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D'Opus & Roshambo - Switch It Up

Author: 3D
Monday, 28 July 2008
Thick as thieves hip hop duo D’Opus & Roshambo have finally dropped their debut album after years of toil. But as 3D found out, the pair are just too motivated to take a respite.

Tell us a little about how you came to work together – was it a chance meeting or did you know each other by reputation-
Roshambo: We’d both been involved in the Canberra music scene for a number of years, but came together from different angles – D’O had established a name for himself as a both a club and scratch DJ, whereas I came from the media side. I had quietly been honing my mic skills in the bedroom and approached D and said I was keen to collaborate – the rest is history as they say.

You’ve mentioned Koolism as being your mentors, just how profound was their influence, but in terms of your sound and how to navigate the hip hop industry-
D’Opus: Dan was a big influence for me in the studio.  He was nice enough to invite me to his pad and we would just hang out and listen to records, talk about sound, music, electronics and everything. It was probably more an influence of sorts than mentoring.  

Roshambo: Hau and Dan didn’t sit us down and mentor us per se, but they definitely assisted in helping us get our sounds off the ground and proved to us that it was achievable to make original hip hop from Canberra, on our own terms, with our own sound and succeed with it.

Can you describe your working dynamic, both when you’re producing and performing-
D’Opus: We generally work on things separately, then come together to plan out the song and structure, I’ll give Ro a beat tape and he gets some ideas and we meet up again and work on it.  Live we’re a bit more spontaneous.

Roshambo: Yeah, we are constantly changing and adapting our working dynamic and live performance – a lot of what we do is through trial and error – but we are very comfortable with working together, understand each other and are constantly pushing each other to try and take our writing and performance to the next level.

How has your sound evolved from your debut EP The Question to now-
D’Opus: As a producer I really found my sound and how I work in the lab.

Roshambo: We are proud of the EP for what it was at that particular time of our lives but with The Switch we were more comfortable with what we wanted to do, more willing to flip new ideas, sounds and concepts.  

How does it feel to finally have the debut LP The Switch in the bag, five years on from your first meeting-
D’Opus – It is kind of bizarre actually! I look back and never expected to get this far! But always knew that we would get something released, I guess it was just a time and place thing and we rolled with it.

Ro – It’s a relief!  But we love the album and it’s great to have it finally out and available for people to make up their own minds about.  

What collaborations feature on the album- Was it important to you that the input be from home-grown artists as well as international-
Ro - All the collaborations on The Switch are with local musicians and artists with the exception of Supastition, who is an internationally recognised MC from North Carolina in the US.  It doesn’t matter where people come from, whether local or international, as long as they’ve got that spark and will bring something new and fresh to our music and inspire us!

In the words of your MySpace, The Switch will “challenge conventions, subvert what you know and totally blow your mind” – in what ways exactly-
D’Opus: The Switch is a challenge!  A challenge to think outside the box, to appreciate unconformity and to look at our music and see it for what it is and mostly to enjoy it!

Roshambo: We just naturally wrote music that we wanted to and was reflective of the myriad of different styles and genres that we are influenced by and enjoy. We want to naturally explore territories of sound that reflect where we have come from, who we are and where we are going.

WHO: D’Opus & Roshambo
WHAT: The Switch through Shogun / playing Beach Road Hotel
WHEN: Out now / Friday 1 August