Coming away from his first sold out tour and two fan – filled bus rides in Sydney and Melbourne, Aussie RnB/Hip-Hop rapping whiz, Allday aka Tom Gaynor took a break from signing CDs to chat with Happy about important stuff like the truth behind his sugary obsession, his greatest fears and what we can expect from his debut album Startup Cult. Jen has been converted to rap music and we think you will too.
Happy: Hey Tom we’d like to start things off with a speed round of questions, how does that sound?
Allday: Sweet, sounds cool.
Happy: Favourite colour?
Happy: Favourite food?
Allday: Pizza came to mind.
Happy: Party trick?
Allday: I can scull really fast, like world record fast. In my prime days I could drink a Mount Franklin bottle in like two seconds.
Allday: Oh my god, where do I start? I’m like really scared of needles. Until this year I hadn’t had a needle since I was like eight. So I’m like not fully immunised, I’m probably like a walking disease, fuck it. I’m really scared of heights, snakes, and spiders, I’m just scared of a lot of shit.
Happy: What superpower would you like to have?
Allday: Someone asked me this on Tumblr last night and I said invisibility but then they said the ability to shape shift into anything would be the best superpower and I agree. That way you can take on any superpower.
Happy: That sounds really cool. So what is it that you can’t live without?
Allday: Probably my iPhone* even though that’s embarrassing.
Happy: What’s your drink of choice?
Allday: I normally drink either Sailor Jerry* or just like vodka and soda.
Happy: What do you hate?
Allday: Dickheads. I guess I don’t like bad stuff. What do I even hate, yeah dickheads.
Happy: What do you love?
Allday: What I love are days when it’s like…I know what I hate, wind! That’s what I fucking hate, windy days. Things that I like – PlayStation***, music, and hanging out with friends.
Happy: How was your experience over the past two days with the bus full of fans listening to your album for the first time?
Allday: It was pretty cool, like everyone was pretty mellow and we just drove around and stopped and got free Lord of the Fries**** for everyone. Everyone was real cool to hang out with so it was a pleasure.
Happy: What did people say about the album?
Allday: You know what, people weren’t really listening, everyone was just mucking around. I don’t know, I think people seemed to like it. It’s hard, you don’t really like music on the first listen you know, it takes a while. People were getting me to call their friends or upload stuff on their Snapchat*****, just shit like that.
Happy: Is that what you expected or what you wanted to happen?
Allday: I didn’t really think about it. Afterwards I realised, oh yeah everyone is just going to be taking photos and won’t really listen, but I had heard the album enough so I didn’t really have to sit there and listen to it again.
Happy: Let’s say you had a few seconds to describe what Allday is all about to someone you just met, what would you say to convince them to listen to you?
Allday: I would just say if you like early 2000s, late 90s, RnB and pop and you also like rap music, you might like me.
Happy: What are your musical influences?
Allday: I guess like a lot of RnB and soul music, and when I was young I listened to rock music. It’s really hard to explain, I guess musically I try to write about feelings and stuff influenced by Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Little Brother, those type of underground guys, that’s what I listened to a lot growing up. Then a lot of the you know Justin Timberlake, Backstreet Boys and shit, that’s where I get my melodies.
Happy: What are you listening to these days?
Allday: I’ve just downloaded Ed Sheeran’s album, I really like Ed Sheeran. Also PartyNextDoor and a bunch of Blur albums, which I had when I was younger. Also The Vines are another band I listened to a few years ago but kind of stopped.
Happy: What is it that inspires your songwriting?
Allday: I guess it’s different things on different days. Sometimes I just hear a song and I’m like wow that is really inspiring because it made me feel a certain way and then I’ll realise that there is this other feeling that I want to make people feel, so a song can come about like that. It may be inspired by a bit of music that I hear from a producer in the studio when they play some chords and it just comes from that. Usually it’s just pretty personal stuff so it feels like a diary, it feels quite natural to write it, it’s not like I have to sit and go it’s time to write a song, the ideas are already sitting around in my phone and in my head and shit.
