You have touched on everything from feminism, racism, religion and politics. Do you think musicians now have a duty to talk about social issues in an authentic way?
I feel like people will talk about what affects them. In the early days of my music I used to feel like everyone ‘has’ to do it. I think people do it whenever they feel moved or inspired. As I’ve progressed in music I realize that not everyone has to do it. Not just jump on a bandwagon. Not everyone has the freedom to express themselves, not everyone has the free reign – whether that’s the label or management – to say what they feel. There’s a lot of censorship.
Have you ever been told that you can’t write about certain topics?
Nah, luckily I feel like people want it from somewhere! And with that it at least gives me the opportunity to try. There’s lots of things that I’ve written about on songs that have never seen the light of day but I’ve said it. As long as the conversation is relevant, it’s music. It’s like when we did the 700 pennies video – I find it so weird that it was like ‘a thing’ that we showed same sex relationships. I was like ‘why does it matter?’ Maybe I come from a school of zero fucks given but we did it because it made sense that we did it. I feel like people are just bringing up conversations for the sake of controversy.
What musicians have inspired your artistry the most?
It depends what year we’re talking.
Okay, so when you were 16 years old?
Japenese hip-hop. There’s a producer called Nujabes – Rest In Peace. He’s one of the most influential hip-hop producers to come out of Japan. He did a lot of the soundtracks in some of my favourite animes and cartoons. My two favourite animes? Death Note and Samurai Champloo. I like the animes that are short, punchy and cancelled early.