HE’S BEEN LIVING THE LIFE OF RILEY FOR 2 YEARS NOW BUT IT’S NOT ALL FAST CARS AND LOOSE WOMEN ACCORDING TO PAUL ‘DRAPHT’ RIDGE, WHO TELLS RIP NICHOLSON ABOUT A PERSONAL JOURNEY HE’S BEEN ON SINCE HIS 2011 ALBUM AND WANTS EVERYONE TO KNOW IT’S NOT THE 1990’S ANYMORE.
DRAPHT interviewed @ 13:45 on Friday 22nd February, 2013
For Street Press Australia & Rip2Shredz Press
Words by RIP NICHOLSON
[Full Q & A with DRAPHT below]
The Life OF Riley, Perth MC Drapht’s fourth studio album, debuted at number one on the ARIA album charts and gave Paul Ridge seven nominations at the ARIA Awards, taking home ‘Best Urban Album’of 2011. Even for an artist used to popular demand after every album drop, Ridge was coming off a heavy touring schedule heading into 2012, so by the time Big Day Out had finished, Ridge was worn down, physically and mentally. He went to ground, recovered and took the time to reevaluate the way in which he approached his music.
“It’s been a personal journey for me,” he says. “It’s a time where I had a pretty successful record with the The Life Of Riley and from an outside perspective it’s like, I seem to be living the dream life of a rapper, but I put myself under so much pressure for myself on that record. Two years touring after that release and it got crazy. It got to a point after the Big Day Out shows where I thought, ‘Fuck, I’ve been touring for two years and I’m not really enjoying this anymore, you know? What am I doing to myself, is it really worth it?’ I had to go to ground and just think about why I started my music and really try to get back that feeling I had when I started.”
While grounded, Ridge sought to take back control of his body, much the same as with his career, and today maintains good balance between the pair while readying his new cafe in the other hand. “It all started snowballing after I gave up drinking,” he says. “I haven’t been drinking for a few years and it sort of opened my mentality and opened a door to get out on this level and further my self-progression.”
Several of Ridge’s most celebrated drinking anthems – like Boom, Boom, Boom and Drink, Drank, Drunk – may be hard to perform for an artist now revelling in a more salubrious state of health reform, but as Ridge explains, they, much like Jimmy Recard, play an important part in his career. “I think that as well man,” he says. “Boom, Boom, Boom, Drink, Drank, Drunk, they were perfect time capsules for a particular moment of my life and tracks I am super proud of. But at a point I hit 28 and thought, ‘Fuck. I don’t know that I can do this anymore’.I can’t party as hard as I used to. I’m the dude that just goes home – sleep! But I’m exhausted after an hour-and-a-half up on stage and I try to keep as fit as possible so I can own that stage. I started drinking at 13 years old. Now, I think, my cafe is holistic, organically natured and it’s all healing food. It’s been a personal journey and something that I’ve struggled with for nearly 15 years of my life. I got to 28 and thought, ‘I am going to start enjoying myself, I am going to treat my body like the temple it is and fine-tune everything’.”
Now at 30 years old, Ridge, after coordinating his last national tour, has taken on a business, a cafe on the trendy strip of Mt Lawley in his hometown, Perth. “I’ve been working on a cafe opening up on Beaufort Street by the end of April,” he continues. “So, I’ve been busting my balls in every way of the word. In my personal life, too, I’ve got a lot on my plate. So I’m very excited to be able to go down and work on something completely different. So a lot of my time has been poured into this venture.”