When Aussie and massive cult artist Allday decided to drop out of art school to focus on music full-time, he managed to live off microwave rice sachets for months on end while he developed his sound. That hard work and determination paid off in spades as he’s now preparing for US tour, with a stop in San Francisco on August 3, playing at Rickshaw Stop. He’ll be promoting his sophomore LP, “Speeding,” a follow-up to his debut record, “Startup Cult,” which hit number 3 on the Australian charts.
In between shows Allday took some time out of his busy schedule to talk about how the rap scene in his native land of Australia is different from here in the States, what his new life is like now that he’s relocated to Los Angeles, and how he got started in this rap game to begin with.
How would you describe your style of rap?
It has a lot of different moods I guess. It’s something to grow up to.
How’d you come up with the moniker “Allday”?
It was my nickname in high school because I took all day to select snacks from the supermarket. But I thought it sounded cool like “I can rap all day”.
When did you first start rapping?
As soon as I heard rap music when I was about 10. In high school, we would sit up the back of parties and freestyle. It was just something that happened by accident.
Where do you find inspiration for your material?
Life, love etc. I probably write about love and feelings too much. I like watching movies if I can’t get inspired.
You’re originally from Australia. What’s the rap scene like over there? How is it different than here in the U.S.?
The Australian scene has lots of different parts like the U.S scene I think. There are people who like the 90s boom bap sound, there are people who make trap. There have always been good rappers in Australia but a lot of the music was aimed at an Australian market. I think my generation might be the first to branch out overseas.
You’re now living in L.A. How has the transition been for you?
I’m lucky I have some cool friends and it’s been fun! I was much more lonely when I moved to Melbourne when I was a bit younger.
What are some of your favorite places to hang out in L.A.?
My friends live around Venice so I hang there a bit. I’ve been to LACMA a few times, I want to check out the other art galleries soon.
What are some of your biggest hip-hop influences?
When I was growing up it was Wu Tang, Mobb Deep, DITC… I was raised mostly on NY Hip Hop for some reason. Also Slum Village, Little Brother, Outkast, MF Doom, Redman, Skinnyman, Klashnekoff. And you can tell listening to my music I fuck with Kanye, Drake, Weezy etc. I hate listing Hip Hop artists because it’s a whole lifetime of influence and there’s too many to mention them all.
You have a strong social media following. How do you feel it’s helping your music career?
I’m really lucky people enjoy my music and relate to it. I think being ANOTHER white rapper people rightfully might think “why would I listen to this guy” but having a dedicated fanbase has always been the thing that makes people say “hmm maybe this guy is ok.”
What is the craziest thing that’s happened to you at a show?
People always ask me this and I don’t have a good answer, sorry. Lots of crazy shit happens.
How do you think American fans have responded to you as an Aussie rapper?
I don’t really know yet. It’s just starting. I feel it spreading a little bit, which is exciting.
If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be and why?
Paul McCartney. I’ve recently been getting into The Beatles, I guess I always liked them but I’ve started obsessing over them recently. He has a lot of magic and affected so many people. I think he’s a cool dude.
What are some things your currently working that you’re most excited about?
I’m excited to get more music out quicker. Next album I think will sound a lot different to Speeding. So I’m excited to get started recording it.
Allday performs at the Rickshaw Stop on 155 Fell St. on August 3. Purchase tickets here.
Photo courtesy of Jo Duck