allday represents aussie rap's bright future
Meet the talented, young musician writing smart songs about his favourite things in life.
Photography Ben Thomson
Allday is the moniker of Thomas Gaynor, a charismatic young Australian rapper who's been honing his craft since he began competing in rap battles during his high school years in Adelaide. Awarded a scholarship to one of Adelaide's finest schools for his evident promise, it transpired that the irresistible combo of girls, partying and music became a priority over sitting in a classroom. Consequently he made the decision to move to Melbourne and work on his music in a city that offered more opportunity. Since then, Allday has released an impressive catalogue of mixtapes and an album, played festivals and shows around the world, supported Lilly Allen and attracted swathes of dedicated social media fans and followers.
Allday's music, like most rap, is confessional and provides a vivid glimpse into his interests. It's clear he's smart and funny - his stint as a stand up comedian is testament to this - and fundamentally a cool kid making cool music.
We caught up with Allday the day before he left for LA to write and record some new material, which only served to strengthen our suspicion that his is a future full of promise.
What were the first rap albums you listened to that inspired you?
Dr. Dre's 2001 and Reflection Eternal's Train of Thought were albums I found at a similar time from watching 411vm skate videos. I started writing raps when I was around 10 years old. Really, really bad raps, but I loved doing it and nobody told me how shit I was so I kept going.
Ha, it's a good thing you did, you're a natural. Who inspires you?
David Bowie, Kanye West and my Mum.
We've heard you like Kanye. How much do you like Kanye?
I want to get a tattoo of Kanye on my chest but I don't want to be embarrassed if I ever meet him.
You mentioned Kanye's album 808s & Heartbreak as a reference for the kind of direction your next album is heading. When are you planning to release it?
Hopefully late this year or early next year. I think as the album moves along it will change a lot, but right now it's sounding a lot like 808s & Heartbreak.
Who do you work with to produce your beats?
I work a lot with a guy called Cam Bluff. He's from Brisbane but lives in Melbourne now. We met in a club in 2012 and he was very drunk telling me how good he was at production. I liked his confidence and he happened to be completely right. I think he's one of the best producers anywhere.
You have great style. How would you describe your look?
I like jeans, Docs and shirts and tend to buy flying jackets from vintage stores. I guess it has elements of the skinhead look but only loosely. I think if had the money I'd buy lots of Alexander Wang. I like his look and the knits he wears and stuff.
Are you optimistic for the future of your generation?
I think we care and I think we're open minded. I feel like our generation is becoming politically aware and active. But we have a long way to go to correct the mistakes of the fuckers who came before us.
With the way we listen to music now, we're exposed to everything and it feels like genre matters less and less.
Definitely. I'm inspired by all types of music and I think the new wave of rap is reflective of this. I spend much longer writing a song now than I used to but the life span of songs is so much shorter than it used to be so it's a weird time. It feels like you need to be like a marketing and social media genius these days to be in music but I just want to make good music and leave that side of it to other people.
Text Briony Wright
Photography Ben Thomson