Individually there is Lee Monro, formerly Figgkidd, who had taken a few years off music for personal reasons. After parting from Sony/BMG in 2005 and UndaK9 in 2010 he started a family and looked for other directions, plus resentment for a relentless Australian ‘hip-hop’ scene had him uninterested in maintaining a name. He has come back into it with a different outlook and enthusiasm to show and prove, while at the same time being far more comfortable in his own skin. Many ties were severed along the way and Lee as a result has been thrust into taking his decision making and career into his own hands.

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Then there is Ello C. A young up and comer from Sydney’s west, with a Filipino background and an appreciation for hip hop beyond his years. After semi-successful collaborations with other Sydney emcees and peers, his need to move into solo work pressed him to release ‘No Name Fame’, a mixtape that gained a solid internet buzz. While his live shows were generally with other artists and friends, Ello often found himself pushing himself in the studio when inspiration was minimal, leading to his sound being heard by Lee, whom he had met a few years prior.

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So, then, to the collective. What started as a one off recording session turned into a 22-track mixtape. Lee made contact with Ello after hearing the title track from ‘No Name Fame’ and pushed to work with him. Hearing a maturity beyond his years, Lee found a new inspiration for his writing through Ello and after a few sessions the pair decided to make the session work a little more permanent. Five months later and OVERTIME was born.

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After working with Sydney emcee’s Mr Clean, SF1 and Lazy J, local crooners Christian Joseph and Timothy Bautista, and a handful of producers for original tracks, Lee and Ello came up with something they were both happy with and proud to push. Taking it back to an older ‘boom-bap’ sound, the two tried to keep an old school dynamic whilst adding a newer fresher element here and there to round the tape out. Looking to continue working in the future, Lee and Ello are certainly something of quality for the Australian scene to look out for… and if it isn’t for the fame.. it’s at least for the reason of setting the average
a little higher.

Lee and Ello dropped into Hype DC HQ to have a chat, hours before their support act for The Game. Download the FREE iPad app to watch the interview as well as exclusive promos and giveaways.

Images by Justin Nacua