Tommy Ill’s Queenstown debut

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Crazy Kiwi rapper Tommy Ill plans to turn Dux de Lux upside down when he kicks off his debut tour in Queenstown. 

The Wellington-based MC is on the road to push his newly-released, self-titled first album. 

And he promises a wild night for fans when he hits the resort on Wednesday with his full live crew. 

At his gigs, Ill likes to get piggybacked around the stage by his mates and body-tackles members of the audience.
“A lot of rap groups I’ve seen have amazing songs but they just stand on one spot and do their thing, which is not particularly interesting to watch,” Ill says. 

“We make a conscious effort to wrestle each other around, climb all over the furniture and kick people’s drinks over. 

“We are a messy bunch but we have a lot of fun.” 

Ill has been making music since 2007. 

He’s released three well-received EPs Toast & Tea Kettles, Matchsticks and last year’s Come Home Mr Ill.
His quirky songs tackle everyday issues like hangovers, heartache and paying the bills, and his cheeky rhymes are set to obscure pop tracks from the 1950s and 60s. 

“I’d throw in some more contemporary music for my backing tracks but I don’t want to risk getting sued by anyone,” Ill explains. 

“Instead, I scour the internet and record collectors’ blogs for little-known songs from the past and build things from there.” 

Ill’s new single Robots has been getting rave reviews from radio stations around New Zealand and the accompanying video is being played on the C4 music television channel. 

“I wanted to make this album a really solid introduction to my music for people who haven’t heard it and also as a nod to everyone who has enjoyed my songs in the past,” Ill says. 

“My goal was to make the strongest album I could. 

“I didn’t want to have any fillers – I wanted each song to be as exciting as the last.” 

He adds: “It’s been a long time coming but I think I’ve succeeded. 

“I’d be comfortable putting any track on this album out as a single.”

Catch Tommy Ill at Dux de Lux on Wednesday from 9pm