Percieve wrote this bio himself, so rather than opening with an awesome metaphor about the wind of his Wellington city home and exaggerating about what makes him the greatest rapper you’ve never heard, I’m going to stop talking about myself in third person and tell you what you need to know.
I’ve been rapping and making beats for a while now, performing for 10 plus years in and out of the capital. I learnt my stage-craft from local legends like the Footsouljaz and Hamofide, and I still love sweating it out in front of the crowd then figuring out how I can do it better next time. I’ve opened for acts like Mobb Deep, Tech N9NE, Freddie Gibbs, and recorded with NZ’s finest from Che Fu, David Dallas and PNC to Drum and Bass heavy hitters like State of Mind.
When I’m not lending a voice to my friends/family doing it rough in glacial slow Otaki or sneaking cognac out of the green room, I’m a bank manager (classic MC occupation). Which I really enjoy. So my subject matter has changed a bit over the years. Don’t expect to hear any financial advice in my tracks – but don’t be surprised if you see me in the city wearing a nice shirt and shiny shoes.
My tone has been compared to a mix of Zack de la Roche and Freeway after a year long vacation fishing and diving on Kapiti Island. When I’m not raging against the machine, my tone is laid back but always contrasted against the multi syllable patterning that I still consider the essence of MCing.
Musically I’ve been influenced by everyone and everything I grew up listening to; from NWA and Nas, to the Ink Spots and Che Fu, but I remember definite inspiration watching (and recording on VHS) Dam Native’s music videos and realising that you can be yourself, rap, AND sound good even if that ‘self’ is a small-town New Zealand maori. That was good news for a young aspiring rapper growing up in Otaki.
These days I take that rural Aotearoa and weave it into whatever kind of hip-hop inspires me to say something, I’ll always be a sucker for smooth soul samples – but you can catch me on whatever sounds good coming out of my Maschine, or whatever trap/electronic goodness my mate Lance aka Trek-One cooks up in his Linden flat.
I’ve tried my hand at a few Drum & Bass tracks after watching people tear wallpaper off the club to my first crack at it with State of Mind (Mr. Cover Up). The aggression and quick flow that I usually reserve for angrier rap songs can turn a D&B tune into something fairly epic.
My last full length release was the 2008 album Second Chances. DJ Sirvere called it the best local release of the year, and after that… I started full time work to take care of the financial impacts of a fatal car crash I was involved in back in 2005. But that’s a story too long for my bio.
I make music that makes me happy, and these days my only real motivation in sharing it with the rest of the world is the possibility of inspiring another young guy/girl out there to go ahead and have a shot at whatever makes them happy, just like what Dam Native did for me.
If they like the music too, then even better.
Picture courtesy of Ben Silcock
Interview with whendidyoufallinlovewithhiphop.com 2013
Caught up with the hiphop reporter extraordinaire Aleyna Martinez a couple weeks back to talk up a storm for whendidyoufallinlovewithhiphop.com – here’s that storm.
Interview: Percieve — ’Yes Bro’
Posted on September 27, 2013 by ALEYNA MARTINEZ
Recording artist Pera Barrett, popularly know as Percieve, currently sits on the Audience charts at number two with his song ‘Yes Bro’ feat PNC. For most of September he’d been comfortably sitting at #1. But this was due to the help of loving family, friends and fans. The Make Music Aotearoa artist says there are a few days left for fams to keep pushing for him to win the $10,000 video grant. Even if he misses out he says, “The bro told me when I started, to use this as an exercise in engaging with the fans, which is something I suck at usually. So I’ve been doing that, and to be honest, win or lose, it’s been something pretty special seeing my peoples get in behind the song”. Whendidyoufallinlovewithhiphop had a chat with Percieve about his upcoming EP, new Wellington music label Make Music Aotearoa and producing his own beats. The Otaki native will be performing at DJ Gooda’s Lyall Bay To London fundraiser this Saturday, September 28th at the Grand and opening for David Dallas on his Running tour the following Friday, October 4th at Bodega on Ghuznee Street.
