Nine ARIAs. Multi-platinum sales. Half a billion global streams. Songs embedded in the national consciousness.
The legacy of the Hilltop Hoods is already undeniable. They helped create hip hop as a local genre in Australia.
‘1955' and ‘Cosby Sweater' reached the top five in the ARIA charts and have both reached six-times platinum status. The smash ‘I Love It' went five-times platinum. They opened the door for countless acts from all over Australia through their mentoring, touring and their annual Initiative for emerging acts.
Every studio album from 2006's The Hard Road onwards has debuted at number one - they even picked up a number one debut for their recent Remix album (Drinking From The Sun Walking Under Stars Restrung). They've consistently racked up multi-platinum sales in an era when the industry is seeing sales dwindle across the board. They've also been a consistent and powerful live act throughout Australia, Canada and Europe, and even took hip hop back to its birthplace in the US.
After finishing their very first sold out Arena Tour in 2016 and supporting Eminem across Australia and New Zealand in February 2019, what do Hilltop Hoods do next?
The answer is The Great Expanse.
"We never stop writing," nods Suffa, Matt Lambert. "We did have a conversation where we were like ‘let's just write as hard as we can and go over the top'."
"We definitely push ourselves creatively more with every record," explains Pressure, aka Daniel Smith.
"We've always got beats on hold," adds Barry Francis, better known as Debris.
And that time was well spent.
"We wrote most of it over a two year period, but some of the ideas were even older - like, a hook or a verse here or there. We pulled back on the touring a lot, just the odd festival slot or a month overseas."