We spoke with Third3ye MC and Young Gifted & Broke member Bronson Price, better known as Melodownz. Following on from Third3ye's well received EP 3P, Melo is currently working on a couple of solo projects, slated for release early next year. One of the tracks which didn't make the cut Regillah Mess has been released with visuals to please too.
ITNOR: What was it like opening for Black Milk last month?
Melodownz: It was a really big inspiration, especially getting to talk to him, he was telling me about Royce Da 5'9", Danny Brown - he's worked with lots of Detroit artists. It was a privilege, it was mad fun as well.
You were recently in Vanuatu - tell us about that experience, and recording with 26 Roots?
It was really interesting - my girlfriend's working in Vanuatu, I just went over to visit her. She's a volunteer, she has a one year assignment where she's involved with arts and events within the community. When I came it was kind of a match, that I would work with the musicians. I bumped into these Rastafarian looking dudes, they're a reggae band over there. I brought my microphone, my interface, just a simple setup. They said "come to the 26 Ghetto, we'll show you round" - we just created music, it was really organic. Everyday we'd create vibrations, get numb off kava. One of the guy's had a work camera, we said we should just shoot a video for this while I was over there. We thought we can drop it in New Zealand and hopefully it can give them some exposure.
In Vanuatu when you live in a village in a town there's not really many resources musically, you can't just go and record a song, like how we do in our bedroom - turn the mic on, start recording, get someone to engineer it. It doesn't really work out like that. I thought I would try and help them out - we've got their facebook page running (I'm an admin on it), so if they want to drop music I can do it for them because their internet's really slow.
I only had a drum roll from one of the bro's (back home) Jono [Das]. One of the guys liked it and played keys over it. It was unmastered but it was really good for the time-being and it managed to work out.
Third3ye released 3P earlier this year, what's next for you guys?
On 3P we mainly worked with friends, Ben Jamin', a couple of the guys from The Grow Room. We were experimenting with sounds, we had some reggae, a bit of garage/house influence (on Space Gospel). This summer we're doing a mini-tour and playing a couple of festivals. Me and Angelo like to find a cool space, maybe out Piha or somewhere and go and record. The other night this dude from America who's a producer discovered our music and was in New Zealand so we linked up with him. He was staying in this tree hut in Titirangi, in West Auckland (in the bush). It was crazy - we walked five minutes from this house in the bush, climbed this tree, and we're in this treehut.. So we've just been creating music, experimenting, trying to find a sound worthy of the next project.
You're currently working on a solo project right?
I've got a couple of projects, it's just a matter of which one to drop first. The one that I really want to drop and get out of the way is called Avontales - telling stories from where I'm from which is Avondale (West Auckland). A lot of the songs are told as if it's me, however it's actually me telling someone else's story - I'm the channel. It's not so much for (listening at) live shows, it's more for if you've had a hard day at work, walking or taking a bus home and you're listening to it.
What have you been bumping this year? Favourite albums?
I really like the Erykah Badu mixtape (But You Caint Use My Phone). I've been rediscovering old music - Screwed Up Click from the 90's, they had this guy called Mr 3-2 who passed away about a month ago. We used to chill, smoke weed, and party to it back in the day when we were 15/16. So to rediscover it now as an adult is cool, you find little easter eggs in the songs, and you find different samples and where they belong to. Another one I liked was Mick Jenkins' The Healing Component.
Who do you reckon had the best 64 Bars?
One that really stuck out for me was Dirty. When I think of 64 Bars I think about putting your heart & soul into actual punchlines that'll make people cringe or go ooh & ahh. The homie baccyard was on the beat too.
I also liked Abdul Kay's one - I'd never heard of him before. I had writer's block at the time and that inspired me to write the intro to my new EP.
Rizván's was cool because he was telling a story about his culture and where he's from. He also used some Tongan language in it.
Raiza Biza killed it.. they all killed it!
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