Dro Carey – Monomiles Feat. Chocolate & Kid Kairo

Thump has just premiered a video clip for one of the tracks from my latest EP, “Club Injury Handbook,” released this month on Greco-Roman. The video for “Monomiles” comes from Aidan Keogh, who works under the name Aidan Makes Video and has previously created clips for Polographia, Fishing and Alison Wonderland.

The track is a collaboration with two MCs from Sydney’s Lion Mountain Studio, a community project based in Marrickville. Lion Mountain uses some of Radio Skid Row’s facilities, and is supported by the Metro Migrant Resource Centre, Marrickville Youth Resource Centre and MusicNSW. While it was initiated by Sydney’s Sierra Leonean community, the Studio works with people from other African migrant communities as well (for example Kid Kairo on this track, who is from Nigeria). The training and music-creating sessions are run by volunteer producers and engineers and the education ranges from technology introduction to beat-making to vocal recording – i.e. LMS covers every technical and creative stage relevant to the creation of music and delivering it to audiences online. This focus on online engagement has allowed the content created by these artists to not only be valuable within the community it was initiated in, but has made it visible to external musicians such as myself and in turn encouraged the collaboration that resulted in this song.

Monomiles was an interesting track because it was written and planned completely as an instrumental at the demo stage, and it was only after hearing the freestyles that James (Chocolate) and Emmanuel (Kid Kairo) came up with over at Lion Mountain Studio in Marrickville that I began to look at the beat in a completely different way. We were then able to capture some improvised vocal takes from each of them that would go on to create this unusual hybrid – of grime, garage, Sierra Leonean Krio phrases from James, and English ad libs from Emmanuel – and the end result is likely the standout from the EP. While I’ve had featured vocalists on my tracks in the past, including legends like Trim and Merky Ace (both trans-hemisphere grime features coordinated by Templar Sound label head Aidan Bennison), this was the first time I was able to work closely with the artists in person in a studio setting (and then again on location for the shoot of the video). It was a great experience and I hope to continue collaborating with James and Emmanuel in the future.

Special thanks to director Aidan Keogh, who, with a limited time frame for this project, was able to create an outstanding clip with a tight aesthetic while also drawing out some really great performances from the MCs. Special thanks also to Hamish Dixon for his assistance on the day and for his continued work at Lion Mountain in developing these young artists and others.