Eaten Alive By Sydney
February 9, 2010 – 2:49 am | 5 Comments

When the prospect of a shift to Sydney is raised, the doomsayers often rise as well. And they’re nasty! The manner of one’s demise is always different, but the result is always the same – …

Read the full story »
Understanding Sydney

You’re a supermodel among world cities, but do you have heart & soul beneath the glamour? Promise not to stalk you Sydney, but we’re keen to uncover the real you.

Settling In

Starting afresh in a big city isn’t easy, but we’ll share our experiences and provide insights to help fellow Newbies feel at home.

Awesome Attractions

Sydney has a wealth of attractions given its magnificent harbour, world renowned iconic structures and the facelift the city received to host the ‘best ever’ Olympic Games in 2000.

Exciting Events

Chill, indulge, party or experience. Whatever your passion, Sydney has you covered with exciting sporting, cultural and community events.

Deano’s Sport

Dean Knows Sport. He’s made a career out of his passion with full body immersion in rugby, cricket, rugby league, netball, basketball, motor racing and tennis. Now, if only he could get the Foxtel remote off the kids.

Home » Featured, Understanding Sydney

Sydney’s New Vice

Submitted by on June 28, 2010 – 9:37 am58 Comments

I hope I’ve just had a yarn with the next big thing in Sydney music, an overnight success some 15 years in the making.

His name is David Purton, but he’ll become better known as Vice Verser, creator of My Sydney, the catchy homage to a home city that’s a million miles removed from the one I’m getting to know. Apparently I’m stacking z’s when the city truly comes alive.

I’m certainly wide awake after being given a sneak preview of his latest material. The originality and quality of the four songs I hear blows me away. They are seriously hot, destined to enliven any iPod or radio playlist. Close your eyes, feel Up In The Party take over your groove and you could be at Space in Ibiza, Womb in Tokyo or the best club in London, Berlin or Miami.After ripping into the Australian Hip Hop scene as an angry teenager from a troubled home, a more confident and contented artist is behind the new incarnation. The fun, the wonder, is heard in every beat. The life experience drips from every rhyme. Vice, now 30, is laying to rest his demons – and it sounds great.

He doesn’t want to talk about the past, but his motivation is self healing. “Let’s not go into the background,” he chides me. “It’s so cliched.” Maybe so. But it’s fact: the violent kid, expelled from high school for attacking a teacher, finally channeled his rage when having to do an “Art as Therapy” course through Youth Health Services. First up was learning his way around a computer and a foray into graphic arts. Then, the more creative outlet: expression through rap.

“That ended up being my saving grace,” he told sydneynewbie.com. “It gave me a feeling of self-worth. Being on stage and relaying a story about how things went wrong for you and having people applaud it…and feeling you’re not the biggest reject on the planet; that was great for healing, just amazing.

“Being able to draw horrible scenes from my childhood, things that scared me and turn them into art as a Battle MC, essentially making something ugly beautiful…that’s what I started off doing.”

His progression as a person and the evolution of his music are intertwined: The anger has dissipated – “As I got older, I had to go through a massive revamping process. I got to a point where I was basically healing all my problems and didn’t feel the drive to rhyme or draw anymore. That was a real problem…until I realised that I still enjoyed writing and had more I wanted to say. I just didn’t need to scream or yell over a microphone to feel better. I get on the mic these days and celebrate the fact that I’ve come so far and I’m now this person I’ve always wanted to be.”

But the swagger remains – “Now, I feel like I can be in any spotlight and I’m not daunted by the fact that I might not be deserving. Because I can look back on those 15 years and say ‘damn right, I’m deserving’. I‘ve done the battles and earned the respect of the underground MCs. I’ve done the shows and earned the respect of diverse crowds. I’ve had musicians in the studio and earned their respect.”

In a roundabout way, the maturity of his new material is reflected in the spotlight he is relinquishing. He doesn’t have to be left, right and centre stage anymore and he’s genuinely delighted to feature guest artists on his new material – providing vocals or whipping up a sound and quality of musicianship his computer can’t quite nail.

