SNOB SCRILLA MIGHT BE MAKING A MARK OUT OF SYDNEY, BUT THE ACT’S CALIFORNIA-BORN MAIN MAN MC SEAN RAY SAYS THEIR MUSIC ISN’T REALLY AUSSIE HIP HOP.
Snob Scrilla interviewed @ 09.00 AEST – Wednesday 5th August, 2009
For Street Press Australia & Rip2Shredz Press
Words by RIP NICHOLSON
Perhaps the most charming side of Snob Scrilla lies outside the delivery of his music. His latest output is Day One, a new-aged progressive LP, experimenting on new platforms. Scrilla is so cutting edge by design he crisps his backpack rap to fit into hip hop, but declares his music to be very outside the box.
“The whole thing of the Snob Scrilla, it’s just a side project,” Snob Scrilla main man Sean Ray confides. “Having that recognition is really cool but it wasn’t really my goal. I don’t really get the high off that. I get it more from kids I work with, off the street and other programs and charities that I work with. Me working with them and having that connection because they like your music is where I get the super high. It’s not always that easy engaging with these kids. So the fact that there’s something in my music that makes me connect with them, that’s where my high comes from.”
Fresh even in the way he comes at his music, he utilises the tool for communicating back to the people railing against the nature of the record industry beast.
“The nature of the whole business is designing your actions in a way to get more. Get more sales, get more cash, get more shows – it’s always what you can get. With me, this sounds completely self-righteous but with this project especially, the whole thing was ‘what can I do with this music? How can this enable me to do this for somebody?’. Making a difference to somebody that’s where its at.”
California’s Bay Area bred, Ray left for Sydney aged eighteen, fresh-pressed in his smart Urkel steez framed behind Coke bottle Dior Monsieurs. Ready for registration in further education, he went about furthering his career on the mic – Snob Scrilla dressed to impress. With out-of-this-world sounds behind lyrics born out of throwbacks to a former life half a world away, Ray still views his contribution from outside any local movement.
“When people say it’s Aussie hip hop it’s really not, I can’t claim that,” Ray admits candidly. “People like to call me a local because I’ve been here that long. My music is not coming from the same place as Delta and the Hoods. They come from a different culture, I like to think that’s theirs – I can’t claim that.”
But the Sydney life has been his since high school graduation. Signed to Ivy League as its only non-rock fostered artist, he made a beeline for the indie route immediately after the commercial route had him incorrectly pitched.
“At a major label, this guy sat and listened to the whole thing and he’s vibin’ off it and talking big plans all the way through and the last thing he said was, ‘Dude, can’t wait. let’s make this happen next week. You are gonna be the next Akon!’,” he pauses, caught in that moment of disbelief. “I was like yeah, dead! That deaded the whole thing for me. That was when I was like ‘nah, we’re goin’ indie.”
But with such eclectic-layered flavour like a roll of Starbursts, the chosen indie route gives his music a more free-range appeal than battery-operated under the Ivy League fraternity.
“I mean I did the record and brought it to them before anything and so they were attracted to what I was doing of my own volition,” he continues. “They understand for this project especially, its not going to be a product with external A&R to get in between and take 20 bucks out of my pocket. So they gave me the room to do what I need to do.”