Jordache from 'Fire & Ice'

By Johnson Raela

A Sunday session event featuring some of New Zealand's Hip Hop Heavyweights is becoming the top 'Sunday sesh' on the Auckland City social scene.

'Shenanigans' is now holding it's sixth event this Sunday, August 30th at Sweatshop Brew Bar, and I sat down with Jordache of 'Fire & Ice'  to have a chat about the event and also some exciting projects he's working on right now.

When I first heard of Shenanigans. I automatically just thought... A Sunday sesh with drinks and jams featuring familiar New Zealand Hip Hop peeps... how accurate is that thought?

(Laughs) Yeah that's pretty much it, that's the buzz.

What's the difference between Shenanigans and a Sunday sesh up the road at another bar?

I guess we play rap music, cool music, RnB or whatever. Most of the Sunday sessions I've been to don't play my kind of music.

At a club I can play say, 'drunk in love', I mean, don't get me wrong, 'drunk in love' is cool but at Shenanigan I can play a different Beyonce song like 'Rocket' or something. It's good for that buzz, hearing other stuff instead of just club stuff.

If you wanna go out but you don't want to go clubbing, then Shenanigan is good for that.

If you're not on the decks DJ'ing, what drink would we likely see you sipping on at Shenanigans?

Probably Whiskey... Bourbon and Coke. Yeah some sort of whiskey, maybe on the rocks, that's just me. I'm from West Auckland (laughs) we drink bourbon and coke.

How do you identify yourself as an artist?

I'm a producer, so, I produce with my brother first and foremost. Occasionally I'll do vocals and stuff but not really trying to be a rapper...

Why not, you're actually really good at rapping though.

(Laughs) ohhhh, yeah I'm alright but, I'm just more interested in featuring every now and then... I guess the way Pharrell would feature, where he jumps on the occasional song.

So I take it, Pharrell would be a 'producer' influence for you?

Oh definitely yeah. Pharrell was probably my biggest influence when I was younger, even still today. Him and Timbaland definitely got me into wanting to make beats. Now, I also get influenced by heaps of producers, there's heaps of new and good producers now, which is dope.

What do you think about the whole issue around 'ghost writing' at the moment internationally and have you come across this in NZ?

Nah I don't think the 'ghost writing' sort of thing happens here. You'll get people writing hooks and stuff, but I think everyone writes their own verses, that's like standard.

With the whole Drake thing, I think it was more like, the fact that it wasn't known. Everyone knows it happens with Puff Daddy and Dre, but no one knew it happened with Drake. Especially because everyone's been crediting Drake for being one of the great writers of this generation, but now you look at it differently because of what happened. BUT... his music's still cool.

Like Many NZ artists, it's a hard grind to do music full time. Many till hold down full time jobs. What's the deal with you?

I'm actually looking for a job at the moment. I had a part-time job last year, but now currently looking, I've actually got a BCom (Bachelor of Commerce) in marketing, but it's trying to get a job that will also allow me to do my music as well. It's not easy. It's definitely a struggle making rap music or any kind of music here in NZ.

What do you think needs to happen on the NZ music scene in order for more artists to be able to follow their passion and do music full time?

I guess more people need to come to shows and buy the music but that can only happen if the music is good. The people decide if you can make a living off it. I think people can get carried away with, 'oh artists don't get paid enough blah blah blah, which is true, it is a struggle. But I look at it in a way like, 'I need to do my job better' if I'm going to make a living off it. If you do it well, it's a luxury job, you're not working, you're just doing what you love.

I've heard through the grape vine that David Dallas is working on some new material, and you and your brother (Fire & Ice) are producing on that?

Yeah we're producing on it, and we've got a bit more input on this project than the last couple of ones we've worked on. The past projects, was us mostly just making beats. But this time around we're actually in the studio with Dave, we're in on the writing process (not writing lyrics), doing actual producing. So I guess it's more than just making the beats.

Is there anything else you can tell us about this project? (cheeky laughs)

- Ummm, yeah nah. That's a question for David Dallas (laughs). BUT, last night he sent me three new demos/verses that are dope, I really like where he is headed right now. That's all I can really say at the moment.

What other exciting future projects do you have coming up that we (fans) can look forward to?

We're always working on stuff. We're working on some other stuff of our ownat the moment. But as far as the rap stuff goes, we're still doing local music. We've done a few songs with Tom from Homebrew recently and we've got a song with PNC that we've just finished last week.

On the DJ front, this Saturday night (29th August) I'm playing at 1885 and then this Sunday (30th August) come on down to Shenanigans and have some fun.

One final question... What are you most proud of?

I think I'm most proud of doing the music with my brother. We taught ourselves, we taught each other. We didn't come from musical backgrounds or anything like that. We never learnt to play any instruments growing up. We just downloaded a program when we were 14 or 15 years old and learnt it ourselves, from the ground up and made something of it.

I don't think we're fully where we want to be but we got somewhere. So it's definitely doing this with my brother and us being self-taught.

Johnson Raela

- Johnson is the host of 'Flava Days' on Flava Radio, 10am - 3pm, weekdays.

Shenanigan Vol 6

Featuring Jordache (Fire & Ice), Mac Major, Che Kamikaze & Katana
Sunday 30 August - Sweat Shop Brew Kitchen - Auckland
2PM - close
Entry: FREE