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Acclaim Allstars Card RØNIN

Brisbane’s Rønin was destined for music. His mum was a tour manager, his dad played the guitar; it’s in his lineage. But his journey thus far is a product of his own individuality. The formula? Experimentation, hard work, and a drive that will not die.

The hunger that Rønin possesses resulted in ‘All Girls Are The Same,’ a somber rap-sung ballad that’s reminiscent of artists like Corbin, yet possesses open-book lyricism and the expression of emotions that are uniquely his own. The down-trodden guitars and heavy bassline of this track have resulted in over 25 million streams on Spotify and a heavy presence in the realm of TikTok. With one single, Ronin resonated with fans all around the world.

But don’t get it twisted; Rønin’s no one-trick pony. He traverses music styles like rap’s very own renaissance man. Tracks like ‘$HOOK’ have the swagger and boom-bap stylings of Wu-Tang, and his latest offering ‘AMY’ is a pulsating dose of cloud rap with flows that evoke early Memphis rap. Ronin isn’t aiming for one lane; he’s swerving several in a full-speed chase that’s not only resulted in him becoming a finalist for the Acclaim All-Stars MVP award but a strong prospect with stardom in his sight. We hit Rønin up via email to learn more about his enigmatic artistry.

Acclaim Allstars 2020

Hey man. Congrats on all the success thus far. First and foremost, I want to take it back to the start. When did music become the goal for you? 
I grew up in a family that loved music, my mum tour managed INXS and many others before my time and my dad plays the guitar and writes music. I always believed in the idea of “choose something you love because you would do it for free.” I started making music when I was like 8 years old at school making remixes for fun and just experimenting. I progressed from genre to genre and ended up having very broad taste in music. Eventually, I took it seriously from about 2014, when I had some serious personal life situations and promised myself I wouldn’t give up until I achieved my dreams or died trying.

You have a style that’s undeniably your own. What are some of the things that inspire you in your writing process? 
I write music to vent, tell my story and express my thoughts, pain and experiences for my future self to look back on.

Songs like ‘All Girls Are The Same’ and ‘Amy’ touch on personal topics of love. Why do you think it’s important to be transparent in your music? 
What is the meaning of life if you don’t speak the truth? Speak your mind and don’t lie to people and they will relate.

Does writing about these emotions help you process them, or does it make them feel more real? 
Writing about these moments helps me evolve and also find peace, but the most rewarding feeling is hearing that my words have saved someone’s life.

Your style varies with every track, whether you’re creating melodies or rapping. Could you talk us through your songwriting process?
I always follow my heart and it tells me what the next move is like a metal detector does.

‘All Girls Are The Same’ has gone super viral on TikTok. How did that song start taking off and could you talk us through the journey that has been? How does it feel? 
To be honest, I get asked “How did it go viral” all the time and what I say to everyone is that when you make something that resonates it will find a life of its own. What I can say now about how I’m feeling with the so-called come up is—years of hard work would have never prepared anyone for what it’s like, you will have to relearn everything, buckle down and work harder than ever! Even some of the most talented people in the world never will be successful because if you have a big head or you’re around the wrong people it can be destructive.

Your songs are often paired with AMV’s. Why do you think these types of music videos have become so prominent in this day and age? What makes them impactful? 
In my personal experience as a kid, I grew up watching these videos and they would captative me. I couldn’t afford music videos at the time so the animated version was perfect for the meantime, and allowed me to portray the emotion of the song with visuals.

You’ve also established a unique aesthetic with your mask. When did you decide to wear it as a part of your musical persona? Does it symbolise anything? 
My mask is my alter-ego, the yin to my yang or the good to my evil. When you see me in the mask I’m DJing and that’s how you know to get your phone out because shit is about to go down!

You are one of the many exciting artists making music in the Australian scene right now, I that hip-hop in our country is the best it’s ever been. What is it about the scene right now that makes it so special? 
Right now, there is a load of amazing artists here in Australia, it is great to see everyone going hard. I remember when I started nobody did, and if they were known here they weren’t respected globally. So it’s amazing to see this generation inspiring so many young kids out there globally with so many new styles of music coming out of the country. It’s a beautiful time in history for Australia, and with the way the internet works now it’s going to be amazing to see what is to come, I know I have something special in store myself.

Lastly man, what’s up next for you? 
Big things! I can’t say everything but I am moving to America to shoot my long-anticipated official music video for ‘ALL GIRLS ARE THE SAME’, plus a remix and acoustic version as well as new music and even bigger announcements to make. To be continued.

Follow RØNIN here for more.

Words: Henry Owens
Photography: Joseph Crackett