Step into the laid-back world of Inimata, the UK-born artist making waves from his Australian base.
The word genre-less gets thrown around a lot these days, but few artists truly know no bounds quite like Inimata. Just listen to his latest single, and you’ll know what we mean, its fucking lit.
On his latest single TWO BIT, the UK-born, Australian-based artist seamlessly blends psychedelic electronica with hip-hop flair, with punk-rock instrumentation to boot.
Opening with atmospheric slasher sound effects, Inimata’s first single of 2023 immediately establishes its uniqueness, only amplified by the singer’s punchy hip-hop vocals reminiscent of OneFour’s Salec Sua.
The single not only showcases his genre-defying style but also offers a glimpse into his artistic evolution.
In a candid chat, Inimata shares insights into his creative process, from hunting for samples on YouTube to his current obsession with Baldur’s Gate. He describes his music as a fusion of diverse influences, reflecting his journey from the UK to the Australian music scene.
The artist dives deep into the theme of the song, discussing envy, ego, and the desire for recognition. He reveals how the term “TWO BIT” encapsulates feelings of imposter syndrome, showcasing his introspective side.
With a full-length project on the horizon and a performance lineup that spans cities, Inimata’s energy is contagious, leaving us eager to embrace the sonic journey he’s sculpting, one genre-defying note at a time.
Happy: What are you up to today?
Inimata: Right now I’m sitting in my room hunting for samples and watching videos about Baldur’s Gate.
I’m making music all the time in a lotta different styles, so stalking around the corners of YouTube or Tracklib or something is a fun little activity and flipping whatever I find keeps me sharp as a producer.
And Baldur’s Gate looks really good, even if I don’t have the tech to play it right now.
Happy: What does the music scene look like in your neck of the woods?
Inimata: God I’m not even sure how to answer that. I still feel like I’m trying to get my bearings with the scene in Sydney and figure exactly where I fit into it all.
I guess sonically here I’m akin to people like Behind You or Porcelain Boy for Sydney references, but I’ve got peers and friends from all over so I dunno if I really have a neck of the woods I really feel like I slot into.
I feel like if I asked anybody else they’d probably have a more definitive answer though so it’s probably just some level of weird imposter syndrome.
Happy: What does a typical day look like when recording a song like ‘TWO BIT’?
Inimata: I dunno if I have a typical process, I’m making stuff all the time so it varies depending on random circumstance basically.
I always end up making the beat or instrumental or whatever you want to call it first, at least in some basic form. I think the earliest version of that song was made in February as this really skeletal version of what it is now.
So I spend however long I spend on a beat initially then if I want to expand on it I’ll double back. Lyrics come last in the process every time.
Like I’ll have a rhythm or a cadence I want to use but it can take me anywhere between two hours and two months to figure out what I want to say exactly.
Then when I do I just end up scaring my neighbours with all the shouting and that. I dunno, I guess to answer the question exactly there isn’t really a typical day as much as there is like a common process over the course of several days.
Happy: Your new single ‘TWO BIT’ explores the desire for success and the hustle it takes to get there. Can you elaborate a little on how you conceived the meaning of the song?
Inimata: I’d say the real origin of the theme comes from feeling like a bit of an outsider, especially when I was still in Newcastle when that scene was still dominated by Indie bands and all that.
I think like the earliest time I can think of really feeling that kinda “why don’t I get the recognition I deserve” reaction was when I was talking to one of my friends who’s band started the same time as me.
They were saying how they didn’t have to ask for a gig for the whole first year they were active, they’d done a tonne by then and they never organised one of their own.
Like that to me at the time was just insane, I felt like I had to fight for every scrap of recognition I got with next to nobody in my corner and the scene just welcomed some of my peers in with open arms.
Obviously that’s not reality, like that impulse to react with jealousy or ego is something I think everyone in this line of work encounters at some point and it’s just an illusion.
This industry really likes to trick you into thinking you’re in a “winner take all” rat race with your peers when you really don’t have to be.
But yeah I tried to really acknowledge both ends of that in the song, the real toxic reaction of jealousy and that “why can’t I win” thing and realising that if you look at it empathetically, the people you’re jealous of want the same things you do and more than likely felt something similar at some point.
Now that I think about it it’s barely even about the hustle honestly haha.
Happy: How does the term ‘TWO BIT’ relate to this message?
Inimata: Basically just imposter syndrome. Like the other side of the envy and jealousy aspect. I actually named it that before I’d finished the lyrics and I just felt it was a good fit.
If you’re a two bit crook you’re like a petty thief, someone of low status. So you can put that on me as an imposter syndrome theme like I said or you can look at it like I’m saying some of these people around me are two bit, as kind of an ego thing.
It can go either way really.
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Happy: The single offers a mosaic of sounds. How do you decide which genres you’d like to draw from when writing a song?
Inimata: I don’t think I really decide per se, like it’s not so much a conscious effort as much as I just kinda make the music and it all ends up the way it does.
When I’m producing for myself I like making beats with a lotta stuff happening, hefty amounts of texture and weird little moments that stick out.
For Two Bit I was incorporating that four on the floor/techno style but it was mainly just because I thought it sounded really cool sidechaining the entire beat to the kick.
I guess if you wanna say I was drawing from techno for that or ambient for the soundscape or post punk for the rhythm section you can and you’d be correct, I just never really think about it consciously in a manner of genres.
Suppose that goes for most of my catalogue, I like certain styles and sounds even if I don’t always think about what it’s defined as.
Happy: Is there anything you watched or read growing up that fuelled your interest in music?
Inimata: Honestly this is a bit of a hard question. I grew up in a very artistically inclined family, so I probably got a lotta influence from my dad when I was a kid, listening to stuff like gorillaz, dandy warhols, franz Ferdinand, Stevie Wonder.
He was making acoustic pop kinda tunes though so I don’t know how much legacy he’s had on me artistically. I remember messing around on garage band when I was really young but I think after he died I didn’t really have any passion for that kind of creativity until way I started experimenting again way later.
The biggest origin point for what I do now didn’t really come til I was about 18. I remember that distinctly though, I was in London studying screen acting and I was walking around listening non stop to Veteran from JPEGMAFIA and Relatives in Descent from Protomartyr and just just thinking “there’s something in there I can tap into.”
Then like all this retroactive influence from throughout life starting playing in and I’m taking notes from everything, from your At the Drive In’s to music from video games like Ratchet and Clank: Gladiator I used to play as a kid.
All sorts of random points from my life. I guess since I didn’t really have any inspiration when I was younger that made me go “yeah I wanna be a musician” I kind of absorb a lotta retroactive influence if that makes sense.
I like to think it’s a bit of a pastiche of all the things that made me and make me, me.
Happy: Even though you’ve just released a new track, are there any upcoming music developments you’d like to tease?
Inimata: At the moment I got a full length project in the works. The last three singles are all on it (black dog open, get to running and of course two bit).
That’s got a few cool people on it, aiming for a release in the near future. As far as gigs go the next thing I have confirmed is a trip back to Newcastle for West Best Bloc Fest, performing with 100 other acts which is crazy.
But I’ll probably have something in Sydney moving soon enough.
Happy: What makes you happy?
Inimata: Ahaha oh this is the tagline? I’m gonna say video games, good movies, good music, being around loved ones and the feeling of having a beat come together perfectly right in front of you.
Listen to Inimata’s new single TWO BIT below.