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Drapht at Metro City Concert Club,
Perth, May 2011.
Background information
Birth name Paul Gary James Ridge
Also known as Drapht
Born (1982-09-04) 4 September 1982 (age 32)
Origin Mount Hawthorn, Western Australia, Australia
Genres Australian hip hop
Years active 1998–present
Labels The Ayems [www.drapht.com.au]
Associated acts Downsyde, Funkoars, & Ta-Ku
Website http://drapht.com.au/

Paul Gary James Ridge (born 4 September 1982), better known by the stage name Drapht, is an Australian hip hop artist from Perth. Drapht is a member of the Syllaboliks (SBX) crew, a collective that includes fellow Perth-based hip hop artists such as Downsyde.[1]


Early life[edit]

Drapht grew up in Inglewood, Western Australia, a suburb of Perth. His father, Gary Ridge, a jazz drummer[2][3] introduced Drapht to music from a very young age—he first experienced hip hop at the age of eight. The name "Drapht" is based on a Western Australian Swan Brewery beer, Swan Draught; the company's logo was written on a watch that his father brought home when Drapht was 13 or 14.[4]

Drapht attended Perth Modern School in Subiaco but was not involved in the school's music program.[5] At school he became friends with Damien Allia (aka DJ Armee) who introduced him to hip hop via gigs at the Hyde Park Hotel.[5][6][7]

Syllabolix (SBX)[edit]

Drapht became a vital part of Perth's hip hop crew, "Syllabolix", at the age of 17.[8][9]

"I was real lucky. I hung around all the SBX members before I even started rapping. I was right in the middle of it all, I had access to the fucking dopest producer at the time Dazastah, freestyle sessions at Hunter's and constant schooling from the whole crew. So it was hard for me not to learn quick and be involved with it all." - Drapht[citation needed]

This involvement resulted in his first contributions being recorded and included on the Done DL album in 2000, only months after he had started seriously writing.[6]

Drapht, February 2009

Drapht's first track, "Misunderstood", which sampled Nina Simone's 1964 song, "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood",[10] was released as part of the Culture of Kings - Volume 3 release in 2003.

"I know a lot of people were big fans of that song, but I never put it in my live show 'cause it's a downtempo sort of beat. It was just a track I wrote in a span of a few days, and it was just lying around. So I put it on Culture of Kings. Luckily enough, it was the intro song for the album. It has definitely help to carry my career on."

—Drapht (2008)[11]

Pale Rider[edit]

His debut album, Pale Rider, was released in October 2003,[12] with all production handled by Dazastah (Downsyde), Fdel and Drapht.[7] Special appearances on the album include: Fdel (Invada Records), Downsyde, MC Layla, Hunter, Selekt, Carlsani and Porsah Lane.[13]

"With my first album, I just kinda got into it because I was hanging around the guys from Downsyde and Syllabolix. Essentially I got into it just because I loved how Daz [Dazastah] tackled his writing style and his punch-lines. Aggression was the one thing I wanted to get rid of, which is why it came out more aggressive than any album I've done since. Being a teenager you seem to be more this way. Then you [hopefully] let it all go."

—Drapht (2008)[11]

Who Am I[edit]

The follow-up, 2005's Who Am I, was co-produced by Dazastah (Downsyde) and Fdel, and co-mixed by Drapht with Dazastah.[14] The songs touch on topics including politics, sex, and addiction to drunken antics. Guest appearances on the album include Pressure (Hilltop Hoods), Downsyde, Layla,[15] Pegz (Obese Records), Clandestien, MJ (Funkola) and Hunter. It was released by Obese Records in both in a CD and a limited 2 LP vinyl format. Two tracks from the album, "Drink Drank Drunk" and "The Music", received airplay on Triple J, mostly on the Super Request program.[16][17] Who Am I is more an introspective album.

"I tried to focus more on my flow and the structure of the tracks but at the end I wasn't really happy with the subject matter of the songs."

—Drapht (2008)[11]

Support act[edit]

Drapht has opened for acts such as; Hilltop Hoods, Dilated Peoples, Downsyde, Koolism, Apathy, Rodney P & Skitz, Mystro,[18] Killa Kela, and Resin Dogs.

