Interview: NTER Looks To Put Hurstville On The Map With His ‘Trap Boy’ Album
Sydney's torch-bearer is back.
Music 1y

Words by Christopher Kevin Au

With the current revitalised interest in local hip-hop, Sydney’s bubbling underground is rising to the occasion – and NTER is standing proudly at the forefront.

Hailing from Hurstville, NTER earned his stripes as a member of Sydney Serchaz – the polarising rap crew who depicted the city’s underbelly in their gritty, DIY anthems. The group found favour with graffiti writers and Nautica-clad kids alike, which kept NTER’s verses on high rotation at train stations across Sydney.

As a solo artist, NTER has stuck to his street raps, but his songwriting has become distinctly more reflective. While the stacks of cash and expensive Air Max are still enshrined in his videos, his lyrics are also discussing the downfalls of a turbulent lifestyle. With his album Trap Boy set for release in the coming months, NTER looks to craft more relatable stories for those who had a similar upbringing, delivered from his own Hurstville perspective.

Ahead of the album, we spoke to NTER about fatherhood, his history in the Sydney rap scene, and what we can expect from the Trap Boy project:

For those who haven’t heard NTER before, describe your style in one line?

My style is street, struggle, real.

Growing up in Hurstville has been a big focus for you in your lyrics. What did the area teach you at an early age, and how has it influenced your approach to music and business?

Hurstville is home, man. I love this place, everything I learnt about the streets, I learnt in Hurstville. I wanted to put what we went through growing up in Hurstville in my music, and let it be known where we’re from. Business wise, it just showed me there was a lot of demand, so we supplied.

Your lyrics and videos also have a lot of nods to sportswear and trainers. What are some brands/style items that you’re feeling at the moment?

Yeah, I’m not one for Gucci and that sorta shit, but I love my TNs and Nautica. I know it’s the stereotypical lad thing, but I just always wore it… I got a few other brands, standard Lacoste, Polo, Ellesse. Also K-Mart, they got some cool shit for like 10 bucks so I hit ’em up a bit, haha.

You gained a lot of popularity as a member of Sydney Serchaz. Tell us about what the rap scene was like when the group was coming up. Why do you think Sydney Serchaz earned such a cult fan base?

To some people, Sydney Searchaz was a love/hate thing, people liked us and people didn’t. For me, it was everything back then. I loved it what we had and what we stood for, we appealed to the criminal and graffiti side of Sydney which a lot of people didn’t understand, but there was that fan base for it. It was a really good and big thing for us, we just kept it real and the real ones related.

You’ve just released a track ‘Real Talk Part 2,’ where you mention that people ask “why you rap sad for?” Do you ever feel like rappers are too preoccupied with a tough guy image to talk about their emotions in songs?

Most definitely. Music is a way to express that emotion, I see a lot of artist get caught up the gangster tough guy image and not express what’s real.

You also released another new track called ‘Struggle’ with Gunsta and Kennyon Brown. How did you approach that track, especially seeing as it’s more R&B influenced than a lot of your other material?

I was trying to see what levels I could go to with my music, and see if I could change it up but still keep that raw, street style, on a rob track. I think I went alright, haha.

Hip-hop as a whole has always suffered from a lot of feuds and beefs. How did it feel seeing so many Australian artists unite for the sold out ‘Fight for Corey’ show earlier this year?

Beef is everywhere in this game, it’s full of snakes, that’s just real shit. You can be crew, and next thing they’re dropping diss tracks with the other side. It’s just the way it goes – no one wants to see the next man doing better than them, it’s just a jealous streak. But for everyone to come together for that night was dope, it just goes to show that the game is stronger if we band together.

How do you think becoming a father has changed your outlook on life?

Aw man, being a dad is everything to me. Growing up, my dad wasn’t there and mentally that was hard. It’s definitely made me see a better look on life, from being in the street doing what had to be done, to now working full time everyday – it’s the best feeling. Don’t get me wrong, we do what we gotta do behind closed doors to earn a bit more, but that slowly dies out when you get used to taking care of business like a real man should.

I want my kids to grow up and say “My dad he worked his ass off to get us were we are today,” not turn around and say “My dad’s a dropkick who was a drug dealing scum bag.” For me, it’s everything – dirty hands, clean money.

You will be releasing your album ‘Trap Boy’ this year. What can we expect from the album? Any special guests?

Expect greatness! Haha nah, it’s just taking my life and putting it out there for people like me to hear my story, and let people know “Hey, we all go through it, but we get through it.” I got my little brother on there, Merks One from Melton, Burn City and Luxury from Penrith on a couple of tracks. It’s looking the goods, the sound is off its head as well.

What’s on the cards for NTER in 2017?

I’m dropping Trap Boy mid year and it’s all up from there, bro. We gonna push hard this year – shows, videos, end of year tour. We just wanna smash it and go hard.

Words by Christopher Kevin Au March 20, 2017
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