Canadian rapper Merkules, real name Cole Stevenson, makes his maiden voyage to Australia for a national tour that starts this weekend.
The tour comes in the wake of the release of Merkules' new single 'This Again', which has been lifted from his forthcoming full-length album simply titled 'Cole'.
“I'm going to be honest with everyone about problems that I have in the hope they will hear it and it will help them with theirs as well.”
Merkules says the track is a confessional about confronting his personal demons. “'This Again' was me putting my feet in the water to try something new and something more melodic,” he says.
“I was very inspired by the artist Lil Peep who passed away recently, rest in peace to him. It was me taking a shot at opening up about my problems and my addictions and letting people know that just because I'm in the spotlight and I have this solid fan base doesn't mean that I'm necessarily perfect either.
“I want people to understand we all go through it; we all have our vices – mine being drinking and my anxiety. So I wanted to be honest and let people know that no matter what, the Merkules that you see on the internet is still Cole at the end of the day.
"I'm going to be honest with everyone about problems that I have in the hope they will hear it and it will help them with theirs as well.”
Due for release at the end of March, 'Cole' comes in quick succession after his 2017 album 'Trust Your Gut'.
Merkules says he is not one to rest on his achievements and says the new album finds him at the top of his game. “I feel like it's going to be my most personable project to date but as an artist I think it's my best body of work.
"Obviously that's cliché because every rapper says that about every big project they put out, but I'm very happy with this one.”
For Merkules' debut shows in Australia, audiences can look forward to a dynamic performance from a prolific and evolving rap talent.
Merkules says he prides himself on delivering powerful live shows as well as developing a healthy relationship with his fans. “I think what separates my live show from other live shows is the fact that every time I get up there I'm very raw, very grimey and very hip hop, if you want to call it that,” he says.
“But I also try to bring my own flavour to the stage whenever I get up there. I always try to become as personable as possible while I'm there; I like to stick around after the show and meet the fans.
“I want to make sure everybody that comes to the show has a good time, enjoys themselves and leaves with a good taste in their mouth, and wants to come back and do it all over again the next time I come. I'm very excited to see what Australian fans have to offer and I'm keen to see what Australia is about.”
Merkules Tour Dates
Fri 23 Feb - Revolver (Melbourne) Sat 24 Feb - Fowlers Live (Adelaide) Sun 25 Feb - Oxford Art Factory (Sydney) Fri 2 Mar - Amplifier (Perth) Sat 3 Mar - Woolly Mammoth (Brisbane)