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The New Locals: Gabriel LCR

The Melbourne native chats the origins of his debut EP and what’s been on his mind lately.

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Gabriel LCR is a name that has hidden in the cracks of Melbourne’s underground music scene for a short while now, but with his debut release, he’s set to make an impact.

He grew up in Melbourne’s northern suburbs and developed a keen observational eye. Underpass is written, rapped and produced by Gabriel. The result is dreamy and lo-fi—think Rejjie Snow on holiday. Underpass was blurted out stream of consciousness, thoughts about things around me that are in and out of my control. Interpret it as you will,” he tells us over the web.

We took a minute to catch up with the 21-year-old on dream line ups, the state of the Melbourne music scene, and what he’s been loving lately.

Hey Gabriel, thanks for taking time out for a chat! We’re loving your debut EP. When did you start writing / producing? How long have you been working on this project?
I started making beats around year 11, but I had been writing lyrics long before that. It wasn’t until I was out of high school when I started recording my own beats and even more recently that I’ve started taking it a bit more seriously. This project has a bit of a belated timeline because a few songs on there I wrote a while back. My intention wasn’t really to make an EP but it just came together like that—fairly quickly too.

Is it important to you to have full creative control over your projects?
Yes, I think that’s one of the most important things. Collaboration is great but it’s key for me to have everything in a release to correlate. For example: videos, the front cover, logos and the music itself.

Do you work with other producers or plan to?
I work with a few friends. Moses Carr helped me mix and co-produced a few tracks on Underpass, he’s lowkey a genius. I love branching out and making stuff with new people but only if we can talk and be friends outside of music.

Are you interested in producing for others? Who would be dream collaborators?
Definitely keen to produce for others—I make a lot of beats that never get used.  A dream collaborator is Kiran Kai.

Who are you listening to at the moment?
I’ve had a project on repeat these past couple of days. It’s the Calculated Outcomes EP by Eerf Evil and produced by Srigala, also City Limits by MC Pinty.

What were you watching/ listening to/ reading while you were making the EP?
I think I finished reading Just Kids by Patti Smith and started Astrophysics For Those In A Hurry by Neil Degrasse Tyson. Can’t really get into TV shows… I like watching old Simpsons episodes and Atlanta too. My pallet of music changes a lot… too much good stuff coming out everyday.

If you could be placed on a dream lineup, which three artists are on it along-side you?
Little Simz, Slowthai, and Sade.

Melbourne, arguably, houses some of Australia’s best creatives. What are your hopes for the Melbourne scene?
Melbourne is really bubbling at the moment, there is so much untouched gold and I think it’s only a matter of time until the scene is really thriving.

Where do you think it can grow? What excites you the most about being a part of it?
I think the thing that excites me most about being apart of this scene is that it is a little bit unpredictable. The term “Australian hip-hop’ is being redefined. Australian hip-hop has always been pretty cringey to me but it’s becoming something else, something to be proud of. The scene has a huge cultural demographic which I think pushes the movement forward. People here don’t really have anyone to look up to from Australia, compared to artists from America/UK. This makes it super exciting to see new people using their sound to pave ways and redefine the meaning of Australian hip-hop, and why it’s one of the most unique, growing scenes. I think Remi, Sampa the Great, Baro and Manu Crooks are leading the way in the new generation.

What’s next for you?
Make some loud noises, an album definitely. For 2019 I’ll be putting out some singles.

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