A year ago Francis-Soakai Tai – aka Sokk – was cutting hair in Queanbeyan. Today he’s on the brink of a successful music career.
The 23-year-old Googong resident had been a barber since he was 15 when he discovered his passion for creating music.
“This time last year I had just started my current business from home (Hair Cartel), so I had a whole lot of time on my hands and then I sort of dabbled with rapping here and there but soon as I started working for myself, free time opened up,” Sokk said.
This is when he found the time to pursue music.
“I’ve been doing this for maybe just a year,” he said.
Sokk is the first to be signed by Runway Records, a Canberra-based label.
Sokk said while spending time with his friends on the weekends, he would often start rapping his own verses.
“I figured out I actually wasn’t too bad at it,” he said.
“I then found a few people that are into the music scene like me, that were also from Canberra and Queanbeyan and so we all put our heads together and decided to create.
“So with my music, I tend to rap a lot about where I grew up, how I grew up and here in Queanbeyan, you know the day to day struggles I faced.”
Sokk said Queanbeyan was a diverse city to live in and often people only saw one side of it.
“It’s got a really beautiful side and then just like a coin, you can see the flipside of it and understand there’s a completely opposite side that not many people see,” he said.
Sokk said he hoped to incorporate his Tongan background in his music in the future.
“It’s definitely an avenue I haven’t yet tapped into, but it would be great to show off my culture in my music,” he said.
“Right now, I’m still trying to find my voice and figuring out where I fit in the whole music world because I’ve only be rapping for about a year and it’s all still pretty new to me.
“My plan now is to just get the ball rolling, and get more gigs booked. I’ve received lot’s of great feedback and I think my music sort of speaks for itself.”
He will be having his first night club performance alongside another Canberra artist, Chloe DMND at the Mile High Club on Saturday 2 April at 10 pm.
Tickets at $10 will be available to purchase at the door.
“I’m so keen for this weekend, I couldn’t have done it without my family at Runway Records,” Sokk said.
“It’s definitely a milestone for me.”
For more information, visit the Mile High Club Facebook page.