Drapht on why he sold his restaurant to return to music

We last met Drapht a few years ago when he was promoting his previous album The Life of Riley, touring and playing major festivals like Splendour in the Grass.

After a brief hiatus and a stab at the hospitality business, the Perth MC – real name Paul Reid – is back at the rap game once more.

Calling it quits from hip hop in 2013, Reid decided to open up a health-focused restaurant named Solomon’s in the Perth suburb of Highgate.

“I actually really enjoyed the hospitality industry and met some amazing people,” Reid told Music Insight.

Whilst initially enjoying the experience of owning and managing a business, after three years he decided to sell up.

“I had some advice from a friend of mine who was in the hospitality industry and he said after three years it’s a good idea to think about selling,” said Reid.

With refurbishment plans dismissed as “a bit of a black hole”, Reid sold the business and will tour again off the back of new record Seven Mirrors.

“It sort of aligned when I was going to release the record, and I couldn’t just do both things simultaneously.”

Seven Mirrors is Drapht’s most conceptual record yet, centred on relationships and “specifically learning through those relationships”.

Reflecting on the subject matter, Reid said he believed people were here to learn.

“It’s introspective, about the restaurant, my staff, my ex-girlfriend, my girlfriend, my friends and my family.

“Music to me has always been an open book and I use my music as a venting process and creative outlet.”

Writing and making music is a catharsis, a lack of which made him stop writing.

“It got to a point where writing the music was no longer therapeutic and I was worrying about industry standards and releasing singles instead,” Reid said.

It was great to just step away and spend those three or four years in Perth, just focusing on myself and personal life a little bit more.

After a bout of “demo-itis” and an eight-month production period, he pushed a previous demo album aside in order to create Seven Mirrors.

The album is a generous 16 tracks long and features an impressive list of collaborators, including Katy Noonan, Dune Rats, Briggs and Hilltop Hoods to name a few.

For Reid, there’s no secret to approaching and getting so many artists on board.

“Not to ruin the mystique behind the project, but we live in an internet world. I have a home studio in Perth, and I write and record everything there and send it off.

“The only time people were in the studio was with the track Monsoon and Bradley Stone.”

Reid collaborated with Brisbane rockers Dune Rats for single Mexico.

“It was a song for my girlfriend and I. We always had this little joke about moving to Mexico and just living a non-conformist lifestyle – opening a little taco stand or juice bar.”

Reid said he had always been a big advocate for Dune Rats, who penned the chorus before joining him in the studio to record the track.

The music video for the single was even shot in Mexico, where the two acts bonded over a mutual love for tacos and margaritas.

“Dune Rats and I flew to Mexico and shot the video over there. We basically drank a shitload of margaritas and ate a shit load of tacos,” Reid said.

“It was awesome.”

While Reid has missed touring, he still sees taking the break as a good thing.

“You miss out on so much at home – you don’t see your friends, you don’t see your family. You miss out on weddings and birthdays.

“It was great to just step away and spend those three or four years in Perth, just focusing on myself and personal life a little bit more.

“I’m in a good place with my music at the moment and I’m working on my new stuff already, so it definitely needs to be an ongoing thing.”

Drapht’s national tour kicks off in Mooloolaba on October 6.

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