I’ll always remember what my mate Gordon said to me one night when we were catching up. We were talking music and rap lyrics and he goes:
“Pete, you’ve only got one job as a performer: to give the best fucking performance you can. Don’t worry about all the other shit. When you’re on stage, it’s your responsibility to give such a good performance that you elevate off the stage. . Give 100% to the performance and lift off the stage. That’s your only job. Take people away.”
I’ve been making my bones in the Aussie hip hop scene around Sydney City for a few years now and Gordons’ advice has stuck with me. Shout outs to Gordon.
I’ve played some crazy gigs and learned some invaluable lessons on the stage. Today I’m going to take the time and share with you some of the craziest moments I’ve had and some of the lessons I’ve learnt along the way so far..
the undergrounds underground
I joke a lot and say I rep the undergrounds underground. Although I have had a huge amount of success as an Australian hip hop artist – and have a handful of hardcore fans – Primitive headlining a show doesn’t attract 100s of screaming fans. Not yet anyway.
The 1st regular spot I played landed me at a pub in inner west Sydney. The Lewisham Hotel or Louis Hotel at an event called Spoken Vibes. A dope night of eclectic talent ranging from dope rap lyrics to spoken word poetry and live bands to guided meditation.
I played there weekly and really honed the foundation of my live set, performing in front of anywhere from 5 to 50 people.
One particular night, one of the hosts went outside and had a punch-on with one of the acts on the bill. I don’t know what it was about or who won, but I do know that they had the fight when I was right in the middle of my set.
Nearly everyone went outside to watch the violent exchange, but I kept doing my set. The show must go on and ya boi is a professional. I finished off my set to an audience of a young couple sitting at a table and one dude on a couch who was passed out.
Inspiration For Rap Lyrics…
Looking back it just makes a funny story, at the time I was pretty pissed.
I’ve many challenging experiences on the mic and they have all certainly shaped me into the hip hop artist I am today.
One such experience was when I was starting out and I had moved up from open mic to actually being on the bill. I was opening the show and I handed my USB of backing tracks to the DJ.
The introductions were made and I grabbed the mic and gave the DJ the nod to begin.
Nothing happened. Complete silence…Fuck!
I had to think quickly so I started spitting some of my rap lyrics and verses acapella. The crowd loved it. After every verse I’d look at the DJ and see him sweating trying to get these beats working. It was quite comical watching him have a meltdown.
Some of my backing tracks ended up coming through and the DJ ended up playing a few generic beats as well for some of my tracks. I finished my set and the next act got up.
After I’d spoken with my peeps I went up to the DJ and was like:
“What happened bro?”
“Some of the files were corrupted.” Said the DJ.
I had no idea what that meant and I was like Ok whatever.
What that gig taught me is that you always got to have a backup of your beats. Now I always carry 2 USBs and my phone as well when performing.
There’s countless times something like that has happened at gigs – the sound cutting out, mic stops working, tracks fail and laptops don’t work. All sorts of shit – Never forgot my rap lyrics though!
As an emcee I have to adapt to the situation and like my friend Gordon said: “My only job is to give the best fuckin performance I can.”