“That was when we became a nationally known band, the floodgates opened and we got people who don’t usually listen to Hip-Hop listening to our songs, more so for the songwriting as opposed to the bars,” said Tuka on Everyone We Know‘s success.
“Hip-Hop is in our blood and our veins and we write bars, but these days we found that you communicate a narrative with a story and a song, and that’s kind of where we landed. When you’re in a band, you write songs, thats what you do.”
And while that songwriting has carried over to the upcoming record, the subject matter has evolved yet again according to Tuka.
“We didn’t want to just make the same album again, that [Everyone We Know] was a sound that we had refined and crafted… we thought, let’s just put those tools down and let’s just do what comes naturally to us. I was writing a lot of love songs and so was Jeswon, and that sort of snowballed into the concept of the project, I Love Songs.”
While Everyone We Know looked outward at the world, I Love Songs is very much a project that looks inward.
“Everyone We Know is about your relationships with all of your friends and extended network of people, I Love Songs is a narrative about your interpersonal relationship that you have with one other person, or around your immediate homies, rather than society at large, and that was on purpose because in the past we’ve spoken about a lot of politically charged things.”
“There’s a lot of negativity happening, there’s not really a shine on the beauty of a personal relationship with you and your loved one, it gets lost,” Tuka continues, “the amount of money you can have is endless, the amount of followers you can have is endless, whereas you can have closure with your loved ones. You can go, ‘holy shit, I appreciate this connection I have with someone, this is all I need.'”
While their own eclectic sound has developed over time, so has the general Hip-Hop landscape in Australia, to which Tuka describes as “diverse and beautiful,” “this is the kind of thing I envisioned I wanted to be a part of when I started making music.”
Thundamentals have previously had a host of Australia’s next generation on as support for their shows, including the likes of B Wise, Adrian Eagle and I AM D, extending an arm that has only helped the scene flourish, which they continue to do with their upcoming national tour, featuring rising stars such as Billy Davis & The Good Lords, Jesswar and Ziggy Ramo.
“There seems to be less of a friction between old school and new school stuff in Australian than over in the states. In terms of artists that are currently on the circuit and touring, everyone is enjoying themselves,” explains Tuka.
“Everything’s still moving, nothings been lost, it’s just been added on to.”
In terms of a few of his favourite artists that he’s watching come up right now in Australia?
“I really appreciate TKAY [Maidza], theres never really been anyone as popular as her doing that style of music in Australia, and then you have this beautiful thing happening with Wombat, ChillinIt and the 420family, which is basically an Australian hybrid of trap and grime. I feel like everything has evolved in a beautiful and open minded way.”
Written by Jarrod van der Staay