Based north of Sydney, Mugzy draws his inspiration from hip hop acts such as 2Pac, The Notorious B.I.G., 50 Cent, DMX, Public Enemy, NWA and Nas. He’s released two albums (2010’s Ride or Die and 2013’s Understand Me) and is currently working on his third. We caught up with Mugzy to find out more about his love of hip hop and career so far.
If you want to interact and feel like your back within the elements of the 90s/early 00s hip hop era, then come to a Mugzy show.
First up, tell us bit about yourself - what first got you into music?
My Name is Reyne Brady (pronounced Rain, but spelt differently) AKA Mugzy. I’m 27-years-old from Sydney, Australia.
I became interested in hip-hop music and the culture of hip-hop when I was 14, so 2005 - my early years in High School. Around that time I guess you could say I was a bit of a loner which caused me to get punk’d/bullied a lot. Also, my grades were failing and I had no avenue where I would be in life when i finished school. So instead I bought myself an iPod an started listening to artists such as Eminem, 50 Cent and Tupac.
Eminem was the one I could related to the most (even to this day). I know it sounds cliché, because im a typical whiteboi myself, but just the aggression/anger in his wordplay/lyrics kinda gave me a voice.
Starting off, I would drop down small rhymes in my workbook, but I knew if I wanted to progress I would have to write full lyric songs. I also knew if I wanted to be known or respected by the general hip hop community who loves it as much as I do, then I would have to do my homework by taking a trip back in time where it all started in the 70s of South Bronx and learn bit by bit.
What inspires me about the culture of hip hop is that it’s the only music form that you can express yourself in any way/shape/form possible. You pick any other music genre rock, pop, RnB, etc. Trust me, they dont have the same effect that hip hop brings, that’s why I love it.
Were there any particular bands or artists you took inspiration from to form your musical and thematic style?
Top five: 50 Cent, Tupac, Eminem, DMX, NaS.
How would you describe your style?
A lot of artists now-a-days seem to be doing this auto-voice, quick syllable rhyming (which half the time makes no sense), plain beat futurist garbage. New artists and old artists (who change their ways just because its popular) seem to all be doing it.
With me, I grew up in the generation of hip hop where lyrics & making your music sound tight was everything to the listener and I’ve stuck by that from day one. I’d rather stay real with hip hop then sell myself short.
How do you create your music? Is there any kind of routine that helps?
When I concept/write my music I always start with the title of what the track will be called. Then I focus all my energy/thought process/ideas into the surrounding of the title and then the lyrics/message just naturally flow out.
If you could collaborate with any living artist, who would it be?
Rakim (The GOD MC).
What have you been listening to this year? Can you give us a top three records of the year so far?
The artist I’ve been banging out quite a bit lately is Shaggy 2 Dope (Insane Clown Posse), ‘Pull Me Over’, ‘Half Full’, ‘Keep It Scrubbin’. Check ‘em out… specially ‘Pull Me Over’ - I guarantee it will get stuck in your head after the first listen.
What’s been your highlight this year so far?
I’m a 90s kid (born in 1991) so I grew up watching Mighty Morphin Power Rangers on TV each and every morning before school. Every year (around June) I’d attend Sydney’s Supanova Pop Culture Expo, the Australian version of USA’s Comic-Con.
This year I decided to go up to the MMPR Meet & Greet Table so I could have a chat/take a pic with actress Peta-Marie Rixon who played “Alpha Five” (the little robot that was with Zordon in the Command Centre). While walking up she looked at me and, before I could even say “Hey”, she said “Mugzy right?” (Total mind BLOW). I replied “Yea, yes but how do you know who I am? I’m completely amazed”.
She noticed/watched me on Channel Ten “Hughesy We Have A Problem?” TV Show and loved the fact I gave a hip hop tinge to the show’s episode. I think that was my highlight for 2018.
Tell us about your albums. What do they each mean to you now?
