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Anesu Ashli Brazen Barbie Chef Chung Cherry Rype Chiseko Curtis Damage DEVAURA DSP DXVNDRE Dylan Atlantis Fisheye FM Goobsy J-MILLA Jordane Josef Juwan Khi’leb King Ivy Lamira Lara Andallo MAMMOTH. Miss Kaninna Raf Receipt Sidney Phillips Soli T Breezy VOLDY VV-Ace Yawdoesitall Zia Jade
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7th - 21st May 2024

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2024 Semi Finalists

Anesu
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Anesu

Anesu
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Anesu weaves cultural and queer themes into their music, with elements of hip-hop, electronic, and soul. They’ve graced stages at events like SXSW, Groovin the Moo, Sydney WorldPride, Bigsound and Perth Festival. ANESU has also joined forces with Elefant Traks, and with new releases like ‘Mrs Jackson,’ they are quickly becoming one of the industry’s most unique and promising artists.

Ashli
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Ashli

Ashli
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With a gift for lush, melodic vocals wrapped around irresistibly slinky hooks, emerging singer-songwriter Ashli delivers sparkling, R&B-flavoured pop that captures her home city of Sydney in all of its love, lust and heartbreak. Born in New Jersey, Ashli relocated to Western Sydney at age 11, where her musical talents – inspired by an eclectic love of Taylor Swift, Mariah Carey and Alicia Keys – continued to flourish, leading to a mentorship from Australian singer-songwriter Gretta Ray. Dubbed “one of the most beautiful Australian hooks ever written” (Purple Sneakers), Ashli’s debut single ‘Only One’ dropped to acclaim in 2022. The Only One EP, released in November, confirmed Ashli’s considerable range: from Latin-accented, Mariah-channelling R&B (‘Lovesick’) to effervescent club grooves (‘Dance Again’), the six tracks – built on vintage 808s, hi-hats and gleaming synth lines – shimmer with the singer’s gorgeous vocals and complex harmonies.

Brazen Barbie
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Brazen Barbie

Brazen Barbie
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Introducing Brazen Barbie, a 19-year-old Kenyan-Australian and a rising force in Australia’s music scene who is carving her own path in hip-hop. Originally from Perth, she launched her career in 2022 and has since secured coveted spots in numerous Spotify editorial playlists and national/international radio stations. Brazen Barbie’s lyrics are imprinted with confidence and unapologetic self-expression, making her a standout in the industry.

Chef Chung
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Chef Chung

Chef Chung
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Through crafting his own bent production and intimate poetics, Chef Chung has forged his own singular mode – oozing in style and pushing boundaries. His form – a blender of influence – fuses 70s soul and 90s R&B with touches of modern electronic and trap to create a vivid sonic soundscape. The savour of Chung’s blazed-out syntax, melodic touches and intimate themes act as the compelling tool for his creative storytelling. Expressing a stream of consciousness, Chef Chung seeks to embrace individuality, reflecting his everyday experiences and channelling his voice through experimentation. 

Cherry Rype
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Cherry Rype

Cherry Rype
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Inner West Sydney’s own sonic angel Cherry Rype, explores a range of versatility in her storytelling & sound selection. With co-signs from Vice AU and FBI Radio, Crafting a Neo-Soul. breaks, Alternative & EDM fusion, Cherry Rype explicitly details the struggles of being a teenager, to growing into adolescence, and the trauma developed within it. Contrasting on telling the many forms of abuse and how it can affect a person’s operations of self, and how the world around you suddenly shifts. Cherry Rype owes her cultural background and the local art surrounding her in her city and around Australia for inspiration. Cherry Rype makes music for those to feel safe, to be heard and to be seen.

Chiseko
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Chiseko

Chiseko
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Weaving threads of witty lyricism through themes of introspection and heartbreak, CHISEKO unapologetically creates a zealous new dimension of Australia’s musical spectrum. Characterised by honest confessions and vivid metaphors, CHISEKO’s listeners are captivated by his refreshing lyrical talent rarely found in the age of generic bars. Simultaneously playful and heartbreaking, his lyrics touch on all universal aspects of the human experience, making his discography feel like returning home.  CHISEKO set the standard high with groundbreaking debut single “Juice” , followed by the sensual “Westside Story” and electric collaborations with fellow Perth natives Your Girl Pho and Adrian Dzvuke. With an infectious groove, CHISEKO crafts an addictive sonic experience for his international audience.

Curtis Damage
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Curtis Damage

Curtis Damage
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Born and raised on the South side of Sydney, Curtis Damage has made a name for himself in the Australian music scene with his distinct combination of powerful sounds, catchy melodies, and unadulterated lyrical skill. Curtis Damage’s music portrays the challenges and victories of daily existence. His songs are deeply rooted in his personal experiences, vividly illustrating the experiences that many people in urban areas confront. He embodies the trap sub-genre in his songs by adding his own distinct sound and narrative skills to it. Curtis Damage has a contagious energy and unquestionable charisma that shines through in his music. His expressive voice combined with his seamless flow over trap beats makes for an engaging listening experience that connects with listeners all around the world. Hard-hitting bass-lines, memorable hooks, and insightful lyrics that capture the essence of the human experience.