Happy: Are you quite conscious about being different from mainstream artists or have you been quite true to yourself and it has served you well?
Allday: I can see the difference between me and a lot of rappers in Australia but its only because I’ve had different influences and different friends, I’ve been exposed to different stuff. I’ve only ever been what I am and that’s all I really can be. Years ago I could’ve easily shaved my head and dressed differently or just presented myself in a way that would’ve opened me up to more conventional hip-hop, but that wouldn’t have been natural at all.
Happy: What can we expect from your new album Startup Cult?
Allday: There’s a bunch of good songs in there that I really like. It’s got more RnB tunes than my old music, but there are a lot of songs where I kind of rap and it’s probably darker than my music in the past. I just think it is more grown up and I hope people like it. I really like it and that’s all I can really do.
Happy: It would be hard to pick one song, but do you have a favourite?
Allday: Yeah, I really like Wasting Time, I like Taking Hold and the new single is called You Always Know the DJ, which is one I really like as well. I don’t know why I like them more, to me You Always Know the DJ was a difficult one because I was a bit uncomfortable with the singing and it took me ages to get a take I didn’t hate, sorry there is a fire truck coming past…hold on.
Happy: So where were we?
Allday: So yeah I really liked You Always Know the DJ just because it was difficult and a bit risky for me. I like singing but I know I’m not that good at it. It was out of my comfort zone but I got it to a point where I liked it, so that gave it a little spot in my heart.
Happy: Would your nanna approve of this album?
Allday: Oh gosh, she is going to hate it, but if I did everything my nanna wanted me to do, god knows where I’d be. She’s cool, she always supports me, she’ll let me do anything, she just hates swearing and swearing is my favourite.
Happy: You used to be a standup comedian, we’ve been watching some of your past videos, it was pretty impressive to watch you perform. What was it that made you want to change career paths or was it like a natural progression?
Allday: Ahh thank you. When I was growing up me and my friends were into rap and we also loved to watch comedians like Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock. Me and my best mate would say before we are like 18 or 19 we are going to have to try stand up because we both thought we were really funny and shit. We thought we were the class clowns of our school.
He backed out and never tried it and I just tried it. I had always rapped through that time but it was something that I dared myself to do. It went alright but I just thought rap was a more natural thing. When I’d wake up in the morning I’d be like oh it’s time to write a joke, so I’d go for a walk to try and write a joke and it would only be raps that came out of my brain, my brain would always think of rhythms. So I thought ‘whatever I’ll just keep rhyming’.
Happy: Well the professions go hand in hand because you’re able to express yourself on the rawest level without people telling you off or anything.
Allday: Yeah exactly. When I was doing comedy I wasn’t a full story- teller, I was doing jokes so it didn’t feel therapeutic the way rap does because I can say anything I want. In comedy you can do that but I wasn’t that good at it.
Happy: What’s with your obsession with Skittles?
Allday: I actually don’t have an obsession with Skittles. I just wrote it in a bio because sometimes I’m just writing these bios on different sites and they fall into the same thing. So I wrote this bullshit about how many Skittles I eat and people started bringing me Skittles to shows and shit and now I have all these Skittles in my cupboard and I just don’t need them. Funnily enough in the You Always Know the DJ clip we’ve got a slow motion thing of Skittles falling from the sky on the girl who stars in the clip.
Happy: You’re supporting Lily Allen next month. How are you feeling about that, you excited?
Allday: Yeah I really want to meet her and get a selfie. I don’t know if I will be able to but hopefully I’ll get it.
Happy: When can we expect to see some tour dates pop up?
Allday: We’ll probably release the tour dates a week or two after the new album comes out.
Happy: One last question, what makes you happy?
Allday: Spending time with people that I love or when people appreciate the time and effort I’ve put into my music and like my songs, that makes me happy.
You can get your hands on a copy of Allday’s debut right now via the links below. Don’t miss out on seeing Allday as he supports Lily Allen on her tour – dates right here.
Thursday 24th July – Festival Hall, Melbourne
Friday 25th July – Hordern Pavilion, Sydney
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