“As an egocentric rapper, it’s been a really interesting journey of trying not to focus too much on me,” he said. “I’ll try to make a beat that I know people will want to dance to, or a track that brings a smile, with the lyrics adding depth. I’m trying to make my music more accessible than defined.

“Even five years ago I was a totally different artist. That’s an old version of me. That’s the underground version of me that had something to say to my friends and did it in a very public way. It’s the convoluted rapper that wanted to show off, it’s the over-contrived  music of an angry teenager becoming a man. The growth that I’ve had since then has been amazing. Now, you’ll hear my music and know it’s from a person enjoying life. Hopefully that’s infectious.”

And just as viral as his desire to showcase the country he’s really quite proud of. “I’m just trying to be me and I’m trying to express the coolness of the country. I’m trying to say that to be an MC in Australia you can be as cool as Jay-Z without trying to be Jay-Z. You can be amazing and world class and stand above other people anywhere in the world without being a junkie rapper or without trying to be an American.” The shadows of battles past creep across his face. A pet hate is surfacing. “There are cool Australians who can duel with the best in the world…and they don’t have to emulate. Take influence, sure, but don’t rap with an American accent; and don’t rap with a bad Australian accent because you’re having a knee-jerk reaction to the guys that rap with an American accent. Don’t do something ugly because you don’t like the way someone else does it pretty. Don’t be so worried about ‘keeping it real’ that you lose ‘keeping it good’. Just make good music!”

Creating new sounds and developing a new catalogue is currently Vice’s blinding focus. The shows are in hiatus. He’s spending less time in the clubs and more time recording beats and demos at home on his computer. Even raw, they have a complexity and depth that immediately captivates. Then he bares his work to a select group of confidants, including the engineering marvels at the heart of The Lab, where the professional cuts are laid down. Vice has the prerequisite notebook, where he jots down and works on lyrics, but he freestyles half his songs, recording rhymes off the top of his head, line by line. Because it flows. “The mic goes on and that’s when I try to be true to myself and understand what is at the core of what I’m trying to do. Who am I really? What do I represent? As soon as I get in that space and find ‘the real me’ the lyrics really flow.”

He has also derived confidence from working with, and being accepted by, quality musicians and producers in laying down My Sydney and its follow-ups. “These are people who lead the industry in what they do,” he muses. And he’s tickled and proud and surprised they’re actually working with a rapper.

“That’s one of the hardest things for a Hip Hop artist in Australia – getting help from more popular forms of music, being recognised by more classically trained artists as an art form that they can contribute to; that Hip Hop can be as broad in scope and depth as their art forms.

“Working with and directing these amazing artists is where I’ve always wanted to be creatively. It’s cool - I’m not fighting to get into the studio and I’m not fighting to get help from a muso. It’s a little puzzle of the bigger dream that has fallen into place at the right time. And it’s inspiring.”

To borrow from his lyrics…in a city where few get to bloom, the boy from Glebe is oh so close to enjoying sunny days. And deservedly so.

If you want to hear ‘My Sydney’ go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oy-_dVaVtCw

After ripping into the Australian Hip Hop scene as an angry teenager from a troubled home, a more confident and contented artist is behind the new incarnation. The fun, the wonder, is heard in every beat. The life experience drips from every rhyme. Vice, now 30, is laying to rest his demons – and it sounds great.

He doesn’t want to talk about the past, but his motivation is self healing. “Let’s not go into the background,” he chides me. “It’s so cliched.” Maybe so. But it’s fact: the violent kid, expelled from high school for attacking a teacher, finally channeled his rage when having to do an “Art as Therapy” course through Youth Health Services. First up was learning his way around a computer and a foray into graphic arts. Then, the more creative outlet: expression through rap.

“That ended up being my saving grace,” he told sydneynewbie.com. “It gave me a feeling of self-worth. Being on stage and relaying a story about how things went wrong for you and having people applaud it…and feeling you’re not the biggest reject on the planet; that was great for healing, just amazing.

“Being able to draw horrible scenes from my childhood, things that scared me and turn them into art as a Battle MC, essentially making something ugly beautiful…that’s what I started off doing.”

