Drapht bringing Shadows & Shinings to the regions

Edward ScownGeraldton Guardian
Drapht said the Perth rap scene is one of the most friendly and collaborative in the country
Camera IconDrapht said the Perth rap scene is one of the most friendly and collaborative in the country

Perth hip-hop stalwart Drapht is celebrating the release of his seventh album, Shadows & Shinings, with a tour of regional WA, including a gig with a few mates next Friday in Geraldton.

A product of Perth’s COVID lockdowns, the 15-track release plays like a mix-tape.

Fitting as that’s, in part, what it was originally intended to be.

“Initially I was going to do two albums. One solo, really introspective … then a second album that’s just super fun, with all the collabs,” Drapht said.

What resulted was an almost 50-50 mix of the two, bringing in fellow Perth heavyweights Complete and Eli Greeneyes, as well as early naughties talents Layla and Dazastah and an appearance by Hilltop Hoods’ Pressure.

The second single, Problem Here, sums up the vibe of the album well.

“I had just bought my dream house in the hills of Perth, and the week I moved all my stuff in planes started flying over. Then I found termites in the roof, snakes in the backyard and to top it all off I have a toddler at home and I decided to throw a puppy in the mix just for some extra excitement,” Drapht said.

Complete’s line in the song — “At least you’re close to the airport” — typifies Drapht’s willingness to laugh at himself, and it’s that ability which holds the album together. Other tracks address relationship breakdown, binge drinking and becoming a father, but it’s done in a way that’s uplifting. This is certainly not a whinge album.

“For me it’s just about putting pen to paper whenever I’m going through something … I don’t really think of the diversity of an album,” he told the Guardian last week.

Drapht said the arrival of his daughter, now nearly three, changed his whole approach to music. He now feels more pressure to continue in his career, but being a father has forced him to take some time out from music and he believes this album is the better for it.

“I’m enjoying the writing more,” he said.

“I used to just work myself to the bone trying to make things happen, but since she arrived … you realise you’re not the most important person in the world.”

Drapht has a long history of regional tours and was last in Geraldton just more than a year ago. He said he worried about “over-saturating the market” but ticket sales are going steadily.

“The energy of the (regional) crowd is completely different,” he said.

“You go to Sydney or Melbourne and you have no idea what sort of room you’re walking into. It could be all really staunch guys with their arms folded, they really make you work … regional crowds are just there for a good time.”

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