Kicking back with SALTY MC, the Aussie artist who’s making waves by bending genres with his debut album.
Diving into the realm of alternative rap, we sit down with the enigmatic figure behind the microphone, SALTY MC, as he spills the beans about his debut album “ANOMALY.”
Born and bred on the vibrant coasts of Wollongong, NSW, this Aussie artist has taken the road less traveled, blending genres with carefree audacity and crafting a sonic adventure that’s as diverse as it is introspective.
“ANOMALY” isn’t just an album—it’s a reflection of SALTY MC’s journey through shadows, a musical collage that fuses pop-punk vibes, UK grime grit, and dark R&B undertones.
In our interview, SALTY MC shares insights into his coastal hometown’s influence on his music, the dynamics of creating a genre-blurring album, and how his visual storytelling comes to life. Join us as we unravel the layers of “ANOMALY” with the man himself, exploring the highs, lows, and everything in between.
Happy: What are you up to today?
Salty MC: Not much at all, I’ve just been getting everything ready for the album release, a bit of shopping and running some errands around the house. The exciting life of a local rapper ay!
Happy: Tell us about where you are from? What’s the scene like in your neck of the woods?
Salty MC: I grew up in the Northern Suburbs of Wollongong, and moved into Wollongong CBD in my mid teens.
It’s pretty hectic around there to be honest, a lot of drugs, crime & violence juxtaposed by some beautiful, scenic mountains & beaches.
The hip-hop scene in ‘Gong has been absolutely thriving the last couple of years, but when I started rapping it was pretty dead in terms of events etc., a lot of the venues that are now open weren’t around when I first started performing/releasing music around 2016, and the ones that were around were pretty reluctant to put on Hip-Hop shows because of the stigma around the crowds they attract.
But it’s sick to see how much that’s changed in the last few years, heaps of local lads are doing their thing which is sick to see, and makes me proud to say I was there from the early days!
Happy: Describe an average day?
Salty MC: Wake up, shower, drink about 4 coffees then either head to Fith Studios to work with Jake on my music and/or videos, or if I’m at home sit on my laptop and phone promoting my music & merch.
Package up a few merch orders, take a trip to the post office, then doom-scroll instagram for a few hours.
Might link up with a mate or go live on Instagram if I’ve got no music or merch to work on, but that’s a pretty rare occurrence lately it seems haha.
I’m thankful for that though, idle hands are the devil’s playthings as they say!
Happy: What did you read or watch growing up that fuelled your passion for music?
Salty MC: I was super into 80’s Hard-Rock and Glam Metal growing up funnily enough. I was a pretty good reader as a kid, so I read a lot of autobiographies from artists like Slash & Anthony Keidis etc. which I think had a pretty significant (possibly negative, haha) impact on me wanting to make music & live that kind of lifestyle.
My Dad gave me a copy of Appetite For Destruction by Guns N Roses when I was around 10, Americana by The Offspring & Never Mind The Bollocks by The Sex Pistols were also on regular rotation in the car, so that definitely had a huge influence on me wanting to make music of my own and the type of music I wanted to create.
He (My Dad) was also always watching music documentaries which showed the recording process behind making classic albums from the 70’s & 80’s, that was definitely also hugely influential for me in wanting to create music of my own.
Happy: Can you discuss the recording process of ANOMALY? How did you go about crafting this eclectic sonic experience?
Salty MC: Honestly, at first we weren’t actually planning to do an album. I’d just been writing loads of new music, and Jake works so fast where it got to a point that we realised we were sitting on about 12 unreleased tracks, so it just felt right to do a project of some kind.
At first it was going to be a 6-7 track EP, & then I got so excited at the prospect of releasing an album that I went into a kind of manic spurt (for lack of better terms) and wrote an extra 3 tracks for it, which were F.T.W, Graveyard and Letter To Tom.
I wrote those 3 tracks in 48 hours which is a bit of a spin out for me to think about now!
Happy: The fusion of Pop-Punk, UK Grime, Southern Trap, and Dark R&B on “ANOMALY” showcases your diverse influences. Can you share some insight into your creative process when melding these different musical worlds?
Salty MC: I think honestly I just listen to a really wide variety of music, mostly within those genres, and all those influences kind of just merge and come out in what i’m writing or recording.
I’ve found personally if I set out to write a song in a certain style, it usually ends up sounding kind of forced for lack of a better word, so I usually just let myself go crazy and chanell whatever emotions i’m feeling when i’m writing and/or recording and see how it sounds at the end.
