RAP CREW Thundamentals are heading back to Gladstone after their Elephant in the Room tour doubled in size.
The Sydney-via-Blue Mountains group put the demand down to their good vibes, solidified by their official appointment as Welcome to Australia ambassadors, a significant marker in the crew's message of inclusiveness and storytelling.
MC Tuka told Pulse the crew strove for equality in their songs, but stayed away from preaching.
"I'm conscious of not having a label," he said. "Life's more complex than that."
He spent six years as a teacher facilitating a Year 10 certificate for people who had missed out and "probably weren't presentable for a regular class".
"It was about pathways for employment for people who had been in jail, and minority groups," he said.
"I had to ask their interests and teach them behavioural stuff and get them to write about it."
He said there were a lot of sad stories, but they were also interesting people.
"They didn't care that I was a musician, they had enough dealing with their problems," he said.
"I had to start again with them. It was humbling to work with them and then tour."
His inspiration for the lyrics, mostly written by Tuka and Jeswon while Poncho and DJ Morgs write the music, can be found anywhere from the back of a cab to a coffee shop chat.
"I'm generally inspired by the conversations that I have with people," MC Tuka said.
"They might say a line that just resonates so well. It'll stick in my head for six months and I'll form a song around it."
The crew played four years of gigs before recording their first song, but since that moment they've done a lot of touring and love their live audience.
"The beauty about Thundas is that we were all friends before we got together," MC Tuka said.
"Because we put out positive music for the most part, we're kind of starting to get surrounded by people who are positive too."
He said he was humbled by their fans, who were "definitely really passionate" people.
"There's some beautiful people that are really quite weird," he said.
"There's this one woman who brings us cookies when we play in Melbourne.
"She's so sweet, so kind - it's not even about the cookies, it's the gesture."
Thundamentals are supporting Welcome To Australia because they share many of the same ideals that the group is representing in its music: diversity, compassion and a commitment to cultivating meaningful relationships within the community.
- When: May 6
- Where: Harvey Road Tavern, Gladstone
- Tickets on sale at: http://thundamentals.com.au
Welcome To Australia:
Thundamentals designed a special edition 'Got Love' band shirt, with 100% of proceeds going to The Asylum Seeker Centre. Pick one up at the gig.