Local Elements | Te Ahi Top 10
Written by Sam Dunlay on 15 July 2021
Taking out the top spot on this week’s Te Ahi Top 10 is Ōtautahi MC Local Elements with his track ‘In The Know’. The track is an introspective piece of hip-hop seeing Local Elements spit a series of conscious bars over an enthralling beat.
‘In The Know’ also features scratching from fellow Christchurch native Mic Funk, giving the track an old school 90’s flair.
We caught up with Local Elements to chat about how the track came together, the early days of Local Elements, favourite gigs and future plans.
Check out the conversation below.
Congrats on taking out the top spot on this week’s Te Ahi Top 10 with your track ‘In The Know’, can you tell me a bit more about who you are and what you do?
Thank you very much, I am honoured to hold the spot for this week, I’m an Ōtautahi based Hip-Hop artist who is currently studying at Mainz for a ‘Diploma in Audio engineering and production and I currently mix and master out of my home studio.
The track features scratching from fellow Ōtautahi based Mic Funk, how did that collaboration come about?
I have worked alongside MIC_FUNK for a number of years, back in 2015 we opened for a number of The Settlers Gigs and MIC_FUNK was the DJ out of The Settlers. I have worked with him on stage many times over the years, when I finished recording my vocals for ‘In The Know’ i felt as if the track needed something extra to sauce it up a bit and couldn’t think past the incredibly skilled turntablism Mic_Funk brings to his music. I approached him and he was keen from the word go, within a day I had an email from him with the files, I was amazed at what he came up with, the sample he found saying ‘now you know’ that he is scratching adds a huge depth to this track and just shows how tuned in he is with his music capability. He has been very active lately with the ’southern scratch league which can be found here.
Tell me a little bit about how the idea of Local Elements came together? What’s the meaning of the name?
Local elements came together back in 2014 I and a bunch of friends had a bar in the garage and it was always where me and the crew always hung out. We turned half of it into a studio and we would jam out in there. The name itself came after a long process of having music but no name, we were bouncing names around for a while and eventually after long days work it came to me out of nowhere while I was in the shower.
Hip-hop has 4 main elements and I felt as if we were all such a diverse crew of Rappers, Graffiti Writers, and a bit of production that Local Elements were perfect, it also has another meaning with can be seen in the early merch that kophie_loaf made us with the element on the back being one of our brands representing the elements used to have spots on the oven and that being such a classic kiwi thing. I think at about the same point my landlord actually purchased us a new oven as the coiled elements on the top of our old one has mysteriously stopped working, Local Elements eventually became a solo endeavour and represents the same thing as it always has.
What are some of your musical inspirations?
My musical inspirations have always changed as I have grown, but one main influence that has been there for the whole ride is Tom Scott who has continued to inspire and share his growth as a Musician over his career and is definitely one of the best in my opinion.
Scribe who set the bar so high in New Zealand hip-hop and paved the way for many generations to come is a huge inspiration for me especially as he is from Ōtautahi.
You’ve performed at quite a few venues around Christchurch lately, can you share some thoughts on the local live hip-hop scene here? Do you think there are good opportunities for upcoming MC’s?
The scene here is definitely growing at this point in time and there is a huge amount of emerging talent at the moment. There is definitely opportunities however I feel as if we fall short of the opportunities that are available up in Aukland for our up and coming Rappers.
What’s been your most memorable gig?
I think the most memorable would be playing at twisted frequencies last New Year which was amazing and just a really all-around experience that I won’t forget.
You’ve put out a series of singles over the last year, do you have any plans on releasing an album?
I’m going to be dropping quite a few more singles, I have quite a few up my sleeve and I will continue to drop them as singles at this point but could potentially look at an album in the future. But I enjoy putting singles out as it pushes me to put absolutely everything into that track.
What does the rest of 2021 have in store for you?
The rest of 2021 is the final months of Local Elements making a comeback.
I’m working on a video clip at the moment for the release of my next single which I am releasing at the end of this month. I have some big announcements and massive features both locally and internationally in the pipelines at this point some of which are in the final stages.
You can check out ‘In The Know’ below.
The Te Ahi Top 10 is our weekly chart as voted by YOU, our audience! Presented live every Thursday 3 – 4pm on RDU 98.5FM.
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