The New Wave of Australian Hip Hop: Allday

In 2014 Tom Gaynor aka Allday got what was coming to him, blowing up out of the indie scene onto the Aria charts with his debut LP Startup Cult. After a string of successful mixtapes Allday’s album managed to secure the number three spot in the country, showing the strength of his fan base and future. He returns in 2015 with new plans, bigger aspirations and an upcoming tour. We caught up with him to have a chat about all of this as well as the current state of the Australian hip hop scene. 

After having a massive year in 2014, do you now feel you have the opportunity to co-sign a couple of artists and expose them to your fan base?

A little bit. If I like an artist and if I can bring them on tour, I brought Baro last year and now Gill Bates and Asta. If it’s something good I just want it to be big. That’s why I bring artists I like and hopefully the fan base connects with them.

You’ve named your upcoming tourI Should Be Working on My Album But I’m Doing A Tour. Do you find that touring inspires you and allows you to come back to music with fresh ideas?

Totally, I think also that once you’ve played songs live they come to life in a different way. You have to make a certain kind of music that’ll work and it’s good to get out there and see everyone’s faces. To see who’s listening to me in their homes, what they look like, what they sound like, to see all that. It can help me to figure out where I’m going with my record.

As we’ve seen on the Chubby Chronicles you’ve called yourself a slow worker when it comes to the creative process and making songs. What’s the average time span for a song?

It can really vary, some songs on my last albums like God Starve the Queen I was recording vocals for about 2 hours. Then the beat we worked on for a couple of hours and the mix we worked on for like a day, but that’s a really fast song. Some songs take days and days to come but as soon as it sounds right that’s when I’ll stop working on it. I used to be able pump something out in a day earlier in my career and a lot of the music turned out like rubbish. Naturally I’m like that but now I work more with a focus on perfection.

In terms of your actual instrumentals, you bounce around between a couple of producers.When you recently visited America you worked with Chuck Inglish, who has made songs for guys like Mac Miller. How was that?

It was good. I worked with a lot of guys in America and when you work with them, you have to have that magic connection with a person to make a good song. I like to get an instrumental and maybe work on it with some people from Australia, some from overseas, even get on Abelton myself and figure it out. Really just anything to make the song sound good. I’m always messing around. I’ve always liked to control the way the music comes out. I’m the producer of my own music in collaboration with other people.

Does that level of control come with being signed to an independent label?

Totally, I don’t like people telling me how to make my own music. First and foremost I make it sound the way I want it to sound. It’s my vision, so I like to control every element from the art to the stages on tours, like everything.

You had two trips to America last year. Were they just for making connections or were you actually performing in front of people?

We did a gig in New York. We did some industry showcases where you like rap in front of people from a label. That was cool. Then I watched a lot of NBA games which was good.

Who’s your picks for the NBA finals?

I reckon it’s going to be Golden State versus the Cavs if Kevin Love can recover from his injury. I watch NBA league pass all the time.

The current American trap rap scene is massive at the moment with guys like Young Thug. What are your thoughts on that scene?

I like trap music. I’m into everything, a bit of Young Thug, a bit of 90’s boom bap. There’s space for everyone and I don’t mind the use of auto tune and that in trap because it sounds dope. I’m definitely keeping up with the times and all the elements. I think stuff is cool for a reason, stuff is in fashion for a reason. So making music it’s good to keep an eye to what’s in fashion. You don’t necessarily have to copy but you shouldn’t be ignorant to it.

Do you feel you’ve changed the Australian scene to a point where it’s now catching up with the Americans to be even better and different?

I don’t know about completely starting it but I was definitely one of the people. I’m psyched. Like I knew 3 years ago I want to get big and be the first with a different sound to get big. I knew what I wanted my sound to be even back then. Obviously I still want my music to get to more people but to a degree that has happened. A lot of people have come up under me and have been influenced by people like me. It’s dope, but my own goal is still to get better and improve my tunes.

You used to battle rap. Are you still that competitive with other artists?

That’s what I mean. Like battle rapping was tight but I’d rather have a good song than the hottest bars these days. I mean bars still matter but there’s these crazy guys who rap for an hour yet they don’t have a career.

Any plan to return to battles?

I don’t know, maybe. I mean if someone wanted to battle me and they were big enough then maybe I’d do it.

You put up an Instagram last year with a checklist of goals for 2014. What is the list for 2015?

I want to win the Urban Aria this year. I don’t know the cut-off for this year and I didn’t even get nominated last year so I’ve got a ways to go there. I also want the album to go number one, I mean Startup Cult went number three which is good but it’s not number one. I like to set the standards pretty high.

That means an album or otherwise is going to come out in the next couple of months?

Totally, I’ll probably put out a mixtape first then an album but I don’t really have an album yet. I’ve got one track done so I’m screwed. But, I’ve got a bunch of good songs, all with different sounds like trap and boom bap which I’ll all chuck onto a mixtape. I still believe in putting out free songs for my people who have downloaded my album and others.

Any final words?

I’ll be taking over and living good.