Happy: “F.T.W,” the first single off “ANOMALY,” is about to hit the airwaves. What can listeners expect from this track and its accompanying visuals?
Salty MC: “F.T.W” is definitely the closest to the style of music I became known for/ first developed a fan base for.
Non-stop hard core, barring out, multisyllable rapping with not much melodic or autotuned elements to it.
Jake/Fith Studios absolutely killed the visuals for it, we had a lot of fun filming it. It’s definitely got that gritty, underground feel to the visuals that matches the song perfectly, that man is an absolute wizard on the lens and buttons.
A little fun fact my fanbase might find interesting; I was actually super close to calling the song “Steel City Blues pt.2” or “Issues Pt.2” but I ended up settling on “F.T.W” as the album already has “Intoxicated Pt.2” on there.
Happy: You’ve described “ANOMALY” as a journey through various sonic landscapes. Could you delve into how you approached crafting each track to convey its distinct style and mood?
Salty MC: It’s funny because we (Jake and myself) didn’t actually set out to make an album or anything at first as I might have already touched on, I was just sort of experimenting with a lot of different musical influences and styles and we thankfully ended up with enough music to put together an album with a wide variety of styles.
For “Walk Me 2 My Grave” it’s actually Jake and I playing the guitars and Jake playing the bass and drum samples, so that was definitely one of the most fun to record & put together!
Happy: Australian rap is known for its unique identity. How do you see your genre-blurring approach contributing to the evolution of the local hip-hop scene?
Salty MC: I think a lot of Australian Rap has gone a bit stagnant, a large majority of established and up-and-coming artists are creating the same kind of music, or drawing on similar influences which means a lot of the stuff that’s released ends up sounding the same, or at least very similar.
I like to think that bringing a bit of variety or drawing on a wider range of influences will hopefully spice things up a bit in terms of the styles of music people think it’s “Cool” or acceptable to make in the Aus Rap scene, and that not everyone has to be a Driller or make Drill influenced music to be heard and/or respected.
Nothing against Drill or the artists who make it btw, I listen to and enjoy a lot of it both local and international, but it does seem like the large majority of music being released and given a spotlight over here is that kind of style, and it’s gotten a bit boring in my opinion.
Variety is the spice of life after all!
Happy: Hailing from Wollongong, NSW, how has your coastal hometown shaped your artistic perspective and contributed to the sound you bring to “ANOMALY”?
Salty MC:Touching on what I said in one of the earlier questions, Wollongong has this really unique juxtaposition of scenic beaches and mountains alongside a lot of urban decay, and struggle amongst the community.
I think the juxtaposition of sung, melodic vocals mixed with aggressive, fast paced rapping that I have in my music, and the contrast of topics in my lyrics (especially on the “ANOMALY” album) is definitely shaped by the massive contrast of things I saw around me growing up in Wollongong.
I like to think it’s the perfect soundtrack to the contrasting mixture of people and places you see growing up or living in Wollongong. Hopefully other people think the same!
Happy: Your music videos are known for their visual creativity. How do you approach translating the essence of your tracks into compelling visual storytelling?
Salty MC: I honestly have to thank & give all the credit to Jake (Fith Studios) for that. He makes all of my crazy, manic ideas & rambles into a reality that perfectly matches the mood we create for the audio.
I think it helps massively that he mixes and masters all of my music, so he’s already in the zone of creating a mood that accompanies the lyrics perfectly, then carries that through perfectly with the visuals.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, that man is an absolute audio & film wizard! Very thankful I have him in my corner.
Happy: “ANOMALY” is dropping in just a few days, and anticipation is building. What emotions are you feeling as the release date approaches?
Salty MC: Anxious and nervous about how it will be received, but mainly just hugely excited and proud to share what me and Jake have created over the last few months!
Happy: Lastly, what makes you happy?
Good question! Without being too morbid or going off topic, a lot of the people I love and grew up with are either dead or in and out of jail sadly, so seeing people I grew up with who struggled with addiction, or mental health issues coming out on the other side and creating a new life for themselves makes me happier than anything.
A few other things would be creating music, seeing underrated local musicians get the shine they deserve, spending time creating at the studio with my brother Jake, and spending time with my family, who I only properly reconnected with in recent years.
And eating good food is definitely up there.
Thanks so much for having me! It’s been great speaking with you guys.