POW! Negro's New Single in Solidarity with #metoo

Perth

28 Nov 2017

RhysHusseyHERO

28

Nov

POW! Negro's New Single in Solidarity with #metoo

28 Nov 2017

On the heels of winning Best Urban Band at the West Australian WAM Music Awards, SAE Perth graduate Rhys Hussey and the boys of POW! Negro have released a new single, Flesh Off the Bone, which has a message for men in their audiences: “We wrote the song after one of our shows: we stopped and told everyone to leave half way through because there were really gross dudes doing really gross things to girls,” Hussey says. “We’ve seen terrible sexual inequality at our shows. So we wrote this song about toxic masculinity. We would like to provoke more male hip hop artists whose audiences can be very male to help make a change.”

Hussey, a 2015 graduate of the Bachelor of Audio  at SAE Institute in Perth, is the drummer of the six-man band who met while at art school and are now beloved for their wild live performances led by frontman Nelson Mondlane. Their music fuses hip hop with reggae and rock — plus a bit of everything else, from psychedelia to jazz and some blues. They recently opened for Midnight Oil in Fremantle and have attracted top notch management with Harris Waters and Phil Stevens who manages the John Butler Trio and the Waifs, among others. 

POWFrontmanPOW! frontman Nelson Mondlane

POW! released Flesh Off the Bone on Saturday, November 25 in the lead up to their second EP, forthcoming in 2018. POW! will be at Woodford Folk Festival  as well as NYE on the Hill in December, after packing out shows across Australia in 2017, as they toured their debut EP, Jasmine & Licorice.

Hussey took some time out from the band’s writing and recording schedule to talk about Flesh Off the Bone, building a successful independent band and how SAE Institute prepared him for the cut-throat music world.

Congratulations on your win! Can you tell us more about Flesh Off the Bone?

We had to write it. It’s a lyrically heavy single imagining a character we’ve seen too many times: basically I’m gonna get what I want because I’m the coolest dude. At one of our shows recently there was a guy dancing like a monkey, ripping off girls’ shoulder straps. We stopped, told him to get out, and we left. It’s happened multiple times and we can’t tolerate it. It’s gone on way too long.

With the #metoo posts on Facebook, we wanted to tell all of our female friends and fans: we’re with you. And to all the males who are shocked: don’t lie to yourselves, you know this is happening. If you are shocked, say something to your male friends, don’t let this slide — speak up. I think it will sink in for some people; though some people will turn off.

How have gone from recording beats in your bedrooms to the big stages?

Last year, we won Big Splash, a band competition after entering on a whim and we ended up winning $10,000. At the time, we didn’t have an idea about recording music but I was doing my degree at SAE and we thought, let’s just go for it. We built our studio that is in a granny flat out the back of one of our homes. It’s very DIY. The award really started our commitment to making music for the rest of our lives.

How has your Audio degree from SAE Institute prepared you for all this?

I went to SAE to learn how to record music properly, like a professional, so that we as a band could record our own music professionally; and now we can do it ourselves. The lecturers are really amazing, they’re working in the industry and really prepare you for the outside world where it’s cut throat. They speak to students one on one; it's very intimate and human and helped me be confident in talking to people in the industry and expression my ideas.

What approach do you take to recording for POW! since SAE?

It’s mix ‘n’ match.  SAE opened me up to lots of technical approaches and it helped me to present my artistic ideas better. This has helped us stay independent but reach for a high quality with POW! We record in our studio, in our rooms, some of it on our iPhones. There are six people in the band and six ways we approach creating music. I like to be in a room with drums and instruments — live everything. Our rapper, Nelson will listen to straight up jazz and then draw for days and paint for days and then get his inspiration from that. There’s a lot of multimedia influence — we’ll all watch films, or sample sound bytes from Rugrats and put it into a synthesizer. You can’t have a limit on what sounds sound good. We really enjoy making the most interesting sounds possible.

 

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