ATHLETES is the fourth studio release from renowned Brisbane Hip-Hop artist Calski. Game on. Written during a two-year sabbatical following the birth of his first child, ATHLETES plays like a marathon. Less about pace and more about distance, it is a step into slower tempos and more reflective themes compared to Calski’s previous work. The creative producer blends his signature soulful / boom bap sound with handpicked MC’s who are veterans of the game and play with hearts on their sleeves. Calski answers a few questions for Hi Fi Way about the album.
Congratulations, how influential was the birth of your first child when you were writing this album?
Thank you. The birth of my Daughter was a big influence. I’d be working on beats in the lounge room as she was playing on the floor nearly able to walk but if she was bobbing and rocking to the rhythm I knew I had the right vibe. She’d stop and cry if I tried something wack. It’s also given me a chance to realise how everything I do is reflected in her so my lyrics have changed theme. Not so much of the bragging and boasting.
Was it hard being away from the scene for a couple of years?
In the time between my solo releases I was DJing at some Bboy events and linked up with Blaq Carrie on a collaboration EP called Chain Heavy. Also worked with Sinks on his album. So I’ve stayed connected.
Is there a message behind the single All Coming Back?
Hip Hop OG’s and local kings Lazy Grey and Jake Biz went in with a reflective tone over this beat. Speaking on how the past has made them the men they are today. I guess each listener will make their own interpretation of the message.
Were you ever worried about being away for so long that you may not want to get back in to it?
Nah, I’m too passionate for anything like that to happen. Like I said, I’ve been actively involved with events and production.
How was the process of making your album in the studio?
It’s fun. The writing process is the best part and I enjoy every minute. The longer more laborious part is mixing.
How important were the collaborations with Lazy Grey, Jake Biz Raven, Rainman & Flu?
Those guys are some legends of Australia’s Hip Hop. It’s important to me that MC’s of their skill and character are able to have a platform to be heard.
Four albums in do you think your sound has changed much?
I’ve changed methods, techniques etc. My production quality has changed. Overall my sound is still grounded in soul and funk.
What are your favourite tracks from the album and why?
All Coming Back is huge. It features Lazy and Jake and is possibly my favourite beat I’ve ever made. Beyond The Breakbeat is close to my heart too. It speaks on my daughter, has a guitar solo and is about five minutes long!
Are you looking to tour around the country including Adelaide?
No plans right now.
What’s next for Calski?
Going to Malta and Portugal for a holiday with my wife and daughter. After that I’m looking to expand my production outside Australia and do something I’ve never done. Peace out y’all!
Interview By Rob Lyon
Have a listen to Calski on Spotify…