TIL The Break: community, collaboration and living free
Updated: Sep 13, 2018
TIL The Break are a Hip Hop group from Adelaide, South Australia. The members, Taiaha and Jpeg, both MC and produce. Taiaha also sings the house down and Jpeg provides the raw visual design for the outfit. It's a proper team effort, and you can hear it in their on-record musical chemistry. TTB have dropped six releases, toured the east coast, thrown their own festivals and supported international heavyweights. They have also recently released Om Tape 3 via their Om Charm Fellowship initiative, which showcases, unites and promotes South Australian Hip Hop artists. In an age that elevates the individual, TTB are all about the community and the social connection. So how have they come to be where they are, and what drives them to create with their friends? TTB talk to BEAT CONTEXT.
the party as it started
‘…coming from country beach town where our influences were beautiful oceans n house parties…’
We started with this cross section of hardcore american rap while also coming from country beach town where our influences were beautiful oceans n house parties. I think this made our content. We have always just rapped about our life, the experiences we are having. Its expression for us plus energy. If the rap didn’t sound good live then we often dropped them from tracks in favour for perhaps more simpler tighter bars. We talk about the land n earth. We talk about music as an experience in itself and we talk about our addictions our struggles.
‘…it was a wholesome vibe like “everyone is welcome”….’
…We did make moves early and our first few moves made a bigger wave than we expected. Our social lives were very active. We would have the street kids stay on the couch for a week, we were growing weed plants, we finally got our own crib. Every room the walls were painted a different colour. We were still a bit wholesome though compared to some other circles. We had heaps of different people come through- from uni people to older as cats. We just had a drum kit and wine for free. It was a wholesome vibe like ‘everyone is welcome’. If someone’s drinking too much people may pull them into line. Like community. Every week something eventful happened. It got crazy, but we got through it…In the early couple of years of TTB we lived for the music. Lived for the shows. This however was a slow bubble break for both of us as we realised how big the music industry is and how we were just two fish in a small fish bowl…
‘…we learned what we wanted to be…’
We were definitely friends before we were band members. Experimenting with drugs and life as well as the music, while working in such a tight knit group, definitely taught us a lot of lessons… We travelled the east coast prospecting the music and the t-shirts. We did the snow, Melbourne, Byron Bay, Gold Coast, Nimbin, and all the way back. When we got back we had sold all our CDs (or swapped them for accom or food for the night)… We were in our own world, and learning all different places. We learned what we wanted to be. We met lots of different tribes, sussed out who we were as people, and eventually learned that we can just be ourselves. Who are we? Two Inspired Lads who enjoy performing live, writing raps and rolling around in 40 year-old cars. We are more interested in deep roots in community music, art and culture rather than this concept of "making it". Every day we make it happen ourselves.
‘…we were living free…’
Close family were not necessarily the most important thing at the time: music and the next video were. We planned to come home, but it was like ‘catch yas all soon’. We were living free. We were performing at every party for free. It was good for the art because we were together hanging out every day. This however put a strain on other relationships in our lives, which is something we had to learn to balance out. We both realised it was a good time to go and explore our own things. Taiaha went to NZ to reconnect with Whanau (‘family’ in Maori) and feel the energies of the long white cloud. Jpeg stayed in the Fleurieu Peninsula and also did a lot of traveling, including working in the APY lands for a few months and flying to NZ to meet Taiaha and release the ‘Aotearoa’ album in Aotearoa.
Now in 2018 we have come back together, to continue this journey as grown men with families, to give more to Om Charm Fellowship, and do more high-energy live gigs. We have collectively gathered all of our resources and grown up together and apart, and we still cannot fathom letting this connection go to waste. Through all this life stuff we have learned that making our art is just as important now as it was when we started, and too good of a thing to let go of.
All in together
‘…it is all love…’
We have played numerous gigs with a guitar and two mics which is great fun. We could pull it out anywhere that had a guitar essentially. We did a lot of house parties and a lot of gigs collectively. Homely gigs are always the best. Homely gigs are when it is our crew and it is comfortable. It is all love. When it comes to gigs and selling tickets, money comes in the way. Everyone is involved when we are surrounded by our friends. Our friends are all a part of it. It all started with everyone in it together. Everyone eating, everyone having a rap, then the instruments come out. Maybe people want to paint. Thats the social energy we brought to it. It comes from us together. We know we are each a thing individually, but together we have an edge that brings everyone together.
‘…they dig it then you dig it, then you dig it more, then they dig it more, and it just keeps going…’
…We have both always jammed at home or wherever so playing live is a comfortable thing for us naturally… We’ve felt comfy on the biggest stages such as Dub In The Park or the Gov where theres a big crowd and we can feed off their energy then give back to them. It feels how music is meant to be. It is unification. They dig it then you dig it, then you dig it more, then they dig it more, and it just keeps going… It comes alive and we invite everyone to get involved and thus the art is created again, so really we gotta give it up to the people and the energy that is passed between us…
‘…the whirlpool of your influences just keeps going. By collaborating, we all get stronger…’
…We have dedicated ourselves to help create a fellowship of music from the South: the Om Charm Fellowship. We have collaborated with many local artists of all mediums and genres and made 2 mixtapes plus hosted winter solstice outdoor camping festivals and successful NYE parties… We have worked with so many artists. We are passionate about this. The whirlpool of your influences just keeps going. By collaborating, we all get stronger. It all feeds itself. It’s not a footy game.
TIL The Break were kind enough to provide BEAT CONTEXT with a live drop. Enjoy!
TIL The Break will be launching Om Tape 3, alongside a full bill from the release, on September 14, 2018 at Glenelg Backbackers, SA. Keep on top of all things TTB HERE. Listen to TTB music, including the Om Tape 3 HERE and HERE.