Dlinkwnt jazz it up

DLINKWNT

with The Acid Monkeys and Go Away Everyone

Thursday

The Cabbage Tree Hotel

Tickets: Free entry

You wouldn't think that jazz and hip hop would meld well together. But nine-piece band Dlinkwnt would disagree.

The Wollongong musos have blended the two genres to create "jazz hop", a style of music that mixes the best part of both, though vocalist Nicholas Johnson thinks they are leaning more towards the jazz side of things as they have trumpets, saxophones and trombones on stage.

Dlinkwnt started as Johnson's solo project, but not quite creating the sounds he wanted, he found a drummer and a bassist by placing an ad on Gumtree.

After making the finals of a band comp at Dicey Riley's last year, they decided they wanted to do something different for their next performance to get an edge over their competitors and the brass section was born.

"I've branched away from hip hop in the last few years. I've become unhappy with the state of it, not just the local scene, the national thing. I'm not really interested in where it's going and so I branched away and met the brass guys, who play in all the big jazz bands and they brought that sound to us," Johnson says.

"I got sick of people calling us a hip hop band because I don't feel that's what we are, so we came up with the idea of jazz hop."

Johnson comes from a spoken word background and it has been a challenge to find his feet as a singer over the past few months, as he finds ways to interact with what the rest of the band is doing musically.

"As a vocalist I'm experimenting with melody and things like that, to mesh it in with what's going on behind me, whereas with hip hop it's obviously very much spoken word stuff.

"It's coming along slowly. I'm not really very liberal with it at the moment, I'm still trying to build up my confidence with it."

While the singer describes their music as fun above all else, Dlinkwnt does delve into serious issues for the songs, many of which Johnson has written by drawing inspiration from what he encounters in his job as a youth worker, though he says he never exploits people's personal stories.

For example, their song Overthrow tells the story of an abused teen who has to make the decision whether or not to give his abuser a blood and organ transfusion to save his life.

This track will appear on the band's soon-to-be-released and yet untitled EP, something they have spent the better part of the last year working on, which meant touring took a backseat for a while.

This year they plan to get on the road as much as they can.

"Last year we were quiet, we didn't have a lot of shows planned, because I didn't feel we were ready, we didn't have the material, so we were focusing on getting good and getting the dynamic out there, so when we do go out there every show is a certain level," Johnson says.

"We've hit a niche and it really does work, so we're going to continue to explore that."

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