Melbourne based writer/poet Strictly DT and Sydney based producer/dancer Ralph Radical have joined forces to create a monumental release 'Note To Self' available May 9th. The 9 track project explores conscious hip-hop on another level, with Ralph Radicals Lo-Fi inspired production and contributions from family members and close friends, Note To Self is cemented not only as a fantastic body of work, but also sentimental and meaningful.
Highlights from the release include the already released singles 'Parlay' and the title track 'Note To Self' setting the listeners earbuds up nicely for the main course that is the full length EP. Guest features from Perth's very own Hyclass and Vocalist Yaelle Grinberg in How You Live solidify the personalities portrayed by both DT and Radical, a goal and premise behind joining forces to create the project.
"Our music is meditation on self-realisation, the loose collection of arguing sub-personalities we have, and the moments of clarity that cut through our egos." - Ralph Radical
It's been an impressive career for DT, sharing stages with some of HipHops pioneers such as Common, Yasin Bey (Mos Def), Downsyde, Bone Thugs n Harmony, Tech N9ne and GZA just to name a few. As well as supporting local heroes Seth Sentry, Briggs, Hau and Dylan Joel. His song-writing was recognized when he won international songwriter of the year in 2017 as judged by renowned artists like Ziggy Marley, Lorde, Booker T. Jones and many more.
Dropping the complementary visuals for 'Note To Self' alongside the release on May 9th makes way for the duo to prepare for their national tour with dates to be confirmed.
Question: How would you describe Note To Self?
Strictly DT: Note To Self is a journey of self-reflection and self-realisation. I wrote this album thinking it was going to be a message for my son to stay on track, it quickly turned out to be a message for myself to stay focused and become a great ancestor for my future family and community.
Question: What motivated you to work with Ralph Radical?
Strictly DT: Honestly when we made 'Parlay, that birthed this whole album; we met through our crew Cultural Renegades. We spoke; we connected and caught a vibe; we knew we had to make it happen when we were both equally hyped about Parlay.
Question: What motivates you most when writing music?
Strictly DT: The motivation really comes from the instrumental. What the beat makes me feel. I match the emotion the best I can which is why I'm very picky with instrumentals because if I can't feel it in my soul, I won't do it justice.
Question: Do you prefer performing live or recording?
Strictly DT: PERFORMING! The energy from the crowd, what emotions I'm going through at that moment. It's completely different when you're in the studio trying to make it "perfect".
Question: If you could have anyone, in the world, attend a show, who would it be?
Strictly DT: It's a tie between Muhamad Ali or Bruce Lee for me.
Ralph Radical: Jean Michel Basquiat
Question: Which music/artists are you currently listening to?
Strictly DT: At this very moment I haven't been listening to much music. Mostly podcasts but my last mix has been of School Boy Q, Col3trane, Dave East and Shiloh Dynasty.
Question: What or who was your inspiration to go into the music industry?
Strictly DT: When I was young I always wanted to be in the music industry. As I grew older, I found that I wasn't a fan of what the "music industry" represents as much as I liked the freedom to create. Tech N9ne really pushed me into wanting to create. I was always influenced to write because it was an outlet for my pain or anger. I still don't think I'm "in" the music industry as much as I'm just a creator wanting to spread a message.
Question: If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be?
Strictly DT: National: Sampa the Great. International: Andre 3000
Ralph Radical: National: The Regime International: Flying Lotus
Question: What is the biggest challenge you have faced along the way to your musical success?
Strictly DT: My biggest challenge was not following my intuition; I made a lot of wrong decisions based off insecurities and lack of confidence in myself. You have intuition for a reason, use it. Trust it. Take a chance. That's the universe speaking to you or God or whatever you believe in!
Question: What's a typical day like?
Strictly DT: I just moved to Melbourne so my typical day would be spending time with my wife and son. Workout or meditate. Work on music or attend a show. Something along those lines.
Question: What has been your favourite part of becoming a music artist?
Strictly DT: The fact that I've been to places I've never been before thanks to music and Hip Hop. That, along with the knowledge it has taught me to grow into a better person than I was yesterday.
Question: Can you share your socials?
Strictly DT: strictlydt.com
Interview by Brooke Hunter