His first album debuted at #6 on the ARIA chart, his appearance in front of 2million people on Jimmy Kimmel Live! made him the first Australian rapper to perform on American TV, he was voted Channel V’s Oz Artist Of The Year, his singles garnered major radio airplay and he became widely known as ‘that guy who did the song about hoverboards’. Yes, in the space of just a few years, Melbourne rapper, Seth Sentry, went from being a part-time waiter to being one of Australia’s best known hip hop artists.
“I’m a sell-out now,” he declares quite matter-of-factly.
Of course, we’re talking about his upcoming Run Tour and the fact that punter demand has seen a couple of extra shows added to the itinerary.
“Yeah, we sold out Adelaide and Melbourne; pretty cool. I’m mean we’ve sold out shows before, but always like a week in advance or on the night or whatever, but months in advance; it’s crazy.”
In fact, Sentry is far from a sell-out. I don’t really think he could be bothered.
“I only ever really rap to impress my friends and myself, they’re the only people I really care about to be honest.
“That’s my game plan and always has been. I just enjoy it and as soon as I stop enjoying it, I’ll stop doing it. Certainly never wanted to get famous and I certainly never wanted to make money because back in the day when I started rapping, that was an impossibility – you couldn’t make money out of Australian rap music and you couldn’t get famous out of it because there were no avenues for it so I didn’t really think about it and I think I’ve just sort of kept that same mind frame.
“It’s what I’ve always done. For me it was a slow progression. But there was no struggle in it, put it that way, but I’ve never really been that kind of guy to really struggle to get anywhere; I enjoy the process. I didn’t have lofty goals and stuff, I just actually enjoy rapping, enjoy writing music – even though I was just bitching about it before, when I actually get down to it, I just love writing music.”
OK, so if he loves writing music so much, why was he bitching about it? Well, it turns out that life as a part-time rapper working in Hospitality is a little bit different to life as a successful recording artist.
“Yeah, normally I write just constantly on public transport and things like that, but it’s different having music as a full-time job. When I was doing hospitality, I felt like I was always writing and now that I’ve got it as my job, I really have to set aside times to do it because everything I do is music-based so it doesn’t really feel like as much of a novelty to me. Like, I kind of do rap and talk about rap and perform rap all day and the last thing I want to do of a night is do more rap,” he laughs. “So, I kinda need to take that space and find that passion cos I just want to rap better on this album.”
“That was one of the really hard things about writing the album; I didn’t have that constant source of anger, which Hospitality presented me with. When everything’s pretty sweet, it’s pretty hard to find things to write about, so that was a challenge, finding topics for the album.”
The album he’s talking about is in its final stages and should be released in the first half of this year. It will be his second full-length offering and it sounds like fans may see another side to the larrikin rapper.
“I guess that I just decided to be more honest with my music than I ever have been and that was a good starting point. Still doing a whole bunch of weird stoner stories and weird narratives and strange topics, which I always love doing, but putting more honesty about myself in those stories, I guess.
“Don’t get me wrong, there’s heaps of dumb shit on there. Do not think for a second that I’ve gone all old man on it; but I am, you know, once you get to your thirties, two years is like quite a bit of time since the last one and it’s been six years since The Waitress Song, so I’ve definitely changed and that was kind of hard working out. At the start I was real worried about that; I was like, ‘Fuck! I still want to be like that angsty 20-year-old but, you’ve just got to be honest to yourself, I think.
“I know what I’m doing now – I mean, pfft, sort of – like, more so than I did. I was kind of …there were no rap classes or anything, I’m not a classically trained rapper so I was just feeling around in the dark a bit on the last one. This time I’ve got Styalz Fuego doing the whole album and it feels like it’s more of a team effort, you know. It’s good.”
Run is the first single off the new album and Sentry will be taking to the road again this weekend but don’t expect too much new material on the set list. Sentry has a cohesive plan for this album and has created some challenges for himself when it comes to playing it live. Of course, a career in music isn’t all challenges and it seems success has some benefits.
“I finally got my license. Is it awkward that I’m over 30 and I finally got my car license? I got a 4WD. Yeah, cos I wanted to go out and drive out to the forest. And I never wanted that shit where people are like, can you help me move some shit and you’re like, I can’t because I’ve got a little shitty hatchback or something. I wanted a man’s car! Yeah, but I’m cool, I’m well overdue, I owe everyone.
“Oh Yeah, and I don’t live in a sharehouse anymore. It’s awesome; it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. And my socks are always there when I need them – it’s crazy.”
His career may have blossomed from a stalky song about his crush on a waitress that became a cult classic, to full-blown chart success, high-rotation air-play and overseas performances, but Seth Sentry remains the exact opposite of a sell-out.
“Just rapping to impress myself and rapping to impress my friends. That’s the key – don’t try too hard.”
Tickets for the Run Tour are on sale now. Full details after the jump.
Seth Sentry – Run Tour 2015
With special guests Citizen Kay and Coin Banks
Fri 20 Feb – The Hi-Fi, Brisbane. Tickets from Oztix.
Sat 21 Feb – Solbar, Maroochydore. Tickets from Oztix
Sat 28 Feb – The Republic, Hobart. Tickets from Moshtix.
Sat 7 Mar – The Hi-Fi, Melbourne. SOLD OUT
Sun 8 Mar – The Hi-Fi, Melbourne. Tickets from Oztix.
Thu 12 Mar – The Cambridge, Newcastle. Tickets from www.bigtx.com.au
Fri 13 Mar – The Metro Theatre, Sydney (All Ages). Tickets from Ticketek.
Sat 14 Mar – Anu Bar, Canberra. Tickets from Ticketek.
Thu 19 Mar – Prince Of Wales, Bunbury. Tickets from Oztix.
Fri 20 Mar – Metropolis Fremantle, Fremantle. Tickets from Oztix.
Sat 21 Mar – The Gov, Adelaide (All Ages). SOLD OUT
Sun 22 Mar – The Gov, Adelaide (All Ages). ** Tickets from Oztix.
** Coin Banks not appearing