360 on thinking he'd "ruined" his career and how his next project will shock fans

BRAVE: Melbourne rapper 360 survived codeine addiction and overdose to rediscover his best form on the album Vintage Modern.
BRAVE: Melbourne rapper 360 survived codeine addiction and overdose to rediscover his best form on the album Vintage Modern.

BEFORE releasing album No.4 Vintage Modern last year Matthew Colwell, aka 360, was worried sick how the record would be received.

Since his 2014 ARIA gold record Utopia, the Melbourne rapper’s career had been in a state of flux. 

First in 2015 he overdosed on codeine and almost died before being treated for addiction. It led to a tour cancellation and the subsequent shows after his stint in rehab bombed.

Then early last year Colwell opened up about his battle with bipolar disorder. Colwell was preparing for fans to desert him. 

“That had me thinking that I’d ruined my career,” Colwell said.

“I thought I had this dream job and everything you could ever want and then that happened and I thought I’d lost everything.

“For the last three years I was just writing and trying to get back to where I was.”

360 - Drugs

The concerns were unfounded. Vintage Modern peaked at No.3 to again position 360 among Australia’s top hip-hop artists.

“A few songs here and there went viral on social media, which is super important I guess, and it’s gone back to where we were,” he said.

Colwell’s openness about his drug and mental health issues has had a profound effect on his fans. These days he receives up to five emails daily from people sharing their experiences.

“It’s really bittersweet because it’s heart-breaking, but it’s also very positive at the same time,” he said. 

“Like people saying ‘thank you for your music, it stopped me killing myself’ or ‘I was an addict and your song made me come out to my family and tell them what was going on and get clean’.”

Vintage Modern also surprised fans by showcasing 360’s singing ability. His next project will blow their minds.

The album is titled Reel Music with each track written about TV shows or films.

Even more surprising, the songs feature no rapping and incorporate soul and country.

“It’s quite nerve-racking as I don’t know how it would go down with all my fans,” Colwell said. 

“I’ve got to do what I really wanna do. This is something that’s really talking to me.”

The Cambridge Hotel hosts 360 on Saturday.