ARTIST 360 is not one to censor himself or his music.

His blunt honesty is one of the reasons he's a success in the Australian music world.

Since coming on to the scene about four years ago, the Melbourne hip-hop star has grown as much personally as his fame.

"When I first came out, I did not give a f***. I was swearing and cussing at every chance I could get. Just being real opinionated about stuff," he said.

"I guess now I've reached a point where I've realised I have a big influence on younger kids; I feel that sense of responsibility to make sure I'm doing something positive or getting them to do something positive rather than being a dropkick."

360 (real name Matthew Colwell) released his debut album, What You See Is What You Get, in 2008.

In September last year he released his Falling and Flying album, which provided six charting singles.

The 26-year-old was recently acknowledged at the Aria Awards for his quick ascent into music stardom, nominated in 10 categories and awarded Breakthrough Artist.

360's lyrics are a raw account of his life experiences and, put to fresh melodies and beats, the outcome is intense and unique.

His rap style is confronting and brusque and songs like Hammer Head show his humorous edge.

Other songs like Miracle in a Costume are autobiographical with lyrical gems "tragedy can always be a blessing in disguise", describing the circumstances that launched 360 into music.

360 doesn't just rap, he also sings, returning to his early roots in a national boys' choir.

"I liked singing back then and I used to be obsessed with Michael Jackson," he said.

"Then when I started rapping I was always like 'nah f*** singing man, f*** singing. That's not tough'.

"And then as time went on I grew up, I think, and I realised that singing is what music is about."

360 said most people seem to love it except for some hardcore hip-hop fans.

"But I don't listen to them, 'cos I don't make music for them, so f*** 'em," he said.

"You can't make an album wanting to please everyone, otherwise you'll probably turn everyone off I reckon. You just have to make an album to please yourself."

Falling and Flying features other Australian artists such as Gossling (Boys Like You) and Josh Pyke (Throw It Away).

360 hasn't been to Gladstone yet but he'll be at Rockhampton's Oxford Street Party on December 29.

360, who prefers the festival vibe, said fans should be ready for a crazy show.

"I like festivals. I like people's reactions and just the atmosphere there," he said.

"Everyone is just so pumped up and ready to have a good time."

Regarding his alias, 360 said there wasn't any special meaning behind it.

"To be honest, I just made it up when I was young. I was like 15 or something like that," he said.

"It's just stuck with me ever since."

Looking forward, 360 said he would release a free mix tape soon as a thank you to his fans and he'll also be working on his next album.

"A lot of the subject matter is just everything I'm going through," he said.

360 at Triple J One Night Stand at Dalby.
360 at Triple J One Night Stand at Dalby. Nev Madsen


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