Perth is a place oft-forgotten in the Australian music scene, with east coast cities generally elbowing it out to become the face of up-and-coming talent. In this ignorance what music lovers miss out on is a bubbling, thriving pool of dedicated musicians changing the sound of Australian music. One such artist is Muka Vhatti, a standout in the arena since the end of 2019 when he won Unisounds in Sydney. Though his discography holds few tracks, namely ‘Thooka’, ‘Grey’ and ‘$he’, of which hone his self-made genre OceanTTrap, they depict an exciting and unique sound rarely touched on by young artists on the same path at present.
His latest single ‘IQ’ aside Melbourne’s DoloRRes and Savage the Girl have made their rounds across institutions like Rage, and was recorded on their first meeting in Melbourne after 2019’s Listen Out. Now, with a new single on the way we had a chat to the Perth-based wavvy rapper on getting into music, his brand of OceanTTrap and his take on the up-and-comers of the west coast scene.
Firstly, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you first got into music?
Lesgoo time for some nyaya! I go by the name Muka Vhatti, I’m just another kid trying to chase my dreams and do what I am most passionate about while living my life to the fullest. I’m from the 6K aka Perth Western Australia (best state in Aus currently “sozntsoz”).
When I was young I always loved expressing my emotions through music, if I was sad I would automatically make a sad playlist and vibe off that till I wasn’t sad anymore. In happy times I would do the same.
Congrats on the new single ‘IQ’ with Savage the Girl and DoloRRes! Can you talk us through the process behind it?
So Richmore, Arno [Faraji] and I were in Melbourne last year and we went to Listen Out Festival and met Baro. He told us that there was an after-party at his homeboys crib and that turned out to be DoloRRes’s house. We were lit and amidst everything that was going on, DoloRRes mentioned that he had a studio in the backyard, and the rest is history; the vibe was magic from the jump.
You’ve worked with DoloRRes a couple of times now, what makes you keep going back?
It’s easy to work with DoloRRes, we just flow and nothing ever feels forced. Everything we work on together just seems to kick off. I was just thinking—imagine a DoloRRes x Muka Vhatti tape.
Your track ‘$he’ feels different to your previous tracks and is personally my favourite. How did it come to fruition, and what was it like working with Tasker?
Thank you! I was a bit apprehensive before I dropped $he because of how different it was, but to my surprise, a lot of people took a liking to it. It has left me thinking that it is something I wanna keep doing with my music. It happened very quickly actually, I was in Sydney around this time last year. My mate, Jonny Blackwell, connected me with Tasker. It was a whole vibe, I was above and beyond excited to work with him and once we made it happen I was in awe of what we managed to create. I told him what artists I liked and he made some suggestions and we went in on it, we got that song done in one session. I was super nervous. I’m a bit of an introvert and my shell is comfortable, but when I’m around music I feel like I belong and I always manage to overcome my nerves and do what I gotta do.
You’ve coined a new sub-genre of trap, Ocean TTrap, how exactly would you describe it? Are there any particular artists that influence it?
Anti-commercial vibes, absolute freedom, wavy. I feel like it is a combination of vibes. I want to make music that people can relate to, timeless beats that one can listen to over and over again and find therapy in doing so. I want to create timeless anthems.
I was watching the video for the release ‘Finesse’ with Richmore, it’s a really fun track! What’s the story behind that?
Words from the man Richmore himself “The story behind it is in the lyrics”.
The Perth music scene has definitely diversified in the last couple of years with artists like Hoodzy, Shadow, and yourself livening things up for rappers and hip hop artists. Who are some other great rappers coming out of Perth at the moment?
Man, Perth is honestly so slept on, there are so many great artists here that are still on the come up. I am sure they will all make noise in the near future. Shout out to TONTON6K, Stan Cavier, Richmore and Lil Lav. I personally feel that they are the top artists I’d keep an eye on in the 6.
Who have been some major music influences for you growing up, and at present?
The first artist I ever became a proper fan of was Chance the rapper. The Acid Rap album connected to me instantly. It was my senior year anthem. Currently, my main influences in the game would be Travis Scott, A$AP Rocky and the Lumineers. I’m a sucker for indie-folk and rock.
In an insane year that has sometimes forced self-reflection, what has the year 2020 taught you about yourself and/or your music?
I feel like the world needed the new decade to begin like this, 2020 has changed everything. I have learnt that I need to stop sleeping on my talent and I have great potential. I shouldn’t rely on others because only you know what’s best for you. I have great potential and I can and will do great things in the near future.
Lastly, what’s in the future for you, I’ve heard whispers of a debut EP?
Got a big single on the way and then it’s time…B4 TThe Wave.
Follow Muka Vhatti here for more and check out ‘Grey’ below.