Home Music Music News

‘This Is My Goodbye’: Scribe Says New Album Will Be His Last (Exclusive)

“I have to go out the way I want to go out,” the Ōtautahi rapper says


Dylan Crummer

Aotearoa hip hop legend Scribe is back with new music – but his latest offering signals the beginning of the end. 

Fresh off the back of the release of “Glowstick”, the first single from his next album, the Ōtautahi rapper has revealed the impending record will be his last contribution to music. 

“This is my goodbye,” he said in an exclusive interview with Rolling Stone AU/NZ. “I have to go out the way I want to go out. All my songs have a message, everything is just what I want to say.”

Scribe Is Dead is set to drop next year independently under his own label, not burdened by desires for the work to commercially perform but born out of a need to share the messages it holds. 

“I’m just in this phase of putting out this album that I’ve been talking about for like 100 years – but now I’m in the right frame of mind and spirit to be like, ‘I’m ready now to let these go,'” Scribe says.

“I think I figured out that I’m never going to be happy. I’m such a perfectionist and I think even putting out “Glowstick”, I’m always unsure. It’s always pressure. But I think I took a lot of the pressure off myself because I think I’m so old now that it’s just about getting the music out.”

Last Friday, Scribe dropped his album’s first single, his signature voice sounding as fresh as it did 20 years ago with an impressive melody helping guide the inspiring words it carries. “Glowstick” is about finding the strength to stand up when you get knocked down and moving forward through adversity. 

“It’s quite cliché, but a glowstick – you’ve got to break it for the light. So it was trying to find the right balance between it not being too gimmicky and it being something authentic,” he explains. “I just want people to hear it, it’s one of my deeper songs.” 

Scribe Is Dead will be his third album following 2007’s Rhyme Book, which itself followed his groundbreaking breakthrough album, The Crusader, which first catapulted him into success in 2003. 

With his struggles now behind him, he says he’s never been happier. 

“A lot of my writing is inspired by going through shit, and most of the time that’s how I manage it and deal with it. Obviously I’ve been through a lot, and expressing it through “Glowstick” came pretty easy” he says. 

Hailing from Christchurch, representing his South Island roots has always been a huge part of his identity – and the link wasn’t lost for his latest track. 

“Glowstick” was recorded in his home city with producer Infectiouss – real name Zac Harding – in his studio dubbed The Bakery. When Harding first heard Scribe’s lyrics, he says the words struck him in a way that made him reflect on his own life.

“Although my story is different, I can fully resonate with the core and premise of the song: The more they tried to break me down, only makes me shine brighter.”

“As creatives working in any collaboration, I think it’s always super important to try to get on the same wavelength so we can craft together. Scribe and I have always had a great musical chemistry, and so it has been great to assist him to get out his vision and story. 

“I’m glad he has had the courage, strength, and ability to continue to create powerful works. It’s him speaking about his life and experiences.”

Credit: Dylan Crummer

Scribe began collaborating with the producer a few years back. 

“He played me that piece of music and then next minute I was like, ‘I’ve got these lyrics,’ and it just all came together,” Scribe reveals. “That music tells a story in itself, it was really easy for me to copy paste my idea onto that.”

The beautiful accompanying visuals were shot across Samoa and see Scribe back in front of the camera in a clip directed by Oscar Kightley. 

“Oscar was working in Samoa. He was about to wrap up and it was the end of the World Cup. He was like, ‘Come over, let’s hang out and just relax,’ so I was like, ‘Cool, yeah. Let’s do it.’ We locked in the flights and then I was like, ‘Hey, do you want a sneaky video?” And he was up for it, so we did it.

“It kind of did invade on our holiday time but I think it made it more fun! But Samoa is such a beautiful place so you can’t go wrong.”

The next single from Scribe Is Dead is expected in March. While a range of themes are explored on the record, Scribe was adamant the ideas had to flow from within. 

“There’s no contrived ideas behind it except for trying to say something real and being pointed in what I want to say, without trying to construct what I want to say before I write it,” he says. 

As for the future, he’ll be taking on other creative pursuits but no longer making or putting out music. Pressed if he thinks he might change his mind at a later date, he laughs but settles with a firm “na.”

“I just wanted this music to help people, that’s what I feel like I am here to do,” he adds. “I feel like music is my gift and I’m just trying to use it for good – but in the back of my mind I’m like, ‘This is all over for me.’ I’m going to be entering a whole new field that I’m excited about.”

Scribe’s “Glowstick” is out now.