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exclusive News August 2, 2018

Exclusive: Spotify helps Hilltop Hoods trace their musical roots, “Being able to work with some of our influences was wild”

Exclusive: Spotify helps Hilltop Hoods trace their musical roots, “Being able to work with some of our influences was wild”

As part of Spotify’s process to bring artists and user-fans closer, the streaming service set up the  Hilltop Hoods Musical Roots mural in Byron Bay during Splendour in the Grass.

When the Hoods made their seventh Splendour appearance, they also surprised their following by dropping a new single Clark Griswold that was released through the mural.

Painted by prolific Byron Bay street-artist TEAZER, the mural features Spotify codes that, when scanned, link to the key influencers of Hilltop Hoods that inspired their journey.

Here, the Hilltop Hoods retrace their musical steps.


Q: What did you grow up listening to and how has this influenced the music you make now?

Pressure: “We grew up listening to a lot of late ’80s, early ’90s hip hop.

“There was lot of New York influence, and a bit of LA.

“There are so many artists I could name, including Nas, Biggie, Wu-Tang, A Tribe Called Quest, Public Enemy, Lauryn Hill and The Roots.

“We could go on for quite some time.”


Q: What music have you made that’s been inspired by your musical roots?

Suffa: “We’re obviously influenced by a lot of sample music because that’s what we were raised on. That really informs the music we make.

“What we listen to we gravitate towards, so we’re lucky enough to work with Black Thought from The Roots and Pharoahe Monch from Organised Konfusion.

“Being able to work with some of our influences was wild.”


Q: What’s the first record/CD/tape you owned? Tell us about what drew you to that.

Pressure:  “Myself and Suffa in the first year of high school caught a train into the city in Adelaide and went halves on a cassette: Ice-T – O.G.

“It spent six months at his house and six months at mine.

“Suffa has it now… I think I’m due for a turn.”


Q: Do you think now is an exciting time to be an Aussie hip hop artist?

Suffa: “There’s so much music coming out in the industry at the moment, and it’s nice to see some diversity in hip hop which hasn’t always been the case in past years.

“Groups like our homies A.B. Original are using their platform to say something is really exciting.”


Q: How often do you get to Byron Bay? Does it hold any sentimental value?

Suffa: “Splendour was the first festival we ever played where people actually came to listen to us, and that was a great show.

“It was our seventh Splendour this year.

“We’ve been lucky enough to go back to Byron over and over again over the span of our career.”


Q: What did you love about performing at Splendour?

Pressure: “Splendour has grown and changed so much.

“It’s always one of the festivals that truly looks after the artists really well, and there’s always a great lineup.

“They’re always ahead of the game.”

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