HH: Wassup Pera! How’s the campaign for the Audience grant been so far? It seems you have good support from Facebook friends and family.
P: It’s going really well, I’m in second place at the moment but there’s still a few days left and I’m hoping a couple of last weekend pushes will get the song back up there. The bro told me when I started, to use this as an exercise in engaging with the fans, which is something I suck at usually. So I’ve been doing that and to be honest, win or lose it’s been something pretty special seeing my peoples get in behind the song. It’s also been a chance for me to mess around with doing something other than my usual promo approach, which in the past has been me treating the internet like Courtney place, standing around handing out flyers. That shit doesn’t work in 2013, and it’s boring as hell to do as well.
HH: You also made the beat for Yes Bro right?
P: Yes bro.
”I try to treat a verse the same as any musical section, it needs build up, it needs cadence, peaks, and actual development – not just 16 lines of words that rhyme at the end.”
HH: When did you start making beats?
P: I started making beats when I was about 12 I think. Fruity Loops one and two were my introductions to the game. Since then I’ve gone through various reincarnations of Fruity, an MPC 2000 (the old version, with the big hearty SCSI ZIP drive, that thing took up most of the space in my bedroom), an MPC 1000, MPK49 and now I’m rocking the Maschine, which is too dope. I’ve never really considered myself a good beat maker, but sometimes I’ll just make something that I’m feeling and have to rap on, and it turns out sounding OK so I guess I can’t be too bad. Either that or I just rap good enough to cover up a stink beat, I’m happy either way. Ha!
HH: Your rap flow is fairly unique and is known for being so. Is it an accumulation, flow wise, of some of your favorite rappers — or simply your natural flow?
P: Umm I think it’s a combination. I’ve always been into trying to make shit sound cool rhythmically. I played the drums at school (I was pretty stink to be honest) so that’s where the patterns come from. I try to treat a verse the same as any musical section; it needs build up, it needs cadence, peaks, and actual development – not just 16 lines of words that rhyme at the end. Having said that, everything has its place and those basic as raps are usually what I listen to when I’m on the sculls! Tone wise I’m definitely not one of those dudes that sounds exactly the same as he raps when he’s talking, but it’s also not something I put on. I probably listened to too much Freeway while I was going through the process of finding my voice.
HH: You have recently signed to Make Music Aotearoa. Can you tell us a bit about what the record label is about?
P: Yeah at the moment we’re just bros really. I don’t think I need to say anything about Flowz on here cause everybody knows who he is, but MMA is his creation – so he’s backing a bunch of us, getting us together and really just putting some structure in what we’re doing so we can concentrate on making music. For me personally it’s been mean cause that’s all I like doing. I’ve been looking at music pretty selfishly for the last few years — I’ve been making it, just not being fussed about putting it out there for anybody else. It’s easy to forget the obligation you have as someone that can make younger bros wanna follow their dreams. I’m not gonna say inspire cause I don’t think it’s about me personally inspiring anyone, it’s about dudes seeing someone like them doing what they wanna do. Dam Native did it for me, hopefully there’s a few kids out there in Otaki or wherever, that my songs might have the same effect on. So Flowz and MMA are helping me make sure I follow through on that obligation I guess.
HH: What can people look out for from you in the coming future?
P: Nowhere near the same amount of posts about ‘Yes Bro’ as I’ve been doing over the last month [laughs]. That, and this EP that I’m working on. I was looking at a release date this year but with some of the stuff I’m working through with MMA it will be later than that. If I win this Audience funding this round, then some real dope videos too, so if that’s something you might be keen on seeing, make sure you do the damn thing this weekend and Monday and play/vote/share for that sucker. Gig wise we’ve got the bro Kupa’s [DJ Gooda] gig this Saturday which will be huge, and the homie D Dot Dallas’ gig next week, you should already know how mean that will be too.
