By Kate King
Sydney based hip hop and rap artist Matt Tolton, or Mvtthew, previously known as Lil Custard, is up and coming in the style. He’s an interesting character, who although doesn’t take life too seriously his music has become a big part of his identity. His style is closely a part of the new wave of rappers, but Mvtthew’s purpose is to stand out and keep the integrity of Hip Hop, and build a good name for Australians rappers.
“I used to do it when I was about 15/16 years old, I didn’t take it seriously I just thought, you know my mates egged me on when were sat around having a few too many beers… I’ve always been a huge fan of hip hop, especially recently with the whole new trend, new wave that’s going on”.
When he was younger his music was a hobby and a bit of a laugh if anything. Under the name Lil Custard, Matt could use the name to his advantage and have a lighter hearted approach to his work.
“There’s a stigma around names, like you have to have this super cool, hip name that is something referencing the rap game and that reflects on the person’s music. I don’t believe that, I believe that if your names Lil Custard you can make a song that no one would expect the guy’s name to be Lil Custard. It was one of those things that I just ran with it at the time”.
His previous stage name is memorable to say the least, but created some issues for the artist when it came to his following. Mvtthew has had a distinct view of what he wants his followers and fans to know, his dedication and integrity in his music is something most sell outs fail to accomplish.
“I don’t force it upon my followers on Instagram. If you force 100 people to listen to your song, that’s great you have 100 views but you didn’t get 100 complete views, you got 100 clicks on your song.
“My goal is to be something someone wants to put my playlist on Spotify on and listens to that and zones out, or can put on an album and say, ‘I’ll put him on because I know I like this album’.”
As a fan of hip hop and rap himself, Mvtthew began getting into music when he discovered artists such as XXXtentacion and Travis Scott. A huge stigma surrounding many artists, specifically the new wave artists such as Lil Yachty, Lil Pump and other ‘mumble rappers’, is that their names are becoming more and more outlandish and ridiculous. Some artists don’t necessarily accept them as a part of the genre and this was something that Mvtthew wanted to avoid in his music.
“If I was to do a song like XXX everyone would be a bit weirded because I’m from Sydney Australia trying to make a song like and American from Florida. I can’t relate to the sound, the style, the history.
“I want to make sure that what we do is right”
“My biggest thing is, I keep it as Australian as I can but I don’t want to sound too Australian where its ‘have a beer and a cone’, I wanna say like, ‘pop a molly, I don’t care, I wanna fuck Miranda Kerr’ that’s referencing an American culture that we all understand as teenagers in general in Australia.”
Not only is it a stigma surrounding names and the new style, but Hip Hop coming traditionally from black culture, many artists have a hard time accepting white artists into the game, however talented they may be.
“It makes me sad when I see people attacking people like Post Malone on a radio show. Asking him, “How do you feel about being a culture vulture?”… We’re all trying to push for equality in 2018. For a lot of people who are pushing for equality, it doesn’t sound very equal. It sounds negative, but were not victims, I don’t want to be that white guy saying I’m a victim but it doesn’t help.”
In April this year, Matt made the decision to change his name from Lil Custard to Mvtthew. After a long debate, Matt came to the decision to change his name so that his previous name would no longer influence the way people perceived his music.
“Now I have nothing to hide, you have to take me seriously. I am super proud of what I have accomplished as Lil Custard, but now I want a change. And a better chance of making it.”
Although the change of his stage name is drastically different from his previous persona, it creates an excellent opportunity for Mvtthew to continue in this industry and pursue his dream and take opportunities.
Mvtthew’s music is released on SoundCloud, Spotify and you can follow what he’s up to and when he will be releasing new tracks on his Instagram account.
All photos taken by Sam Abbott.