Melbourne’s Cris Gamble schools us on Cumbia and his killer new track ‘Oscuro’
Nestled in Melbourne’s inner South-East, Cris Gamble is crafting his unique path in the world of hip-hop. Happy mag recently sat down with this emerging artist, whose journey from a young beatmaker to a bilingual lyricist is as impressive as it is inspiring.
Gamble’s music transcends boundaries, effortlessly weaving English and Spanish into a seamless tapestry. It’s a sound that resonates deeply, reflecting his Anglo-Indian and Chilean heritage, and it’s gaining traction well beyond the shores of Australia.
His latest single, “Oscuro,” is a prime example of Gamble’s distinctive style – delicately robust, cinematic, and soaked in moody atmosphere. As he takes us behind the scenes of its creation, one thing becomes evident: Gamble’s commitment to authenticity fuels his artistry.
In the ever-evolving landscape of Australian hip-hop, Cris Gamble stands out as a trailblazer, embracing his roots and expanding horizons. His message is universal, his music is a vibe, and his journey is just beginning. Stay tuned for more from this rising star – the Latinx community worldwide is in for a treat.
Happy: What are you up to today?
Cris Gamble: Just the usual. Gettin this bread.
Happy: Tell us about where you are from? What’s the scene like in your neck of the woods?
I’m from the inner South-East of Melbourne.
Cris Gamble: Everyone around here has always been into Hip Hop and all that so all my homies are pretty supportive.
I guess the graffiti lifestyle and everything played a huge part in the scene around here..
Happy: Describe an average day?
Cris Gamble: Get up mad early, even on weekends – body clock sh** – get to the bag.. Jump on the emails and start networking, kiss my girl, grab some booty, play with my little boys, chop up a chicken and throw in a pot with some veg for an hour, eat and then get into the studio to work on my craft.
I guess that’s a pretty general yet accurate breakdown of what a usual day is like for me
Happy: What did you listen to growing up that fuelled your passion for music?
Cris Gamble: Growing up I listened to a bunch of different stuff. Thanks to my parents, I grew up with quite a versatile taste in music.
Although it was mainly based around hardcore Hip Hop – Geto Boys, Schooly D, Ice Cube and things like that – my dad used to listen to a bit of classic rock like Rolling Stones, Metallica, ACDC and all that.
Then of course there was the Latin music we listened to, which was a lot of Cumbia.
If you haven’t heard of Cumbia before you should definitely do yourself a favour and do so.
Mentirosa by Rafaga is a classic.
Happy: Your unique blend of sophisticated, atmospheric beats and dual-language toplines sets you apart in the Australian Hip Hop scene. Can you tell us about the creative process that led to this distinctive sound?
Cris Gamble: Well I wanted my sound to be completely true to me. I feel like I don’t quite sit with the current Aussie Hip Hop, nor with the US.
I feel like my style is more closely related to what’s coming out of South America at the moment – Chile to be specific.
It just feels more comfortable and more like who I am.. I can really express myself especially when I’m speaking my Spanish with my Chilean accent.
Blending this with English and my style of beats makes it my sound though.
Happy: How about the recording process?
Cris Gamble: Unless I’m collaborating with another producer, all my recording is done at my home studio.
I have a pretty good set up and it feels comfortable getting it all done there.
I know it’s good to get out of your comfort zone and all that but that’s what the collabs are for.
I’m getting into mixing as well so I like to mix all my shi** now. If I know I’m struggling a bit, then the mix is getting outsourced no questions asked.
Happy: Your Chilean heritage adds a unique cultural dimension to your music, with seamless switches between English and Spanish. How do these linguistic influences contribute to the overall atmosphere and message of your tracks?
Cris Gamble: I just want to make it abundantly clear that I am also half Anglo-Indian. Just so we got that straight. I feel like it makes the overall sound a bit more interesting.
I understand that here in Australia the Latinx community isn’t as big as what it is in the States, but it’s definitely growing and for those who understand the content will surely fu** with it.
As for the messages, I’m still yet to deliver the super heartfelt shi**. It’s been a lot of reggaeton but the deep stuff is coming very soon, starting with my single “Oscuro”.
Happy: Your new single “Oscuro” is described as delicate yet robust, featuring a blend of nylon string guitar and warm thick bass. Could you take us behind the scenes of creating this track’s sonic landscape?
Cris Gamble: When Taboulie delivered me the beat, I knew exactly what it needed.
Hard verses with a melodic chorus and dreamy backing vocals droning throughout the song.
Sometimes it takes me a while to come up with concepts for a song but this one just came to me right away.
I didn’t create this beat, but I added to it with my vocal harmonies throughout.
Happy: Cinematic sounds and backing vocals play a significant role in your music. How do these elements enhance the storytelling aspect of your songs?
Cris Gamble: I feel like the backing vocals usually enhance the crescendo of the song which is usually somewhere in my choruses.
I guess the sounds themselves just add to the dramaticness of the lyrics and storytelling.