Q&A With Rising Australian Hip Hop Group 206collab

We are extremely excited to have featured your latest album “Watch Kulagina”. Being a Hip Hop group we never heard of before this, please tell us who 206collab is? Where in Sydney are you from? How and when was the group formed?

206collab is rappers Flip+Skip and Eno, DJ/rap wunderkind JPlatnum and soulstress Tiffa, hailing from Sydney, Australia. We started playing shows together in 2002 and quickly gained renown for exceptional stage presence and ludicrous antics. Our acclaimed debut, What You Waited Years For, hit store shelves in 2006 and landed us national radio and TV, and positions as support artists for famed local and international artists for years to come. We spent the next several years honing our skills and perfecting the art of live performance so that we could embark on our second studio release, Watch Kulagina,

We notice your guys style is really Boom-Bap driven and focused on lyricism. Let us know how your style if different from all the rap artists out there! You guys are really original!

While we’re fans of the Boom-Bap aesthetic generally, we were adamant that our next release leveled-up on its sonic and lyrical identity, and hang off one coherent and expressive theme. Recognizing music has this magical power to guide minds to deep thought and bodies to the dancefloor, we soon came across the fitting Nina Kulagina — a Russian spy from the Cold War era with psychokinetic powers, and Watch Kulagina was born!

We liked that the Kulagina theme allowed us to move beyond the convention of rapping about how good at rap we are, and instead elicit how we already mastered rap, and moved on to manipulating minds to pervert the course of history. The tongue in cheek nature was very 206, and the creative potential was boundless.

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We also chose to collaborate with fewer producers this release, selecting those with the sonic chops to devise the Kulagina sound — Sydney heavyweight Nebs (Kerser, That’s Them), hatonrack label mate Jacob Giles (1NF0), newcomer Kean, and of course our very own JPlatnum.

It’s this level of consideration, conceptually and musically, that differentiates the 206collab sound from anybody else.

How often as a group, do you guys perform? Are you touring this 2019 year? Ever played in the States!!?

We’ve for so long prided ourselves on our live shows, and we’ve played a lot of them! From small clubs in regional Australia, to huge music festivals, we’ve supported the likes of Australian heavyweights Blissneso and The Herd, and internationals Classified (Canada), and Killa Kela (UK). While we’ve never performed in the States, we have had the pleasure of rocking stages with Pharoahe Monche and Jean Grae, and hope to get out there to play with even more American rap-gods soon.

Let us know about the creative process behind your new album “Watch Kulagina”? Also, what a great music video you guys have for “The Paradoxx”, who shot it? How was the shooting experience!?

For 206collab, our creativity has always been a direct expression of our souls, and Watch Kulagina is a testament to our commitment to being different and doing it the way we feel it should be done. Through countless hours in the studio, stage shows across the east coast, and shenanigans we can’t even mention, it’s been a tiring but very stimulating journey. We’re so happy to release it to the world with a wealth of support from press, radio, and most importantly our fans!

The music video for The Paradoxx is dope, if only because 90s dating shows were dope. Haha. We’ve always leveraged our network of talented Sydney-based directors, artists, and creative enthusiasts to make cool stuff, and we’ve always enjoyed the process of doing it.

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WOW…….Boom, one of our main contributors, gave your new album a perfect 10/10 on his ALBUM REVIEW!!!!! Super rare rating to be honest, not common for us to give out perfect ratings on reviews. Chemistry is obviously key to any success on a group project!! How do you guys feel about the review? Did you guys have a chance to read it!?

We were so stoked to get marks for chemistry, because we believe we have it! Before we were making music together, we were skating together, and before we were skating together, we went to high school together — that’s a long history of collaboration and mutual respect for each other’s talents.

JPlatnum, as well as being my partner in label hatonrack, is most musical, endowing the majority of production and scratches on this release, not to mention joining permanent mic duties with an ability that is astounding on his first appearance.

Eno has always had this larger than life personality and his energetic style helped cultivate the exceptional stage presence and ludicrous antics that 206collab is famed for.

Tiffa brings a soulful dimension that perfectly complements our twisted humour (both on the record and IRL). She’s a talented singer-songwriter, and her presence offers much needed balance amid verses steeped with perverse braggadocio.

As a career creative, I’m responsible for the band’s image, forging track and album concepts, and promoting the band with a slew of music videos and social media stunts drawn in the same Kulagina theme.

And of course a core quality of the “collaboration” is to work with artists we like, like Sydney crew LookUp on our posse track Proper, and freestyle king Nick Knowledge on an inspired remix of our 2006 JJJ radio single, Deadly Concoction.

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When are you planning on dropping another project in 2019?

I’m working on a project with my other band, Fallstars. Consisting of singer-songwriter Stu Groen, drummer Tash Adams from She Rex, and myself, Island In the Sky is a short film

which plays out as a musical. Not only does the film format allow for storytelling over a number of tracks, but the album becomes the soundtrack to the motion picture, which is unique as a point of marketability.

And who knows, we may soon start a third 206 album!

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Being an Australian-based Hip Hop group, are there any Hip Hop influences you guys have in the underground game that is based out there?

We’ve long been inspired by The Funkoars, partly because we see ourselves in their closeness as friends and the endless escapades that go along with it, but mostly because they are incredibly talented rappers who make incredibly listenable music.

We’re also impressed with the next wave of Australian rap, and Chillinit get props for his very obvious lyrical ability and compelling persona to back it.

How does social media play a role in your success? How are fans/supporters helping your movement?

The landscape has changed since we released What You Waited Years For many moons ago. The Australian Hip Hop genre has really come into its own despite diminishing opportunities for live shows and radio and press exposure. Now, It’s all about online presence and that requires persistence, technical know-how and a creative vision.

There are so many talented artists in this world that go unheard because they haven’t invested in the education or work it takes to get heard. We saw the shift, got with the change, developed a vision in Kulagina, and relentlessly executed our lyrics, production, brand and marketing against it, because a compelling sound and persona is key (not to mention Russian spies are relevant to contemporary politics — gotta leverage those search algorithms!) And most fortunately our fans have stuck with us, plus we’ve picked up a whole bunch more on the way.

With this being an underground hip hop site, we always ask this important question. What is your definition of “underground hip hop”?

Any Hip Hop music that started from the bottom-up, and has gained listenership and renown based on its truthfulness and ingenuity, not industry pressures.

Where can people find you on the Internet? Drop all the vital links.

Spotify: http://bit.ly/206collab-watchkulagina
The Gram: https://www.instagram.com/206collab

The Tube: http://bit.ly/206collab-youtube

Lastly, and shout out?

Huge shouts to all of our hatonrack fam, and Underground Hip Hop Blog, of course!

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