Interview: INF — ‘Stand Out Or Stand Back’



As a kid, Amon Tyson, or INF was curious enough about music to feel for sound waves in a song he liked:  ‘I would always have my hand on the speaker, feeling everything, like all the beats, vibrations and stuff’. Fascinated by the dynamics of why it felt so good to hear, the idea was to mentally deconstruct the sonic-pulses in order to rebuild beats himself. These same ‘vibrations’ a listener gets when it’s understood the track is good can be felt in INF’s music today. Rapping and producing his own beats, he explains to WDYFILWHH, after disobeying his father by staying out too late one time, he was given a grounding which led him to download Frutiloops. ‘All good,’ he says. Today, along with his team SWIDT, standing for, ‘See What I Did There’, there is a clear edge in the sound they produce. With the suggestion of an American tone within the team he says, ‘I think that’s just how we all grew up around music. Sometimes we don’t have to sound like we have that Kiwi slang in it, but that’s just how I started rapping — growing up, that’s just what it sounded like to me’. INF will be in Wellington as part of Assembly presents Louie Knuxx this November 15th. Performing with Jay Knight, Young Lean, DJ Gooda (NZ DMC Champion) and of course Louie Knuxx tickets can be bought at

HH: Where are you from? 

I: I am from Onehunga, Auckland, New Zealand.

HH: And can you describe the music scene in Onehunga? 

I: The Onehunga music scene is SWIDTCULOUS right now [laughs].

HH: That’s my next question, what is SWIDT? 

I: SWIDT, it means ‘See What I Did There’, cause we’re all like real witty and come up with all these funny puns and sayings and we kind of turned it into a group kind of thing, so there’s me, Spycc, AStoney — he’s a producer from Onehunga, Madd Music from Onehunga, he’s also a producer and we have Smokey. He’s my nephew, but little brother, well he’s not little anymore. We’re doing our best at paving our own way, making our own path and stuff like that, trying to be creative and making sure we’re that team that always stand out. You know, you either stand out or stand back, so we’ve always got to move forward with that.

HH: Describe the feeling of what it’s like to be an up and coming artist, trying to stay humble and work but then you’re doing a gig, look up, and see the crowd spitting your songs? 

I: When you’re on stage, and then doing what you love doing, like the most amazing feeling ever. But I feel like when I come home and I’ve been around people that I spend my normal days with — going to work full time, doing chores around the house, that really keeps me humble and seeing my mum and stuff like that. So instantly, as soon as I get home, I’m just straight back into normal life.

HH: With your music, what do you hope will come, like your ultimate? 

I: You always got to think big, you know, with my music, I don’t just think New Zealand. Like I’m trying to push boundaries and work with a lot of people, America, Europe. I’m always thinking worldwide. I think that’s why our sound sounds like that, we’re always trying push each other [and say] you know we got to push, make sure this is worldwide — music everyone can relate to and enjoy. Not just this small country. Saying that, coming from a small country makes us feel like we got to try harder and keep pushing to do big things.

HH: If you had to take one song to a deserted island what would it be? 

I: Oh man. It would have to be like a ….oh this is a tough one ae….On a deserted island. Um, maybe John legend, Slow Dance.

HH: What’s the best piece of advice your mum’s ever given you?

I: Shit….Probably just get of my ass really… ‘Don’t wanna flat ass…get off it.’

HH: Halle Berry or hallelujah? 

I: I’m gonna say Halle Berry.

HH: Evolution or Religion? 

I: My religion is myself, believing in myself.

HH: What is your hood like? 

I: My hood like? Okay, My hood is like, right now it feels like it’s going through puberty. Because a lot of the young kids who are little, no offence to whoever’s listening, are little shits [whispers], and now [they’re] kind of growing up and changing their behaviour and changing the way they act. It’s also going through a lot of gentrification because it’s kind of flushing out the bad stuff; which is good because it allows the next generation of younger people to come up in a safer community.

HH: And where do you sit in that scale? 

I: I’m in between because I’m an adult but I’m a child at heart as well.

INF’s Mary Jordan EP can be downloaded HERE

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