Brisbane based artist Carmouflage Rose recently returned with his first new music in over a year in the form of his vibey new single ‘Tipsy’. After securing the Queensland Music Award for best Hip Hop/Rap release in March of 2020, Carmouflage Rose was forced to bide his time and sharpen his skills as the global pandemic loomed over the rollout of his new music. Back in action in 2021, we find the young maverick once again flexing his lyrical skills and ear for memorable hooks over the propulsive beat of ‘Tipsy’, produced by long time collaborators James Angus, Blessed and LazyEye.
On ‘Tipsy’, Carmo re-emerges inspired and re-energised, pulling no punches when it comes to his approach to the single and its striking music video, directed by Cassettekidd, Jon Baxter and Jordan Toia (Check out the BTS above).
To celebrate the new track, we touched base with Carmouflage Rose to hear about putting it together, which local acts get his co-sign, and what else he’s got up his sleeve for 2021.
Hey Carmo, it’s been a minute since we’ve last heard new music from you, how was your 2020? What did you get up to?
Man, it’s been fucking hard if I have to be honest with you. Not being able to tour and just be an artist affected me heaps. Having to rethink my career choice and start printing a resume again took a toll on me. I like being close to my fans and turning up together, you know? Cause that’s where most of my ideas and creative energy flows. Focusing on finishing my next project and everything that comes with it took up a lot of 2020.
Do you think the downtime came at a good time for you or did it throw your plans off a little?
We had just come off winning the QMA for Best Hip Hop/Rap award in March so we were happy. The next day we went to Stradbroke Island to finish the project, but COVID hit so the whole plan was put on ice when we got back a week later. God’s timing as always, but yeah.
It was a bit of both too, I got to continue working on music and learn a lot about mixing and vocal engineering, and on the other side, I just needed to slow the fuck down. The partying and late nights—I had a lot of self-reflection to do.
Talk to us about ‘Tipsy’, who did you work with on it and did the track come together?
I worked with my good friend and executive producer James Angus alongside Blessed, which was a lot of fun. Blessed is crazy when it comes to drums, he killed it on this one. Then the legend himself, James Angus came in with the golden touch with the dancehall-inspired horns and the pretty sounds decorated around the vocals. It was fun to make and actually happened on a previous writing camp in November 2019. Another young Brisbane producer, Lazyeye touched this one too.
Making Tipsy was a bit of a wild one cause we had like 7 versions of it [laughs], we had a Burna Boy type-beat, a piano version, a trap techno one too, but I’m happy with what we ended up with, it felt right. All in all, we worked on this song for 2 years, changing drums, lyrics, structure, bringing in collaborators etc. We love what we do and perfection is something that takes time.
The song kinda explains the inspiration, I guess. Few drinks deep, thinking of shorty, next minute you’re texting, calling, etc. You know how it goes.
The video and BTS are sick too, can you tell us how you linked up with the crew and what the process of making the video was like?
[Laughs] Man, we had a big one the night before we shot that. It was all done in one day which was a lot of work, to be honest, but the crew was great. We bounced ideas between my manager, Jon from Jaen and our cinematographer Jordan Toia and we ended up with this. We had to order scorpions from Victoria which got shipped up live [laughs]. Man, a lot went into this video, we had a lot of ideas initially but COVID kinda worked against us so the original concept had to be put to bed, actually. I’ve always been a fan of dance and I got to bust a few moves too which was great, yeah, the whole team was amazing!
It feels like you’re tapping into a new set of influences and exploring some new sounds with Tipsy/Powerplay — who are some artists you’ve been bumping lately?
I listen to a lot of Sade, I’m talking like every day. She just helps me learn more about dealing with love etc. Also, I listen to my favourite artist Sean Paul, but the older stuff, like the Dutty Rock album. Take Care by Drake. I love Zhu, Vigro Deep, Wayne Wonder, Capelton and PartyNextDoor.
The Australian scene has grown in a big way over the last few years, what is something that excites you about local music right now?
Nothing [laughs] Just joking man, the Australian scene is great. The drill movement stuff is great, I wish I could do that but I’m just too much of a lover boy. The greats are always putting out dope music, Manu Crooks, B Wise, Tkay etc. They’re always killing it and to be honest, I just love to see any artist winning and doing what they love whilst getting paid to do it. On that subject, artists do need to be paid more, as well as producers in Australia—but that’s a rabbit hole.
Who are some local artists that get your cosign?
SWISH MUSIC is fire, it sucks that this COVID stuff hit before they could do the festivals, I could only imagine the mosh pits and vibes. Westneat man, he’s dope and super wavy, one to watch out for this year. Liyah Knight is super cool too. People got to stop sleeping on Gill Bates, he’s wavy and a true artist. Eric Sanders man, like, I can’t wait for the world to catch up to my dude. Tee Noah, Craigsto, Hoodbaby Prince, Mawie too. The list goes on.
What can we expect from Carmouflage Rose for the rest of 2021?
Man I got a whole project on its way and a MF TOUR, that’s going to be crazy! I’m talking like up in smoke tour type beat. Can’t wait to see the fans and light it up after so long. More music videos, more music and more activity on social media. I don’t like it, but with the passing of DMX, it made me realise that I want people to have, interviews and stuff to catch my vibe when my time comes if you get what I’m saying.
Follow Carmouflage Rose here for more and check out the video for ‘Tipsy’ below.