1. Growing Up

I grew up in South Africa and to be honest, I wasn’t introduced to that much music growing up, as my parents weren’t all that musical. When I arrived in Australia, I started exploring music, as my older brother (Lee from Astral People) started getting into some bands like Weezer and Sonic Youth. From there we later discovered DJ Shadow and instrumental hip hop as a whole, which led to the discovery of J Dilla and Madlib. Acts like Beastie Boys and Kraftwerk also very much helped shape my sound in my later teen years.

2. Inspirations

‘Donuts’ by J Dilla introduced me to the Stones Throw discography, which resulted in me just trying to make hip hop beats, like so many other kids at the time. Brian Wilson’s Smile is my benchmark album; to me nothing will ever come close to the masterpiece that is Smile. Locally I’ve been lucky enough to work with my two biggest local influences in Gotye and The Avalanches – both have helped shaped what I do quite extensively.

3. Your Crew

My brother was definitely the first person who got me into music and we have grown together in our music discovery. He’s now my manager, so we’ve always kept things really close. When I was in Sherlock’s Daughter, the guys in that band introduced me to loads of really great kraut stuff like Neu! and Faust. Since Astral People formed, I ended up exploring a lot more techno and house via the acts they’ve toured like Night Slugs and Omar-S.

4. The Music You Make

I make generally trippy upbeat beat-based pop music. Kinda like Flying Lotus with Beach Boys harmonies and chords. I like a lot of funk and mid-’90s stuff like Beck, Missy Elliot, Busta Rhymes. That element pops up in there a lot.

5. Music, Right Here, Right Now

The music scene in Sydney is the most exciting it’s ever been. Really interesting and fun music is making its way to the stage, to the radio and to the general public. I’ve been able to see firsthand everything that Astral People has produced here (as my brother is involved and being part of the roster), and it’s really meaningful to a lot of people. The obstacles I think are for artists to have their own voice and story. The industry doesn’t promote that ideal as much as it should but I think it’s important.

JONTI plays OutsideIn Festival presented by Astral People with Zomby, Freddie Gibbs,BadBadNotGood, Objekt, Rainbow Chan, Elizabeth Rose and more at Factory Theatre on Saturday September 21.

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