Samoan-Australian, Brisbane-based rapper Nokz is a testament to just how strong the Brisbane music scene is as of present. His latest single, Moon, is a track about celebrating the people who have your back even when you're down, and who are there to see you succeed.
Nokz started making music at 12 alongside his older brother AmuThaMC, with the pair recording songs in garage studios around Queensland's Forest Lake. It's an area he's looking to put on the map, and with tracks like Moon, he's set to do exactly that.
Moon is a poignant track, and one that somewhat subverts the sounds coming out of Brisbane thanks to Nokz's transition between rapping and singing, as well as the acoustic guitar-driven production. It's been a busy time for Nokz as of late, as he's also just signed to Lisi's label, Castille Records.
Speaking about the signing, he says he's "pumped to be joining with the usos at Castille Records. Lisi and the boys have been setting the bar for music on this side for a while now, so very excited to be on board and I can’t wait to start dropping some new music.”
To celebrate the release of Moon, we spoke to Nokz about the new track, as well as the state of hip-hop in Australia. We're tipping that you'll be hearing a lot more from him soon, so get a jump start on everyone else by learning what he's all about!
Firstly, you’ve just dropped your new single Moon – can you tell me the story behind the track?
Moon is an appreciation song for the significant others in our lives who hold us down every day, that a lot of times don’t get enough credit.
The song’s been released as part of Lisi’s label Castille Records – I’d love to learn more about his role in the song, and what you’ve learnt from him?
I’ve learnt a lot from Lisi. The biggest thing he's taught me is to be myself. I’m lucky that he gives me room to create and make my own sound. His role really was just being there to give me guidance and advice when I needed it.
Watching live clips, you’re clearly someone that feeds off the crowd’s energy. What’s running through your mind when you’re performing?
I love performing! When I'm on a stage, I'm always thinking about how lucky I am to be up there. I'm always wanting to make it worth it for everyone in the audience. So whether we are in front of 3000 people or 2 people, we're turning up!
Can you talk me through the moment you first decided to start making music? What was your first song like?
My first song I believe was acoustic… every instrument and voice takes were recorded on a headset from Crazy Clark's! [a chain of stores in Queensland] True story. Safe to say we’ve come a long way!
Are there any Australian artists you’d love to work with in the future/any Australian artists that you think people should be paying more attention to?
Obviously, all the boys from the label like TH4 W3st and Lisi. As far as collaborating with other artists, I’m just trying to work on getting my own stuff out. However, I am always open to working with any type of artist.
For me, everyone needs to be keeping an eye on the local Brisbane scene. I'm also liking what I'm seeing from AMUthaMC, Say True God and ThatKidMaz, just to name a few.
Outside of hip-hop, what genres do you find yourself most enjoying/drawing influence from?
I love every type of music, which is why it’s easy for me to bounce from different genres. Definitely enjoy listening to pop every now and then!
What do you do when you’re not in the studio – do you have any hobbies or passions?
My biggest passion of all is being a Dad. If I’m not in the studio I’m running around with my son!
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Finally, where do you want to be as both an artist and a person in 12 months’ time?
I just want to be better as a person. As an artist, I want to be a household name in Australia!