Brothers Grimm[edit]

Drapht's third album, Brothers Grimm, was released 10 May 2008,[19][20] with the first song from the album, "Jimmy Recard", receiving significant airplay on Triple J,[21][22] where it became the second most played song on the station in 2008[23]

"With Brothers Grimm I tried to tackle subject matter more, and tried to make every single word more clear - not so intense. I wanted it to be more personal and truthful with what I stand for and have gone through in life, and the response has been really good."

—Drapht (2008)[11]

The album debuted at No. 64 on the ARIA Album charts, reached No. 9 on the V Energy AIR (Association of Independent Record Labels) Charts[24] and No. 10 on the ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) Top 40 Urban Album charts.[25]

The Life of Riley[edit]

In an interview with The Vine in November 2010 Drapht advised that he had not renewed his contract with Obese Records and that he will be releasing his forthcoming album The Life of Riley independently.[26] The first song released from the album is "Rapunzel", for which he describes

The love hate relationship that is Rapunzel- a subject that I had that was extremely close to my heart, so naturally the song itself was one of the easiest to write, but one of the hardest to nail in the recording process. Has to be one of my favourites to date, has made me fall in love with her all over again!


The Life of Riley was released 1 April 2011 and was the first release on Drapht’s own label The Ayems,[4][28] which is distributed through Sony Music. The album debuted at #1 on the ARIA Album Chart[29][30] and was the first Australian artist to do so in 2011. The second track to be taken from the album was "Sing It (The Life of Riley)".

Awards and accolades[edit]

The song, "The Music", was selected by Triple J as a featured track for "AusMusic Month" in 2005. Drapht released a music video for "The Music", which was shown on Rage.[31] He also performed a guest verse on the Hilltop Hoods album The Hard Road on the track "The Blue Blooded".[2]

Drapht was nominated in the Best Urban/Hip Hop Act category at the 2007 West Australian Music Industry Awards.[32] At the age of twenty five Drapht decided to pursue music full-time, leaving his other career as a roof carpenter.[33][34]

Drapht appeared for the first time in a Triple J Hottest 100 with two entries in the 2008 countdown; "Jimmy Recard" at number 10 and "Falling" at number 77.[35][36]

In October Drapht was nominated for the "Best New Australian Independent Artist" award at the 2008 AIR Awards.[37]

"Jimmy Recard" was nominated for 'Most Popular Single/EP' at the 2009 West Australian Music Industry Awards and Drapht as 'Best Urban/Hip Hop Act', which he subsequently won.[38]

"Rapunzel" reached number 12 on Triple J's Hottest 100 for 2010,[39] #2 on the AIR charts and peaked at #16 on the ARIA singles chart in February 2011,[40] the highest charting single for Drapht to date. The single was also accredited an ARIA platinum certification.

Drapht received two nominations in the 2011 Jägermeister Independent Music Awards, 'Best Independent Album' and 'Best Independent Hip Hop/Urban Album', winning the award for the latter.[41] At the 2011 ARIA Music Awards Drapht received seven nominations, 'Single of the Year' ("Rapunzel"); 'Best Male Artist'; 'Breakthrough Artist - Album' (Life of Riley); 'Breakthrough Artist - Single' ("Rapunzel"); 'Best Urban Album'; 'Most Popular Australian Artist' and 'Engineer of the Year',[42][43] eventually winning 'Best Urban Album'. The Life of Riley was also nominated for the 2011 J Awards.[44]


In March 2009 Drapht undertook a national tour of Australia with fellow Western Australians, Downsyde with a number of the eastern states performances being supported by Pez.[45][46] Drapht also made appearances at Homebake, Pyramid Rock Festival, Southbound, Open Arms and MS Fest.

