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Interview: Ivan Ooze - SwiftBoi talks to the Melbourne rapper who supported Wu-Tang in 3 states

15 Mar 2016 spotlight words by SwiftBoi
Interview: Ivan Ooze - SwiftBoi talks to the Melbourne rapper who supported Wu-Tang in 3 states

Ivan Ooze just opened up for the Wu-Tang Clan on their Australian tour. In three cities. Melbourne, his home-town and then on to sunny Sydney and Brisbane to follow. Were you there? Did you see? I was not surprised to hear he was the opening act but I was still slow to get this story out, we both were. Whoops. He has his own brand of debaucherous, acid brat, sick time, ladsy modern Hip Hop that borrows from all styles of the genre but is very much his own unique flavour.

Oh, and he is dropping a track with Ghost Face Killah soon. Ain’t no thang but a chicken wannng. This kid cops mostly hate and no one I know admits to knowing who he is yet, but I think he is going to slay y'all. Who will the international act we invest in and send over to the US to represent us be? I think it’s this kid. He hustles harder than any of you. Who will snatch him up? Iggy had to run away and establish herself in the US as the business woman she is, saying the Aussie scene was not developed enough yet for what she wanted to do. And a lot of people have a lot to say about that.

Photo credit: Jacob Pedersen at Alter Ego Visuals
Photo credit: Jacob Pedersen at Alter Ego Visuals

People say that Ivan Ooze does not "rap Aussie" but I would have to disagree with them. Ivan just doesn't let some of our native wild vowels slow him down when he’s spitting it swift. You watch the videos and decide for yourself.

Hello Ivan! How are you today?

Ivan: Extraordinary thanks.

What is your favourite ice-cream condiment?

Ivan: Sherbet.

You're an animal on stage. If you could be an animal what would it be and why?

Ivan: Probably a Dolphin, hahaha. Like they are hella smart, create their own art and have orgies. Who wouldn’t wanna be Dolphin...

SwiftBoi: Naturally Sir, excellent choice.

So you as the artist Ivan Ooze have only been active for a year and in that time you have covered a lot of ground. What’s your secret to staying in the zone and working hard?

Ivan: I’d say good friends, family and a lot of time on my hands to focus on what job has to be done.

You opened for Wu-Tang Clan in three cities recently - Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. And you have a song with Ghostface now. Did you ever envision this last year, that you would be getting to work with the best?

Ivan: I am super stoked! No way. It’s so surreal, I am still trying to comprehend what is going on.


Ivan Ooze supporting Wu-Tang Clan - Photo credit: Jacob Pedersen at Alter Ego Visuals

I first saw you on a freestyle video on Facebook. Freestyle is my favourite element of hip hop, you can really see the mind work and shine. How often do you freestyle and how do you approach it?
Did you start as an MC who likes to sit and write or as one who likes to hit the street and freestyle?

Ivan: I just say whatever comes out of my mouth really! I started freeing at parties and in the city with buskers occasionally at first, then I began writing after that. Freestyle is a great way to form patterns in rap and different flows I think.

7. When did you start loving hip hop and start thinking you wanted to be an MC?
For me, in a small country town, we were heavily harassed for liking hip hop. When you were a kid, what did rappers represent to you? What kind of rapper did you think you would be and who are your favourites? Tell me your origin tale of Ivan Ooze the rapper.

Ivan: I’ve loved rapping, but more rhymes since I was a little kid. I had all the Dr Suess books and legit read one or two each night before bed. After that there was YO! Raps on MTV and I used to stay up as late as I could watching all the best demolish an hour of TV. A rapper called Apathy really stood out to me, because everything he raps about seems to make so much sense to me towards my life. And he has been through the shit I’ve been through, so I relate really well with his craft. Other rappers I really look up to are Celph Titled, Big L, Big Pun, Biggie, Wu-Tang, Louis Logic, Busta Rhymes and Spark Master Tape.

Did you grow up in Melbourne? How has this city effected your writing, do you find the scene here nourishing? Do you think perception of hip hop fans in Australia is changing?

Ivan: I did. It has probably given me a different aspect of looking at life just from what I’ve seen and where I’ve been. The Melbourne hip hop scene is so dope! Legit, it’s striving at the moment. So much crazy talent. I think the scene isn’t changing but evolving, just like everything in the world. It’s making way for a new era but you can never forget about the greats who made it what it is today.

I've seen some of your battle rap videos online and you slay. Do you freestyle these battles or pre-write, or a mix of both? I find it strange in Hip Hop Aus culture that they let you pre-write verses. Your attitude and originality alone seem to put you in a winner’s position even before you begin to battle. Do you have any advice for young battle MC's?

Ivan: Word, haha. Some are written and some are freestyle. I like the freestyle battles better. I don’t really have a reason. I think the excitement of a freestyle battle gets me like “omfg how did he think of that so fast”, but pre written battles still give me chills. So much respect to all the battle rappers doing their thing. I would say for a battle to think way outside of the box. Even if the crowd aren't clued on enough to understand you, once they watch it back they will be like “Fuckkkk, how did I not pick up on that earlier. Shit is dope!”. Also be confident and don’t give [a ...] what people think of you. It’s the worst thing you can do.


Do you like to dance or graf?

Ivan: Nah but dancing is so fucking cool. I wish I could dance.
watch him skate mad here:


I've listened to everything on your Soundcloud and you seem to have a real love of old school boom bap beats and storytelling, as well as a heavy EDM influence. You're paying homage to the roots of hip hop while taking it into the future. How do you feel about hip hop culture vs EDM culture? Would you ever do a straight up trap track?

Ivan: If I think something is cool, I’ll do it. I understand people hate the EDM side of rap but I really like music and if it sounds dope, I'll definitely fuck with it. Probably not a straight up trap track, but then again, it really depends on who asks.

What advice would you give to young MC's in Australia who are putting out their first mixtape?

Ivan: Use social media to your advantage while you’re young to promote your music. It is the best platform to push your music but people can be very critical and harsh so be ready for it.

What’s your favourite colour?

Ivan: Latigo Bay.


PS. This single is brand new from him check it out. Bounce.