Tuka brings new solo material to Blue Mountains

Blue Mountains native Tuka will bring his first new solo material in four years to Katoomba on November 2.

Best known for his work with chart-topping hip-hop group Thundamentals, the now-Sydney resident (real name Brendan Tuckerman) said he was looking forward to showcasing his new material.

"While I'm not new to doing solo things it's always a little bit nerve-wracking as well," he said. "I tend to feel a little bit more exposed doing it on my own as opposed to with a band, but that's just a way to grow and get better at your craft is the way I like to look at it."

His solo work is defined by the notion of duality, he said.

"I feel like at the moment there's an aggressive energy in society that is looking for change and isn't feeling like it's had a voice. And then there's this call we have for our lives to be calm and have peace. I'm playing with those two energies and it's really tearing apart any genre (dominating the new album)."

The first two tracks released from the upcoming album illustrate this. The official single, Selling Me Out, is a catchy break-up song while F*ck You Pay Me is a less radio friendly, albeit tongue-in-cheek, look at the influence of money in the music industry.

"l feel like those two songs really set the tone for what I've been writing," said Tuka. "They really are from different worlds. All the music on the record is from different worlds, soundscape-wise. I talk about similar things on the songs but the (musical) palette is just all over the shop."

In the year four-year hiatus between his solo albums, Thundamentals released two hit albums and continued to cement their status as major players on the music scene.

"I just thank my lucky stars that the band are so family-orientated and they think it's important for us all to express ourselves," said Tuka. "You hear so many stories where bands break up because people want to do a solo project, but it's not like that [with us]. It's just all of us growing older together and having this relationship of family over business."

And while he might not have called the Blue Mountains home for a while, the former Medlow Bath resident is still a keen observer of the local music scene. The creation of a new hip hop collective, Who Knows, in 2018 in particular has grabbed his attention.

"It's just wild to finally watch a new generation of hip hop artists starting to sprout... It's been a generational shift where we've got the next crop of people - who were probably listening to Thundas when they were in high school - now picking up the tools and doing it themselves," he said.

"I've personally waited so long to see some movement in the music scene. I'm quite proud of them getting their act together because if you don't, no one will. Thundamentals really had to build something out of nothing."

Tuka will perform at the Barque Room in Katoomba on Saturday, November 2 as part of his Selling Me Out tour. Tickets: https://www.thecarrington.com.au/whats-on-events/the-baroque-room/tuka-selling-me-out/