Brisbane rapper Carmouflage Rose brings good fortune on his new single 'Sele'.
An Old English word meaning 'good fortune', 'Sele' was written following Carmouflage Rose's return to his home country, Zimbabwe, for the first time in nearly a decade.
Armed with 'Sele', not to mention previous hits 'Late Nights' and 'Wildflowers', Carmouflage Rose will embark on his biggest national headline tour to date.
Before he does, we catch up for a chat about music and where he sees himself in the urban zeitgeist.
It looks like 2019 has been a very productive year for you; what have been some of the standout moments for you? Getting my citizenship, so that I am able to travel overseas, was the most important thing. Also signing with CAA, my international booking agent, and getting to release new music is really a vibe [sic] for me. I always like putting out new music.
For your new single 'Sele' you travelled back to your native Zimbabwe; what was that experience like and how did it influence the song? It was recharging. I could recharge my soul and my spirit. The energy, positivity, love and joy was awesome. I learnt how to be happy again to be honest.
'Sele' is an Old English term for 'good fortune'; what does this mean in terms of the song and the message of its story? With 'Sele', basically what I’m talking about is like 'Yo! Let’s not think about tomorrow. Let’s not think about yesterday. Let’s just think about right now, live in the moment.' Good fortune follows those that live in the moment.
I think for me, I don’t really care about a lot of stuff. What is happening right now is all that matters to me. I don’t know nothing. I don’t want to know nothing, don’t tell me nothing. Everything is going to be okay, deadass [sic].
Do you have a philosophy that guides how you write new songs? Whatever comes organic [sic] and connects to my emotions and spirit is my philosophy. I always like to have it in present tense, like a conversation.
The most important thing people should know about you as an artist? I’m f...ing creative, not to toot my own horn. I’m really creative and I’m super sensitive and emotional, but I’m also a badass. As an artist, Carmouflage Rose, I do more than music, videos, photography, sound design. It’s not just the music.
The most valuable advice you've been given? I don’t know nothing, don’t tell me nothing. Don’t get involved with life – Bobby Lee. Let it happen.
In your own view, how do you think your music is helping to progress the genre of hip hop in the 21st century? Well, I don’t consider my music hip hop. I consider my music its own genre. I’m actually creating my own genre of music.
You wouldn’t say 'Late Nights' is hip hop, you wouldn’t say 'Let Me Down' is hip hop, or 'Wildflowers'. You could say 'Dennis Rodman' or 'No Love' are hip hop. But 'Sele' is Afrobeat, electro. I’m Badmon Gusheshe. My own genre would be called 'laser love'.
When will we get a full-length Carmouflage Rose album? I have an EP done already, we are just waiting for the [release] dates. A full-length album next year GUARANTEED. Guaranteed next year you’ll have a full album by Carmouflage Rose.
Do you think albums are still a viable format, or do you prefer to drip-feed new music? I’ve always been a project-type guy. That’s what I do, I do bodies of work. I don’t half-arse things. Everything is full-on, I reckon. I like albums. I actually listened to the Rick Ross album today front to back. I bump albums every day.
Your upcoming Australia tour will be your biggest headline shows to date; give audiences an idea of what your live shows are like. . . We are bringing a light show. . . lots of lights, lasers and more. New songs, including unreleased songs to create special moments. But you’re going to have to get down to a show to see for yourself.
'Sele' is available now.
Carmouflage Rose 2019 Tour Dates
Fri 6 Sep - Fat Controller (Adelaide) Sat 7 Sep - The Corner Hotel (Melbourne) Fri 13 Sep - Oxford Art Factory (Sydney) Sat 14 Sep - UC Hub (Canberra) Fri 20 Sep - Jack Rabbit Slims (Perth) Thu 26 Sep - The Spiegeltent @ Brisbane Festival