any doubt in your mind that you would end up working as a performing artist?
HMO: Never. That rush you get on stage from performing is so addictive. I still play in bands and I am always chasing that feeling. There is nothing like a rap show though. Spitting your message into a microphone over some filthy beats.
AZZA-D: What were some of your all time favourite bands you were into as a kid?
HMO: Hendrix has always been one of my favourite artists throughout my life but I loved Nirvana, Pearl Jam, The Hilltop Hoods and way too many bands to really state over one question.
AZZA-D: Do you recall that IT moment when you realised that being a rapper was a calling?
HMO: It wasn’t really something I got into straight away. I have been writing songs since I was a kid and I could never sing so rapping was a natural progression. Then I started getting into bands like The Meters and bang, I was writing hip-hop tunes and rapping.
AZZA-D: Stylistically and musically, who do you feel are your biggest influences in hip-hop?
HMO: Ice Cube is definitely my favourite rapper but I love guys like A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul. Guys like Snoop are big influences as are groups like the Geto Boys and just a lot of that West Coast sound. In terms of Australian rappers guys like Trials and Briggs are a real inspiration. They are really making a difference and have a great message.
AZZA-D: What do you feel it is about hip-hop and in particular, creating rap music that connects with you so deeply?
HMO: I think it is the connection hip-hop has with funk and soul music and the connection to a sense of integrity and honesty in the artform that draws me in.
AZZA-D: What are some of the biggest learning curves you have encountered on your road as an up and coming artist?
HMO: To be honest I am learning every day. The biggest thing though, is that this is a lifetime commitment and you have to make music because it is intrinsic to your soul. Expectations of fame, fortune or any type of success will just affect what you are doing and you have to be happy to make music not ever expecting these types of things.
Grab more info on Azza-D and HMO’s upcoming Red Rattler show here.