Make way for A.GIRL, the Australian rapper emerging from the western Sydney underground hip-hop scene — Spotify
Photo credit: @dreamsyndicator
Her sandwich isn’t the only thing she’s customizing these days – A.GIRL has big dreams of exporting Aussie rap to the world in her own way.
What’s unique about Sydney’s rap and hip-hop scene?
In Sydney, I think we bring our own culture to hip-hop, but it took us time to develop our own culture. We were sheep following America and London for a while, but we have this whole eshay culture around us; we have this whole brand that we can rely on solidly. And it took us a minute to get there. But people like Chillinit, people like A1, people like ONEFOUR, 100%. Aussie hip-hop is a thing on its own now that other people can jump on it and say, oh, I support. I can’t get this anywhere else in the world other than Australia. It’s pretty unique how we kind of imposed ourselves and then we all did it like 360. But you know what? Our accent is hectic, the way we dress is hectic, our tns are cool, everything we did back then and brought back to life, multiplied by ten.
Why should people around the world listen to the music coming out of the region?
Because of American hip-hop, we know there are food stamps in America; we know there are Section 8 units; we know all these little things about rap culture in different places. I feel like it’s time for others to learn about the things we have to deal with, Centrelink, homes – things that are part of Australian culture and that Australians can relate to. But it might take the world a minute to understand what we’re saying.
What are your biggest musical influences?
Absolutely The weekend. Love it. I don’t know if I’m adapting that to my own sound or my own music, but his demeanor, his presence, how he carries himself as an artist, of course. Freddie Mercury, weird, but my brother, it’s just him. It doesn’t matter what he does – get people to sing him weird improvisations? But he’s so unmistakable wherever he goes. And I think he had the whole world against him at one point. It must have felt like it, you know? And he was like, fuck, you know? And I love him just for being that. Also Doja Cat. Obviously.
How did you find your voice in hip-hop? What role did music play in your upbringing?
I think pushing through the noise and ignoring everyone, even if they had something good to say about me. I was just like, right now, while I’m trying to find myself in this male-dominated hip-hop realm, I literally shouldn’t listen to myself. And that’s why I made songs like “Visionwhere I talked about the differences in domains and local beef.
When I started coming out as a rapper, I was talking about things that I felt needed to be talked about. And topics that I feel like other rappers avoid. And I know that if I was listening to someone outside of my own brain, I would have just turned left and done some commercial bullshit, and I wouldn’t have stuck to what seemed true. But it took me a minute to find my voice in hip-hop, because even though I say I didn’t listen to anyone, I did. You know, I let people into my head and it was very hard.
What is your biggest advice to budding artists?
Stay true to yourself. It’s really easy to get caught up in all the high pressure, easy to get caught up in the hype. No one prepares you when you get to this point. Lights and cameras are in your face. Everyone wants to know your name. Everyone wants to take a picture. No one ever really keeps a 100 with you about how overwhelming it can be, how easy it is to kind of fall into this trap of pushing everyone away.
So stay true to yourself, remember who your loved ones are, remember why you started this journey in the first place.
Catch A.GIRL on A1 below.