His progression as a person and the evolution of his music are intertwined: The anger has dissipated – “As I got older, I had to go through a massive revamping process. I got to a point where I was basically healing all my problems and didn’t feel the drive to rhyme or draw anymore. That was a real problem…until I realised that I still enjoyed writing and had more I wanted to say. I just didn’t need to scream or yell over a microphone to feel better. I get on the mic these days and celebrate the fact that I’ve come so far and I’m now this person I’ve always wanted to be.”

But the swagger remains – “Now, I feel like I can be in any spotlight and I’m not daunted by the fact that I might not be deserving. Because I can look back on those 15 years and say ‘damn right, I’m deserving’. I‘ve done the battles and earned the respect of the underground MCs. I’ve done the shows and earned the respect of diverse crowds. I’ve had musicians in the studio and earned their respect.”

In a roundabout way, the maturity of his new material is reflected in the spotlight he is relinquishing. He doesn’t have to be left, right and centre stage anymore and he’s genuinely delighted to feature guest artists on his new material – providing vocals or whipping up a sound and quality of musicianship his computer can’t quite nail.

“As an egocentric rapper, it’s been a really interesting journey of trying not to focus too much on me,” he said. “I’ll try to make a beat that I know people will want to dance to, or a track that brings a smile, with the lyrics adding depth. I’m trying to make my music more accessible than defined.

“Even five years ago I was a totally different artist. That’s an old version of me. That’s the underground version of me that had something to say to my friends and did it in a very public way. It’s the convoluted rapper that wanted to show off, it’s the over-contrived  music of an angry teenager becoming a man. The growth that I’ve had since then has been amazing. Now, you’ll hear my music and know it’s from a person enjoying life. Hopefully that’s infectious.”

And just as viral as his desire to showcase the country he’s really quite proud of. “I’m just trying to be me and I’m trying to express the coolness of the country. I’m trying to say that to be an MC in Australia you can be as cool as Jay-Z without trying to be Jay-Z. You can be amazing and world class and stand above other people anywhere in the world without being a junkie rapper or without trying to be an American.” The shadows of battles past creep across his face. A pet hate is surfacing. “There are cool Australians who can duel with the best in the world…and they don’t have to emulate. Take influence, sure, but don’t rap with an American accent; and don’t rap with a bad Australian accent because you’re having a knee-jerk reaction to the guys that rap with an American accent. Don’t do something ugly because you don’t like the way someone else does it pretty. Don’t be so worried about ‘keeping it real’ that you lose ‘keeping it good’. Just make good music!”

Creating new sounds and developing a new catalogue is currently Vice’s blinding focus. The shows are in hiatus. He’s spending less time in the clubs and more time recording beats and demos at home on his computer. Even raw, they have a complexity and depth that immediately captivates. Then he bares his work to a select group of confidants, including the engineering marvels at the heart of The Lab, where the professional cuts are laid down. Vice has the prerequisite notebook, where he jots down and works on lyrics, but he freestyles half his songs, recording rhymes off the top of his head, line by line. Because it flows. “The mic goes on and that’s when I try to be true to myself and understand what is at the core of what I’m trying to do. Who am I really? What do I represent? As soon as I get in that space and find ‘the real me’ the lyrics really flow.”

He has also derived confidence from working with, and being accepted by, quality musicians and producers in laying down My Sydney and its follow-ups. “These are people who lead the industry in what they do,” he muses. And he’s tickled and proud and surprised they’re actually working with a rapper.

“That’s one of the hardest things for a Hip Hop artist in Australia – getting help from more popular forms of music, being recognised by more classically trained artists as an art form that they can contribute to; that Hip Hop can be as broad in scope and depth as their art forms.

“Working with and directing these amazing artists is where I’ve always wanted to be creatively. It’s cool - I’m not fighting to get into the studio and I’m not fighting to get help from a muso. It’s a little puzzle of the bigger dream that has fallen into place at the right time. And it’s inspiring.”

To borrow from his lyrics…in a city where few get to bloom, the boy from Glebe is oh so close to enjoying sunny days. And deservedly so.

If you want to hear ‘My Sydney’ go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oy-_dVaVtCw

  • Share/Bookmark

58 Comments »

Leave a comment!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.