My name is Joel Rafidi otherwise known as Rif, Raf, Rif Raf, Riffy Raffy, the Hebrew Hammer, or sexy to some. I’m 22 years of age from the south of Sydney. I just released my debut EP titled Day 1 and am currently working on a follow up album. A lot of people don’t like me but I’m working on that. Waddup.
You’re under the moniker of Rif Raf. Just to get the silly name question out of the way first. What inspired your stage name?
My last name is Rafidi, I’ve been known as Raf for as long as man has roamed earth.
You were on Channel Ten’s The Shire last year. How do you think that impacted on your music career? Do you think it opened up opportunities?
Obviously people expect The Shire to have had a negative impact but it really was a massive eye opening experience mentally for me. It definitely gave me more exposure than I had but more importantly than that it made me invincible. I think I’ve been labelled more names and received more death threats than I would have liked for my age, I’m thankful for it though. I mean I have no regrets in life, every decision I have ever made has culminated into where I’m at now and I am so happy and grateful to live the life I do.
Your presser explains the meaning behind the lead single, ‘Always Home’, from your Day One EP. It says that the song was inspired over your; “confusion over criticism he was receiving from people who don’t understand where he comes from”. Is this a reference to your time on The Shire and if so, how do you think the public perceived you when it aired?
“I am” was the track that dealt with that. I wrote Always Home before The Shire aired so I guess I had some pre determination as to my perception. In saying that, I prepared for the worst but still definitely didn’t expect what I copped.
Speaking of your new EP, can you give us a rundown on what it’s like?
My new EP is a diverse look at where I come from musically and emotionally. Music isn’t something that can be described in words so ill leave that one to the listeners to find out.
Lyrically what inspired the EP?
Each track stands alone. Day 1 is a tribute to my friends, Staring at the Wall is me venting about an ex. Always Home is me trying to be Ghandi, I am is me being sick of the world and I just wanna be drunk and high on Summer Zone. I’m a freak, I’m a hypocrite, my entire life is a paradox, but whatever that’s me.
You produced the EP with Steven Manovski. How do you think he impacted on the songs?
Steve definitely uplifted the entire EP instrumentally. He has a way better set of ears on him than I do.
What do you think you bring to the Australian hip-hop?
I dont have any preconceptions of bringing anything to Australian Hip Hop other than be true to myself and those people who understand and accept what it is that i am trying to create within my music. People make up their own minds and that is all you can expect.
What are you hoping to achieve by releasing this EP?
Personally I’m hoping to give myself the opportunity to do what I love more than anything forever, externally I’m hoping to inspire the dreamers and continue to make my haters spend their spare time boiling their blood over me and sending me nice little letters. Love you too xx
What are your plans for the rest of 2013?
I’m in the process of recording the album now, it’s still early days but every time we are working on something new I get goosebumps.. It’s definitely at a completely separate level than I’ve been musically before. Other than that I may be going to Vegas to compete in the World Series of Beer Pong.
Where we can see you play next, what releases do you have available and where can we get them?
Catch me at Studio 6 in Sutherland on April 26, it’s an all ages event so everyone’s welcome. My first single heart of gold and of course the EP are available on iTunes. Otherwise you can keep in touch at www.rifraf.com.au and I’m on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as well x