AoTW Q&A ROFLMAOBBQ :: Big Village
May 30th 2011
Nick La Rosa
Sydney's newest hip-hop label Big Village dominated the airwaves last week as FBi's Album of the Week. Their Aussie hip-hop compilation went down a treat, and now they're all up in your Flog as well! Gabriel Clouston represents.
FBi: What's your mission as a label? How did you get started?
Gabriel: Big Village is a label run entirely by artists, so the mission is simply to support each other in getting some great music out there. All the artists on the label have been performing together and around each other a lot over the last few years and we initially got together as a collective with the vague idea of eventually starting a label. Then we got a distribution offer from Other Tongues pretty much straight away so I guess we sorta moved moved the plans forward and it's been all on ever since.
What labels in Australia and overseas do you admire? What makes you want to sign an artist?
Internationally it's labels like Stones Throw, Def Jux, Ninjatune, Big Dada and Tru Thoughts but locally, and perhaps even more importantly, Elefant Traks has definitely been an inspiration for us. As for signing artists, apart from making really damn good music, I think character is important. All the acts on Big Village have something unique and unusual about them and I think this is part of the reason it works.
How has the local scene changed and grown since you've been involved?
It's gotten a whole lot bigger, but more importantly it's become a whole lot more diverse even over the last couple of years. There was a while there where the oz hip hop scene was a bit homogeneous but since then it's become a much more interesting (in my opinion) with people taking the music in a whole lot of different directions. Once upon a time, if you went to a hip hop show you could pretty much guarantee the crowd would be exclusively dudes. This is something that has really changed noticeably over the last few years. I totally approve.
What would you like to see happen to the label and the scene on the next five years?
As far as the label goes I think we couldn't possibly ask for more than for things to continue as well as they have so far. We're really pleased with the progress to date. As far as the scene goes things are also looking healthy for the next few years, there's a lot of great crews and people making things happen at the moment. Sydney could definitely do with more live venues though.
And now for a quick quiz!
First album you bought? I think it might have been the Men In Black soundtrack.
Last album you bought? James Blake – James Blake. Dig it.
Favourite album? Mos Def – Black on Both Sides
Favourite Australian album? Hermitude – Tales of the Drift.
Most overrated album ever? What's Lil Wayne done recently?