When did you start getting tattoos? Did it coincide with any other changes or developments in your life?
I got my first tattoo when I was 16 back in 2002. I knew from then on that I was far from the classic stereotype of a person; a ‘rebel’ for the society, if you may. I was about to set my own way with bold actions to last. Whether it's ink on my body or my opinions in general, I started taking firm steps and acting on what I wanted to achieve, without really caring for the reactions of others.
Do your tattoos play a part in your music and performance as a hip hop artist?
I'm imprinting words and images on my body permanently. Just like the lyrics I write, they're a way of expressing the inner self - a declaration of who you are. Same with songs. Once recorded, they remain untouched in time to remind the world of your message.
People often worry about the permanence of tattoos. How do you feel about the fact that your tattoos are a permanent part of you?
How do you feel about carrying your memories along in your life? Tattoos are a reminder of who you are, who you want to be and what you've been through. I carry my family, friends, the best and worst experiences I’ve had, on my skin. My chosen ‘scars’. Tattoos are a lot like memories… they just last longer.
What style of tattooing attracts you the most? Are there qualities you look for in a tattoo artist?
Classic tattooing is the only way for me. Whether it's American or Japanese, bold outlines and ‘clean’ designs will stay intact in time. Every tattooer has to know his history, the roots of tattooing, the ancestors of the art and clearly needs to have good aesthetics.
Can you tell me a bit about the words written above your chest?
"My sister's keeper" - the phrase is an alteration to the unspoken motto of the Bra Boys "My brother's keeper", inspired by the friendship and brotherhood codes of the gang, part of the surf culture, founded and based in Maroubra, Australia. Mine can be translated as the unconditional love, respect and support towards my sister after the rough times we've been through together. Blood is thicker than water.
Do you think society regards women with tattoos differently to how it views men with tattoos?
A few years ago, yes, a woman having tattoos was a big issue to society. I've heard reactions like "How are you ever gonna get married looking like that?!" or "Who will take a lady like you seriously with all these silly drawings on you?!" It used to be reprehensible for the world, something unacceptable. Seeing a woman with tattoos nowadays is more common by the day, so it's an idea which is much more easily accepted. A woman is no different to a man getting inked.