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The New Locals: 3K

Catching up with the Melbourne rap crew to talk about their latest single ‘Swipe’, and the relentless pop culture references in their music.

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3K was formed in 2017 by Melbourne friends Moey, Eissa, Beluga, and Benny Lago with an aim to represent Melbourne’s postcode as a growth corridor for Hip Hop music. Rappers Beluga, Eissa and rapper/producer Benny Lago make up the vocalists in 3K, each boasting distinct flows and delivery, meanwhile, DJ and manager Moey holds it down on the business end.

With a steady ascension in Melbourne’s music scene over the past 3 years, we’ve seen 3K drop their debut EP Don’t Panic, a collaborative project alongside Agung Mango in 2019 titled OPENFORBUSINESS, and a string of hype singles including the Hamley-produced ‘Bring a Friend’ and most recently ‘Swipe’. In the few short years since 3K burst onto the scene they have been able to watch their supporters grow cult-like. Following a 2020 that was tainted by pandemics and cancellations, 3K are gearing up for a considerably bigger 2021. We caught up with 3K to hear more about their rapid growth, their evolving sound and their reference-loaded raps.


Can you tell us about yourselves and how you got into music?
Beluga: Back when we linked up, we went to shows and saw a lot of live performances. We all connected when we first met up outside of University and went to shows and Eissa would come down from Canberra before eventually moving to Melbourne. I met Moey through Benny and we would go to parties, shows and all kinds of gigs. We clicked through music and started creating after seeing a lot of local shows. We realised something was missing in the culture, so we started working on 3K.

You recently dropped your single Swipe; can you tell us about the song and how it came about?
Eissa: Benny Lago produced the song during lockdown, and he sent it over while I was asleep. Beluga pulled up the beat and started working on it when I slept. I woke up and added parts to the song and basically it was a couple of days going back and forth. Coming back to it with a fresh mind and making the best structural song we have made. 

Who are some local artists you’ve been listening to and keeping your eye on?
Moey: There’s a lot that we like Manny Mula, YKM, Boy Ace, Babyfacemal, Pania, Mulalo and Agung Mango. 

I noticed a lot of pop culture and film references in your songs. Can you give us any reason for that?
Beluga: Pop Culture especially since this lockdown period we have soaked up a lot of content. We have watched a lot of shows and films and made a lot of music throughout it. We like to incorporate that into the music

What are some developments you’ve seen in the Melbourne music scene since you started?
Moey: A lot more trap music and I think a lot more people are willing to do things without caring what people think of them. 

Eissa: There are a few artists in the past few years that have evolved their sound. Everyone’s growing. People are doing better than they were before and the quality of the music is sounding better. 

You’ve played decent-sized crowds and toured the east coast of Australia. What is a particular moment that stands out and what is a goal you always envisioned?
Eissa: Big Sound was one of our best moments show-wise because we got all these people in suits to get down for ‘Woof’. A goal we always envisioned is definitely big festivals or stadiums with real big crowds. We want some King Arthur, castle type shit, like a Kanye West level performance. 

What artists would you say inspires you and who do you think inspires your sound?
Moey: I think nobody influences our sound, but we listen to a lot of music and we can’t really pinpoint one inspiration because it’s four different minds working together on music so we just create what we have been wanting to listen to and what the people should hear.

Follow 3K here for more and check out the video for ‘Swipe’ below.


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