Goodna rappers TH4 W3ST take great pride in their Samoan cultural background, and are intent on putting their community on their backs. Their success is proof that Australian hip-hop is evolving, and that you can make a name for yourself as rappers from anywhere in Australia, not just the major capital cities like years gone by.
They've just signed to Lisi's record label, Castille Records, as well as releasing their new single Earning. To learn more about TH4 W3ST and what they're all about, we spoke to the group to find out about their beginnings, as well as where they see hip-hop in Australia going in the near future.
Firstly, congrats on your new track, Earning! I’d love to know the story about how that song came about, and what it means to the group?
We wanted to make our next release something meaningful that everybody, not only our fans, could relate to - a bit of motivation during these hard times, given many peoples are struggling due to COVID. We wanted Earning to be a song people listen to when they wake up in the morning so they feel motivated to go about their day.
Can you tell me about the moment you decided to make music as Th4 W3st, and what led to that decision?
Honestly, it just came out of nowhere. We were bored and decided to play around and record some vocals over a beat DJ Wreckah made. It all started in JRs garage. Humble beginnings I tell ya!
What artists did you listen to growing up, and how do you think they’ve influenced the group’s sound?
The greats like Tupac, Biggie, Snoop Dogg, NWA, Eazy E. We want our sound to be the pure hard hip-hop stuff and at the same time have a positive meaning and purpose. We also want it to be something people can party and just have a good time to.
What are the messages you want to spread with your music – what is it all about for you?
The message is just simply about enjoying life, believing in yourself and being proud of where you come from!
In terms of Australian artists that you’d love to work with in the future, who’s at the top of the list and why?
We'd have to say HP Boyz, Pistol Pete & Enzo and ChillinIt. We are really big fans of the boys from HP! They're just a fun bunch like us, so we think we would vibe well on a track together.
Music out of places like Western Sydney and Goodna is being heard worldwide these days – how does it feel to have the Australian sound spread outside of Australia and find fans elsewhere?
Not too long ago, no one thought much of the Australian hip-hop/rap music scene and now it's taking over! It's pretty mind-blowing when you see people in Germany & Canada streaming our songs, because they're places you wouldn't think are listening!
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The sound of hip-hop in Australia is always evolving, and it’s changed a lot in the last few years – what sounds do you think we’ll be hearing 2-3 years from now, and who are some artists that you think are on the come-up?
I think this wave of Aussie hip-hop will stick around for a while! Much longer than 5 years. There's still a lot of talent out there we haven't heard. Rappers like Nokz, AmuthaMC and MRVZ - artists like that are going to really make noise.