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Interview With Saru G

25 May 2015 // An interview by jck2

Who and what is Saru G?

I am a political/conscious rap artist. Using rap and hip-hop to expose the greed and the hate, the lies and corruption, that is rife in our world. Rooting out evil and corrupt corporations, one beat at a time.

When did you start and what inspired you to make music?

I guess the biggest inspiration for me was my best friend Si. I like to think I have always been a socially and morally aware person, but Si introduced me to the shadow-world of how our planet is being run: Secret societies, corrupt governments and evil, power-hungry corporations. We would regularly catch up for a wine and “herbs” and talk politics and conspiracies whist sharing our mutual love for house, drum and bass and hip-hop. It was probably around mid-2010 that I suggested we release our frustrations by making our own music. Si owned a sound studio (Auckland Audio, now Envy Studios) and was forever mucking around with beats in his spare time. I always enjoyed putting words together and had been a hip-hop junkie since my youth so figured rap was the best way to express ourselves so I started writing and Si started on some beats. Our first efforts were pretty bad, but soon we got the hang of it and the result was our first track, Trick With Your Life. Sadly, Si was lost in a car accident in February 2011, so I inherited some of his recording gear and poured my emotions into my music and have never looked back.

How would you describe your music in one sentence?

Public Enemy, Immortal Technique and Ghandi all rolled into one.

What sets you apart from other acts/groups?

The content of my lyrics is what sets me apart from most other acts. I’m not afraid to speak out against injustices or social issues but I still try and offer positive solutions on how to make yourself and the world a better place. I vehemently avoid any music that could be considered mainstream as what I have to say is too important. I have a message that I want people to hear. Even if only one person gets it, I have made a change in the world.

Which one of your songs are you most proud of, and why?

WAR – Not In My Name. This is a collab that I made together with Johnny Black from the USA in support of the “Not In My Name” internet campaign that was created to stop the US invasion of Syria. Not only did I make the beat, but I had my amazing cousin Samantha Batchelor’s amazing voice on what I think is a beautiful hook. The lyrics say exactly what my thoughts on war are and the video – which took over 40 hours – shows scenes of war on one screen, split with images of peace on the other. It was well received all around the world and still gets views. And I like to think that since the US never invaded Syria, I had some part to play in that.

Where do you come from or what part of NZ do you represent?

I’m certainly not your stereotypical rapper that’s for sure. I’m a middle-class white man from Birkenhead, in the North Shore of Auckland. But I am awake and aware and my music comes from the heart.

Do you produce your own beats or do you use any particular beat maker?

Mostly I make my own beats using editing software at home. I have done a short set with a live band in Kaikoura, which was awesome and definitely something I’d love to do again.

However, I’m always on the look out for new beats and have used tracks from MC Iwi, A.Zee and TTB from Romania.

What's your favourite and least favourite thing about Hip-Hop culture?

It sounds funny to say, but the things I like and hate most about hip-hop are its realness and its fakeness. As far as music genres go, there is nothing like rap as a form of true lyrical expression. The formula allows you to pack in way more than any other genre and historically has always been the word of the streets. These days though, hip-hop has been hijacked and subverted by the big media companies to something fake and ugly, where guns, money and bitches are more important than making a positive social statement.

Fortunately these days, the internet has allowed a whole new rebirth of conscious rap where artists can bypass the record labels and still get their message to the world. I like to think I’m part of this revolution.

Tell us about your latest release.

I have just released my latest track, Changes. 2015 has seen a lot of changes in my personal life, but also my personal growth. This song represents these changes and reinforces my thoughts that “You have to be the change that you want to see in the world”. Technically too I am really happy with the flow which is something I have been working on after seeing other rappers in the Auckland scene, but also in the battle-rap scene, where multis and cleaver word-play are the way to get noticed.

With regards to all my releases, I’m not in it for the fame or fortune. I make a track, I uploaded it straight away and make it free for download. Later, when I’ve made a video, I do the same. I don’t currently make albums as I don’t see the need at this stage. I have a message that I want people to hear and the sooner the better.

What advice would you like to give to other aspiring rappers/producers?

Write what’s real. Write from the heart and be true yourself. That’s the main thing.

But I’ve also learnt from others, that it is a grind but that hard work pays off. Don’t be too cocky, but don’t give up. Get as much exposure as you can and practice, practice, practice. Hard work goes a long way.

What can we expect to see from you over the next year?

2015 is my year for change. I’m working hard to boost my exposure and practice my live skills but getting on the mic at open-cyphers or gigs as much as possible.

Musically, I’m really keen to work more with other artists and producers and hopefully some video producers. There is a lot you can do yourself, but so much more can be achieved when you work with others of a like mind.

So this will be a year of preparation and consolidation, the next year I take over the world!


Check out the video for War (Not In My Name) by Saru G:

Connect with Saru G on:


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