N’FA – Heath Ledger, hip hop, Billy Zane & Rockdogs

Posted: June 18, 2019 by The Sprink

This is N’Fa. Born in London he grew up in Perth where he led his high school to win the 1996 Rock Eisteddfod along with his bff Heath Ledger and a whole bunch of dancing farm boys. N’Fa missed out on making the 2000 Olympics by one place, was front man for 1200 Techniques, won ARIAs, played at the Big Day Out but most importantly…

Do you remember me from Bakers Delight when you would order apple scrolls, because if you don’t this interview ends.
Yes I do actually – your face would turn bright red every time I came in.

Pfft… like, no it didn’t (read the true story here). Did you and Heath used to argue about who was better looking?
Our friends called us the ‘Brown and White’ version of each other. We won a state theatre sports championship together but because Heath was way better than me, I thought I was bad at acting. Turns out he would end up being better than everybody in the world – maybe I wasn’t so bad.

NBD because 1200 Techniques = THE BEST & Karma was my fave song.
My mother, and big brother Kaba (OG member of 1200 Techniques) encouraged me towards music. Music allowed me to express myself in ways that felt magical. I haven’t stopped since my first performance at age 10, then when I got into rapping, it was like my own secret superpower.

MUSIC4LYF – who have you met?
Man, music has allowed me to walk through so many normally restricted doors. To be brief:

  • studio sessions with Will.i.am and Common
  • parties at Naomi Campbell’s house
  • kickin it with The Mars Volta at Big Day Out and again in LA
  • hanging with Ben Harper and Aloe Blacc
  • smile at and be smiled back at by one of my heroes Queen Latifah at Earth Cafe
  • met Quincey Jones in London and bowed down.
  • crashed at Billy Zane’s LA house for a week and drank rum with him. A lot.

You lived a real life scene out of Final Destination.
It was a super foggy night when Alex Ebert from ‘Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero’s and I were on the way to meet Heath and R.W Grace for a session at Burbank studio. Our driver was a little lost and had to do a U-turn when I suddenly got a weird and fearful feeling run though me and yelled ‘STOP’. He hit the break hard, and at the same instant, a speeding truck flew past us on the side we were turning towards (Alex Ebert’s side), shaking our car. The truck came out of nowhere, the fog was so thick we hadn’t seen it. We would have been t-boned and crushed to death.

That is mental. What have you been working on recently?
Vibing out working on new music with my band Cool Out Sun. Connecting with my cultural roots, and blending the culture with hip-hop the way we do. Playing so many dope festivals – especially WOMADelaide.  I’m working with Sensible Antixx on an Australian Music/Hip-hop doco called ‘Burn Gently’. We are doing it independently, which is a big undertaking, but it’s a film that we aim to have out to the world sometime in 2020.

Actor, model, musician, documentary maker, husbae, dad and you’re a lecturer WTAF?
I co-wrote a music syllabus on hip-hop at the Box Hill Institute, alongside Syrene (Creamy Spies), Dizz1, and Mantra. Usually diploma courses are based on classical, jazz, rock, but we designed the first accredited course of music based on hip-hop. It’s been cool!

Your life is fckn kewl as –  
I have an awesome family, an incredible band (Cool Out Sun), and I am playing in the goddam Community Cup! It is something I’ve dreamt of for years. I quietly waited in hope to get the call to join the Rockdogs and WOOH – it happened! It’s already been a blast just training. Game Day will be incredible.

The Community Cup – Rockdog (musicians) V Megahertz (radio hosts) play ridiculous football in this annual balls-up, raising money for charity.
On-field players aka the Rockdogs: You Am I, N’Fa, Spiderbait, Superjesus, Cat Empire, Merpire, King Gizzard, Cake Fight, Fresh Violet, Saskwatch, Spiral Perm, Pretty City and many more legends.
Off-field stage performances aka the entertainment: Paul Kelly, Baker Boy, Magic Dirt, Dan Sultan, streakers, cheerleaders AND YOU.

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