South Australian rapper/ producer Lariken set out to make a big impact with his debut album, 'June'.
“I wanted to make something really banging and hard to be honest with you,” Lariken says.
“Something to tear people's heads off. It's a far-cry different than anything I've done before and I definitely wanted to make a statement, letting people know their heads will be blown off.
"If I was cool enough I'd smash a gang of Auto-Tune on my voice."
“I'm feeling really good about the album. I think it's something I could look back on in ten years or so and not want to punch myself in the head for it, that's the main thing.
"At the end of the day, I'm the one who has to know I released that and in 10 or 20 years time it's something I want to look back on with pride.”
Titled after the month his son was born, 'June' has been mixed and mastered by friend and Adelaide hip hop notable K-21
of the Golden Era Records crew.
Lariken says working closely with K-21 was an important part in developing the specific sound and style he desired for the record. “There's not a better bloke going to be honest,” he says of K-21.
“He's a really good friend of mine and I consider him family. Watching him work is unbelievable, the dude just knows so much… some of the stuff of his I've heard is incredible, people need to keep their ears out for that. I would say no Oz hip hop inspires me except K-21; I'd rather listen to trap bangers, except for K-21.”
As an artist, Lariken prefers to consider himself a musician and producer taking full control over his creative output and crafting songs dominated by melodic lyrics as opposed to spitfire hip hop rhymes.
“First and foremost I'd rather title myself as a musician because my main skill is production, it's something I hadn't discovered until two years ago but it was something that just came to me and became an awesome release for me.
“So then you can cater for yourself; you get an idea in your head from the get-go and you can do that rather than chasing a producer and hope for the best they'll do something close to what you have in mind.”
'Lunatics' is the first single taken from 'June', featuring Rani Simone and accompanied by a visually jarring video clip shot in the historic Gladstone Gaol in South Australia. “More so the video was like a catharsis, a purge-type thing,” Lariken says.
“Everyone can feel a bit like a lunatic at times and people spend a lot of time worrying about it; that was the goal with the clip. The song itself was just a braggadocio kind of song that I wanted to make.
"Because I've been listening to so much wavy stuff it just inspired me; I feel like if I was cool enough I'd smash a gang of Auto-Tune on my voice and say the most ignorant shit possible.”
Speaking of saying ignorant things, Lariken has been making a name for himself in recent years having clawed his way through the ranks of the local Adelaide battle-rap scene.
Hungry to stand out from the pack, Lariken recalls with a sense of chagrin some of the less reputable things that have come out of his mouth in the heat of the moment. “I felt like my biggest goal to make a name for myself on the battle scene was to be really loud and really obnoxious and just not give a fuck. If I saw a weakness in someone, I fucking picked on it. I didn't care; I went in."'June' is out now.