Hip hop duo climb to new heights

KARNAGE AND DARKNISS
KARNAGE AND DARKNISS

When Alice Springs Indigenous hip hop duo Karnage N Darknis and Melbourne rock band Chocolate Starfish got together in the Red Centre to record a new version of the latter’s 90s hit Mountain, they turned heads.

Tristrum Watkins, who is Karnage to his partner Corinna Hall’s Darknis, says Chocolate Starfish frontman Adam Thompson attracted a lot of attention in one particular suit he wore for the video clip.

“That black shiny suit you see him wearing in the video, a lot of people were drawn to him saying, ‘Who’s this bloke?’” Watkins says.

“I was wearing all black. They must have thought I was security. They come up to me and say, ‘Who’s the famous guy?’

“I was like, ‘That’s Adam from Chocolate Starfish’. They were like, ‘Are you security?’ I just played along and said, ‘They hired me because dingoes are attracted to shiny things’.

“I told Adam that. He couldn’t stop laughing.”

The unlikely collaboration came about after an off-the-cuff comment by Thompson, who had been in high school when Chocolate Starfish first released Mountain in 1994.

Mountain 2, released last week, showcases both the talents of Karnage N Darknis and Chocolate Starfish in a new single which crosses the divide between hip hop and rock.

It has been released digitally through CAAMA Music.

“For a long time when I write my music I kind of come from that 90s era of hip hop and R ’n B so I was tracking down a lot of artists from the 90s, but then Joanna, the music manager said out of the blue, ‘I’ve got to go and see Adam or Chocolate Starfish’….

“I just said, ‘Oh, we should do Mountain’. I just threw it out there. I wasn’t really planning it. “She said, ‘I’ll ask him hey’…

“Once she asked him he was kind of more into it than everyone. It gave me more motivation . . . When we met for the first time, straight away there was a connection.”

Watkins says he and Hall could relate to the lyrics of the original song of trying to break down barriers and being somebody when others are trying to bring you down or want you to be something else.

Thompson says he was surprised by the invitation to collaborate.

“When I met Karnage N Darknis, I knew that this would be something truly special, both in the process and in the final track,” he says.

“I love Tristrum and Corinna’s lyrics – they are real and raw and relevant to everyone.

“They portray a sense of struggle but with a powerful, positive message that lights a fire and inspires hope, I love what Mountain has become with this collaboration and can’t wait to share it with our fans and new audiences.”

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