Drapht appeared at the 2011 Groovin' the Moo festival and undertook a national tour to promote the album, with support from Mantra and The Tongue.[47]



Year Album details
ARIA Charts
2003 Pale Rider
  • Released: October 2003
  • Label: Syllabolix (SBX 005)
  • Producer: Dazastah, Fdel, Drapht
2005 Who Am I
  • Released: June 2005
  • Label: Obese (OBR032CD)
  • Producer: Dazastah, Fdel, Drapht
2008 Brothers Grimm 64
2011 The Life of Riley
  • Released: 1 April 2011[49]
  • Label: The Ayems (AYEMS001)
  • Producer: Trials
"—" denotes release that did not chart


Year Single AUS
Triple J Hottest 100 Certifications Album
2009 "Jimmy Recard" 92 10 Brothers Grimm
(radio only release)
2010 "Rapunzel" 16 12
  • ARIA: Platinum[52]
The Life of Riley
2011 "Sing It (The Life of Riley)"
(radio only release)
58 29
"Bali Party" (feat. NFA)
(radio only release)
2012 "1990's" Tasty (EP)
"—" denotes release that did not chart

Compilation appearances[edit]

  • Culture of Kings Volume 3 (2003, Obese) (song: "Misunderstood")

Guest appearances[edit]

Alongside many other Australian hip hop artists, Drapht appears in the music video for the Hilltop Hoods song, "Rattling the Keys to the Kingdom" (2012).[54]

Awards and nominations[edit]

APRA Awards[edit]

The APRA Awards are presented annually from 1982 by the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA), "honouring composers and songwriters".[55] Drapht has been nominated for three awards.

Year Recipient Award Result
2011 "Rapunzel" (Paul Ridge, Daniel Rankine, Larry Siler) Urban Work of the Year[56] Nominated
2012 "Sing It (The Life of Riley)" (Paul Ridge, Daniel Rankine) Urban Work of the Year[57] Nominated
Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year[58] Nominated

ARIA Awards[edit]

The ARIA Music Awards are presented annually from 1987 by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). In 2011 Drapht won one award from seven nominations.[42]

Year Recipient Award Result
2011 "Rapunzel" Single of the Year Nominated
Breakthrough Artist – Single Nominated
"Rapunzel" – Dave Parkin Engineer of the Year Nominated
The Life of Riley Best Male Artist Nominated
Breakthrough Artist – Album Nominated
Best Urban Album[59] Won
Drapht Most Popular Australian Artist Nominated


  1. ^ "Drapht The Life of Riley". allmusic. Rovi Corp. 2012. Retrieved 14 September 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Richardson, Fiona (22 August 2008). "Drapht dominates with debut". 3rd Degree. Edith Cowan University. Retrieved 28 March 2011. 
  3. ^ "Roz Pearson". Jazz Australia. Retrieved 28 March 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Greco, Nell (29 March 2011). "Life of Drapht". The Music Network. Retrieved 12 April 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Wilkinson, Craig (27 March 2009). "Hip-hop Drapht broken". Western Suburbs Weekly (Community Newspaper Group). Retrieved 28 March 2011. 
  6. ^ a b "Drapht". Certified Scribe. Retrieved 27 March 2011.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
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  11. ^ a b c d Schlechte, Ted (21 August 2008). "Third Time's The Charma". Drum Media. Retrieved 31 August 2008. 
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  13. ^ Australian Music Online - 'Who Am I'
  14. ^ "Drapht – Who Am I". Discogs. Discogs. 2012. Retrieved 14 September 2012. 
  15. ^ Mitchell, Tony. "Layla". Local Noise. University of Technology, Sydney. Retrieved 22 March 2011. 
  16. ^ "Drink Drank Drunk" airplay at JPlay
  17. ^ "The Music" airplay at JPlay
  18. ^ Mitchell, Tony. "The DIY Habitus of Australian Hip-hop: Embodied Histories, Community and Scene". Local Noise. University of Technology, Sydney. Retrieved 22 March 2011. 
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  21. ^ J Play
  22. ^ Triple J playlist
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  25. ^ "Top 40 Urban Albums & Singles charts". ARIA. Retrieved 11 July 2008. 
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  34. ^ Burnside, Niki (29 March 2011). "Turning a new page". BMA Magazine. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  35. ^ Adams, Cameron (26 January 2009). "Kings of Leon tops Triple J Hottest 100". Herald Sun. Retrieved 23 February 2009. [dead link]
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  41. ^ "Independent Music Awards". Australian Independent Record Labels Association. Retrieved 28 November 2011. 
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  56. ^ "Nominations > Urban Work of the Year – 2011". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) | Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS). 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
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External links[edit]