Welcome to the West: El Jistos - blog post image

Welcome to the West: El Jistos

Corin Shearston chats with wordsmith and Catalyst Punk label owner El Jistos about the hip hop scene

“I think there’s a great resurgence of young dudes going out there and putting on gigs and playing lots of shows. On my record label, Catalyst Punk, two examples would be Otherside and Womb Catacomb. These guys play countless house parties, and play shows on the regular. Acts like these are very active in our scene, so we’re starting to see a resurgence of that. I think that’s a really positive thing for the Blue Mountains music scene.“

“I think another thing to be positive about up here is that we’re a really close-knit community. Word spreads quickly, and everyone has a sense of unity. The sound engineer is friends with the band, for example. We’re all working together to a common goal, and I think that’s something that’s very unique and often very hard to find in bigger cities or larger places. That reminds me of broader hip-hop culture from the very beginning, finding that common goal, bringing people together. I think that’s why the Blue Mountains resonates with hip-hop culture.”

“The diversity of bands and genres in our local music scene is great to see. We’ve got everything from jazz and funk to punk and ska, reggae and hip-hop to metal. We’ve got it all, man! It’s all happening and there’s little inner communities where word spreads quickly. For the population that the Blue Mountains has, there’s a fair amount of music venues, too. That’s a really healthy thing.”

“Ultimately, I think it’s a great thing for the community to come and say, ‘Wow, this is what the Sydney and the Blue Mountains hip-hop scene has to offer’, and for the community to really be proud to be from that scene. I find a lot of the time, people don’t come to gigs or are too busy to support certain acts. I think I want to build on that unity and strength to really glue the scene together. We’re all part of one hip-hop scene, there doesn’t need to be a difference. I think that’s definitely something I wanna work towards. Where everyone’s a family.”

Main Pic: Adam Scarf Photography

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