In 2010 I released Ride Or Die, produced by Glen Schollum on Scollum City Records followed by I Understand Me in 2013 produced by Pablo Gutierrez on Beatz Basement.
When writing and working on the concept of Ride Or Die, the era of hip hop at the time was hugely influenced around the whole gangster/thug lifestyle. I was very attracted to that imagery and artists on the scene showcasing it such as 50 Cent, G-Unit, NWA, Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg, Tupac, Biggie so a lot of my early writing was very gangster theme/mentality based.
Now that I am more mature and have studied/learned/embraced the five elements of hip hop over the years, Ride Or Die is hard to listen to just knowing the fact that was my first step into the culture of hip hop. I guess its a learning curve but ehhh what can ya do?
Understand Me is more a prominent album that explains me as a whole - the title is self explanatory. It deals with topics such as my years with depression, the evolution of hip hop and how I see it, what I want to achieve in this industry and overall inspirational messages through a wide range of 20 tracks.
Which of your tunes do you enjoy playing most live?
Hands down it would have to be ‘My Journey’, the orchestra with the electric guitars playing before the intro chorus hits makes the majority of crowds I play for instantly sucked into the performance because there is so much energy within that track.
What do fans get from your live shows?
Pure hip-hop. If you want to interact and feel like your back within the elements of the 90s/early 00s hip hop era, then come to a Mugzy show.
What’s been your favourite live performances? Where were they?
Back in 2012 I was doing a ton of gigs. I came across a street flyer for a talent competition called Urbanstar which was catered only towards hip hop and RnB on the flyer, it had a picture of Chris Brown with a promo message saying ‘become the next hip hop star’.
I contacted the promoters on Facebook to find out more about the event like and they said one of the judges on the night would be a guy called Marcus Pernell who was a producer at Def Jam/Universal. On hearing that I knew I had to put my name down for this event ASAP and give this performance my all.
On the night there were about 30 contestants, and all of them did cover songs - I was the only one who did original material. I performed my track ‘Keep On Rapping’ which is the third track on my first album Ride Or Die.
Two of the judges scored me with a zero, but Marcus scored me with a 10/10 and it completely blew my mind just knowing someone who is that high in the industry, who has probably worked with artists I inspire to be like, enjoyed my performance.
After the event we had a bit of a chat about my career, what got me into hip hop and what I think about the scene, why I want to make it, etc, which later on made us close friends (Marcus Pernell R.I.P).
When and where can we expect to see you on tour next?
Hopefully early next year when I have new material released.
What’s coming up for the rest of 2018?
I actually want to get back into the studio ASAP. My second album, Understand Me, released in 2013 so it’s been five years since I’ve released anything new. I’ve kinda been slacking on music because I’ve been getting into a lot of acting. But I miss music sooo much specially, the high/adrenaline of crafting new work so ive got a ton of work to do.
At the moment I have a ton of beats on my iPod. Most are other people’s instrumentals, even from the likes of Greek Producer “Yanni”, but when I sit back and listen to them I can hear them sounding like masterpieces, so when the time comes I’ll figure out how to use them.
Also for my third album I want to do a two-disc and pile as much music/craft out as possible. That’s all i can say at this point, nothing more.
Finally, if you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, when would it be and what would you say?
The best advice I can give to any artist who wanna get into the music industry is this: don’t think you’re gonna be an overnight celeb when you first pick up the pen thinking it’s all fun and games making it look easy because it’s 100% NOT.
This industry will cheat you in so many different ways its not funny. It will bring you to your knees to the point of failure and making you doubt yourself, always wanting to give up. But if you’re willing to hustle daily, because inside you generally love hip hop or love music and are willing to go down that long hard road of wanting this dream more than anything else in the world combined, if it’s because of the love of hip hop, then you have my 100% full respect.
Listen to Mugzy on SoundCloud below. For news and tour dates go to the Mugzy Facebook page.