Matthew Craig

Matthew Craig

AUD'$ / R.E.A.L Music

Matthew Craig is the co-founder and current host / director of content at AUD'$ (pronounced A.U Dollars) – Australia’s Hip-Hop Connect – an independent hip-hop media ecosystem comprising radio, tv, web & events all dedicated to highlighting the next generation of culturally diverse, global urban talent. Through AUD'$ he has interviewed dozens of global names including Brent Faiyaz, Saint Jhn, Isaiah Rashad and Ari Lennox, as well as helping discover the likes of The Kid Laroi, Mason Dane, and ChillinIt. Matthew is also an artist in his own right, operating his own creative collective & independent record label R.E.A.L Music.

Where are you based?

Melbourne’s North North.

Where do you work? What do you do?

I’m host/director of content at AUD’$, Australia’s Hip-Hop Connect. Also, a hip-hop artist myself, running my own independent label R.E.A.L Music.

What are you listening to?

The best hip-hop / R&B from the AU and across the globe. Lately a lot of Griselda, Babyface Mal, Knucks, Mason Dane and SZA

How do you discover new music?

Our team has been embedded in Australian hip-hop for the last decade. So a lot of it was direct with other artists. Now with the media network, we receive hundreds of submissions a month through the website as well as following a wide range of artists on Spotify & Instagram. So we’re pretty tapped in directly with artists as well as their label, PR, management teams etc. who keep us across what’s upcoming. One of the things in the game is hearing artists’ upcoming stuff when they come through our studio for an interview or just to hang out. I do a heap of online crate digging through daily keeping an eye on who is moving at whatever level.

What formats do you usually listen to? LP, CD, Cassette, Digital, Streaming Services? Why?

It’s all digital now. I use a few streaming services. Also file sharing, we run on GDrive. I keep all mine and my label’s demos on SoundCloud in a private playlist. And beats I’m writing to in my notes on my phone.

Where do you do most of your music listening?

I’m listening to music about 80% of the time I’m awake. Either at home, in the car, at the gym or in the studio. I run off KRK Rokit 8s in the studio at Marshall Street. Sennheiser headphones at the gym or on the go. And a UE Boom Bluetooth speaker at home.

What are your frustrations with listening to music digitally? Any benefits?

I have subscriptions to all the platforms/apps I use, so ads aren’t an issue for released music. It’s frustrating when clearance issues mean I can’t listen on certain platforms though. I bump old mixtapes a lot on Datpiff. I hate when I can’t open certain links or when they expire, always prefer private SoundCloud links when being pitched stuff.

“I hate when I can’t open certain links or when they expire”

How do you keep track of everything you are listening to?

We have a lot of Spotify and Youtube playlists for anything we’re highlighting on AUD’$.  My own listening though is weird. It’s all in my head, I don’t save or store anything. I listen to albums. I grew up on CDs so I still listen to music like that. Whatever mood I’m in I’ll play that whole album. Or if there’s a new track I’m really feelin’ it I’ll play that on repeat till I’m sick of it.

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Do you tip other people off to new music? How?

Always have since I was young and now I’ve turned it into a career somehow…

Anything you want to “promote”?

Be sure to check AUD’$ for all the latest drops from the AU. Peep my team RMF n our artists Z. Lewis, Droopo, Juñor. And my music is all under my name Matthew Craig. Pass The Lighter Vol.1 out soon.

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