‘Seeing Dam Native on TV made me realise you can be Māori, rap, and sound mean too.’
HH: Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
P: I always have to give it up for Dam Native when I’m asked this. I dunno about musically, but as far as influencing me to actually make music – those dudes were it. I’d always written raps but I never really thought anyone else would give a shit, or want to hear them. I probably didn’t think I’d actually ever be any good. Seeing those guys on TV though, made me realise you can be Māori, rap, and sound mean too. In terms of music I don’t have any crazy unique influences. I’ve definitely picked up bits and pieces over the years in terms of structuring, but I couldn’t sit here and name who; other than someone like 2Pac who was definitely a big one, there’s a bit of Freeway in there. I think DMX was a big influence in terms of going at it in the booth, rapping that is [laughs]. I’ve always found it hard to pinpoint rappers that have actually influenced my style to a noticeable extent – everyone has their own view on this but to me emceeing/rapping, whatever you call it, is just another form of expression and creativity. Hopefully I haven’t taken too much from anyone – I get Zac de la Roche a lot but I don’t even know the names of any Rage Against The Machine songs other than ‘Killing In The Name Of’.
HH: When did you fall in love with Hip Hop?
P: When I was about nine years old we had a teacher at primary that let me take her single cassette tape deck out on the field and bump NWA, Public Enemy, Dr. Dre the Chronic, and then in 93′ when Doggystyle came out and my big cousin finally let me tape it, that made its way onto the playlist too. Me and a couple of the bros somehow hooked up some Snoop pictures [and stuck them] on the underside of our desks. No Beverly Hills 90210 posters back there, no colour printers — I definitely wasn’t coughing up for a rap mag — I didn’t even know where those came from! I think I started messing around with trying to write raps a couple of years after that. I remember in college entering a little 16 in a competition on a show I used to tape on the the VHS called ‘Wreckognize’ with DLT and Sir-Vere. I even met them in Porirua when they came into the Tower store, that was some cool shit for a young Otaki College representative.
Interview for Invasion Mag 2013
MC -slash- producer -slash- corporate slave -slash- dreamer. Not a title that is thrown around too often in the realm of hip hop but then again, there are not too many people like Percieve out there. Having stalked the New Zealand hip hop scene since the early 2000s, Percieve has darted in and out of it like a forked cobra’s tongue, each time making headlines for his wicked style and ambitious projects. His debut album, Second Chances, dropped in 2009 following his involvement in a massive car accident which, as the MC states, “put things in perspective”. Dropping out of a promising university degree, Percieve (a.k.a. Pera Barrett) decided to focus on his rehabilitation and love of hip hop. Second Chances was the product of that and despite it being essentially a project of therapy, the album got some quality reviews. This was followed up in 2010 by the epic video ‘Whoa’, featuring PNC and Flowz, which got mad reviews all over NZ.
Having spent the past couple of years “working like a corporate slave so I can eat like a Maori king,” Percieve has not released any music for a while. “When you’re not making it (music) to put out, there is less urgency about it which can be good or bad I guess. I have just been making it to keep my sanity. I’ll get bored and fat if I don’t!” Now, in 2013 he’s released the first single ‘Yes Bro’, off his soon to be released EP, featuring the talents of PNC and Sheree Moanaroa. And he needs your help.
The task is simple. ‘Yes Bro’ is currently up on theaudience.co.nz, NZonAir’s wildcard video funding site. Basically if it hits number one by the end of the month of September he’ll receive $10,000 in funding towards the making of a music video for the track. Simply click on the link below, listen to the track and vote for him. You’ll hear it for yourself, the track is tight and if it reaches that number one spot then we have no doubt that this creative cat will blow your mind with the video. Invasion unite! This type of chance doesn’t come around every day for up and coming MC’s so get involved, vote and support Percieve and New Zealand hip hop.
Percieve – Juice Interview Pt1
Percieve – Juice Interview Pt2
Percieve – C4/Select Interview