One-on-One with Tuka: New Music and Tours

One of Australia’s finest wordsmiths, Tuka is back with some fresh new solo material, tour dates and hints of possibly a new album.

After a four-year hiatus, Tuka (pronounced Tucker) returns with some sizzling tour dates and new solo material, ‘F*ck You Pay Me’ and ‘Selling Me Out’.

‘F*ck You Pay Me’ is a playful song about his relationship with money as an artist in the hip hop industry. A powerful song with a thought-provoking message, but not to be taken too seriously.

“I’m basically taking the piss out of myself, I’ve always been unsettled by the need or want for money in others, it’s never been my drive so I couldn’t relate.

“I’ve always enjoyed creating art for art sake and working out how to ‘sell it’ later,” he said.

Produced by JONCE, the track takes an authentic flip on some UK grim influences while taking inspiration from the next generation of Aussie rappers paving the way for culture, pushing lyricism and wordplay to the front.

‘Selling Me Out’ is perhaps one of the catchiest tunes of the year. In contrast to ‘F*ck You Pay Me’, this is a melodic-driven and energetic break up song commenting on the role money & security plays in romantic relationships.

It wouldn’t be a new release without a chat with the lad himself, so we dropped through a few questions to get all the details on Tuk’s fresh new releases.

Hi Tuka, how are you?

I’m well! Just listening to demos for my new album!

How does it feel being back with some new music?

Even though I’ve released two albums with Thundamentals, since my last solo release I’m still pumped to be putting out new music. I love my job. 

How did your interest in music begin?

I think music chose me to be honest, I had no choice, I’ve always been naturally drawn to it. It’s my calling I guess? 

Where did you develop your passion for rap?

The Blue Mountains NSW had an amazing hip hop scene and I was lucky enough to grow up around a lot of talented rappers, I guess it motivated to start?

‘F*ck You Pay Me’ is about your relationship with money as an artist – why did you want to release a song like this?

I wanted an excuse to write something a little more technical lyrically than I normally would. I wanted to write something that people could hopefully relate to. Money is on everyone’s mind and everyone feels undervalued.

Do you think money interferes with your creativity and artistry?
Haha, I mean. It didn’t in this case. It was the catalyst!  For me personally, I don’t allow money to affect my creative choices. Once upon time maybe, but never again. Music is for the people not my bank account. 

You said you created the song a while back – why did you hold off?

It was originally a Thundamentals song but we never got to it. When I heard the bells/chimes sample I knew this was the one.

What made you want to add some grime elements into the track?

I just really enjoy grime, I wanted to flex on that sort of beat I guess. The repetition of grime music was perfect for the nature of the hook also.

Describe how the Aussie hip hop/rap scene has evolved over the years?
It seems to be getting a lot of fresh energy lately, the level of skill is higher than ever also. It’s an interesting time of the culture for sure.  

Where do you think Aussie hip hop is heading into the future?

The hoods are selling out arenas! I mean it’s pretty big?! Maybe someone will crack it overseas in a serious way.

Tell us a bit about how ‘Selling Me Out’ came about?

It’s about a bad break-up basically, and how regardless of how in love there are some people prioritise money and security over real intimacy.

Why do you think people often choose to prioritise money and security over real intimacy?

I think status is really important to us as a society, money can afford status.  I think the need to be comfortable financially sometimes is a deciding factor in the choices some of us make when picking a partner. The title “Selling Me Out” is kind of ironic in that regard (laughs).

Was there any reason as to why you chose to release the two singles one after the other?
I wrote them at the same time and I like how the titles sat next to each other. Not many people put out A/B side singles these days, I thought it would be cool to switch things up. They are such different songs, also I wanted to show people I can rap and write a song with a strong melody.

For those planning on attending the ‘Selling Me Out’ Tour what can they expect?

It’s my first headline run of shows in 4 years! I’ll have new music and a live band, plus local supports and a lot of vibes. I’m pumped, you guys should come!

Finally, what advice do you have for those young musicians and rappers wanting to make it in the industry?

Let the art speak for itself xo

For those wanting to catch a glimpse of Tuka performing these dynamic, lively tracks plus many more, grab your tickets to his November ‘Selling Me Out’ below.

Newcastle, The Cambridge TICKETS

Blue Mountains, Baroque House TICKETS

Adelaide, Fat Controller TICKETS

Perth, Jack Rabbit Slims TICKETS

Melbourne, Howler TICKETS

Brisbane, Foundry TICKETS

Sydney, Lansdowne TICKETS

Canberra, UC Hub TICKETS

Hobart, Republic Bar TICKETS




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