DEVAURA
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DEVAURA

DEVAURA
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Meet Deborah Amenawon, also known as DEVAURA. Born in New Zealand and based in Australia, DEVAURA burst onto the music scene in 2023, committed to reinvigorating storytelling and world-building in music. She’s celebrated for her powerful vocals and fierce bars, as highlighted by Tommy Faith of triple j: “It’s rare to find an artist with a vocal as strong as hers or bars as fierce and flavoursome but to find an artist that does both? That’s Devaura right there.”

DEVAURA has made notable appearances at Big Sound, opened for acts like AWA MBAYE and REALLY NICE, and headlined MUVA X PINK FRIDAY show. Her energetic track “KETAMINE,” featuring local artists ASH SWAZE and Chandler Jewels, has received continuous support from FBI RADIO and triple j. Coming from a background of significant challenges, including being a queer, first-generation immigrant and formerly houseless, DEVAURA’s resilience shines in her music. She’s now set to release more new music in 2024, starting with “VENICE.”

DSP
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DSP

DSP
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Infused with the dynamic energy of West African heritage and the urban grit of Western Sydney, ‘DSP’ navigates the music scene with a dedication to his craft and has made significant strides in the Australian music industry, leaving behind a trail of remarkable achievements.

His breakthrough track, “NJ Freestyle,” released in 2022, garnered widespread acclaim both locally and internationally, amassing over 1 million streams (and counting) on Spotify and drawing the attention of music promoters and critics in Australia and the UK. DSP’s musical style is a reflection of his diverse influences, drawing from the raw realities of Western Sydney’s streets and the vibrant rhythms of West African music. Seamlessly traversing genres, from Afro to drill, DSP maintains a signature tonality that is uniquely his own. As DSP’s star continues to ascend, he remains committed to more than just personal success. Recognizing his role as a role model, particularly for the youth of Western Sydney, DSP is determined to be a positive influence. His journey from a young artist experimenting in the studio to a cultural force in the Australian music scene is just the beginning.

DXVNDRE
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DXVNDRE

DXVNDRE
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Residing from Ingleburn Southwest Sydney, DXVNDRE is a natural lyricist who presents his craft with passionate raw delivery. An Emcee of Samoan heritage, he pays homage to the “Golden Era” roots of rap, infusing that influence on a plethora of ominous boom-bap & heavy 808 style beats. Surrounded by music at the age of 13, Legends such as Big L, MF DOOM, Notorious BIG, Mobb Deep, Rakim, NWA & the Wu-Tang Clan inspired Dxvndre’s deep infatuation for music, studying them to construct his intricate skillset of gritty bars & vigorous flows.

Dylan Atlantis
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Dylan Atlantis

Dylan Atlantis
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Dylan Atlantis (she/they) is a Filipino-Australian singer-songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist from Western Sydney. Sonically, Dylan fuses the grit of grunge and indie rock with the sweet soulfulness of R&B – adjacent to works by Syd from The Internet, Deb Never and Dylan cites N.E.R.D. and Yves Tumor as musical influences. Dylan is also a member of the Full Circle collective, a crew of future superstars consisting of Sollyy, Nick Ward, Friday*, Breakfast Road & Zion Garcia. Moving from the Philippines to Australia at an early age, Dylan started playing guitar at 7, writing songs at 12 and after watching Youtube tutorials in high school taught herself to play piano, bass and music production.

Over the past 18 months, Dylan has been named FBi Radio’s ‘Independent Artist Of The Week’, and heavily supported by triple j, ‘Violet’ EP was nominated as ‘Record Of The Year’ at the 2023 FBi SMAC Awards. Dylan has started gaining international attention from US tastemakers Assorted Tapes and Pitchfork, the latter naming collaboration with fellow Western Sydney creative Sollyy as “the must-hear rap song of the day”.This heralds the first time Pitchfork have covered artists from Western Sydney. 

Fisheye FM
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Fisheye FM

Fisheye FM
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Blackett duo, Fisheye FM, have had one of the most thrilling come-ups over the course of 2023. Made up of Angelo and Rachelle, their relationship as a couple, and their humbling love for music from a young, birthed the experimental sonic experience that encompasses Fisheye FM. Together, they indulge in soundscapes that traverse the likes of house, pop, alternative R&B, and soul through tracks like ‘C U Dance Again’ and ‘LOVERS ESCAPE’, while still maintaining a sound that is authentically them. With a goal intent on making your hips sway through every single song, Fisheye FM are now comfortably seated at the same table as the homegrown artists that have inspired them to reach the point they are at in music. Having taken over the stages of Sydney’s Shades Bar more than once this year, there is no doubt in our minds that this duo will be taking to some of our country’s major stages soon.

Goobsy
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Goobsy

Goobsy
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Brandon Gebhardt, aka Goobsy, is an emerging rapper hailing from Morphett Vale, South Australia. Goobsy’s life is laid out for everyone to see with his gritty storytelling and raw delivery. Once involved in a life of bad decisions and crime his choice to leave and reflect on this is a massive inspiration for his creativity. Upon releasing the highly anticipated joint project ‘Brunch’ with regular collaborative partner Kirby, the pair are back locked in preparing a stacked roster for the upcoming sequel, Brunch 2. The late Nipsey Hussle has always been a massive influence behind Goobsy’s journey.

J-MILLA
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J-MILLA

J-MILLA
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24-year-old J-MILLA is a proud member of the Marranungu people, who are the traditional landowners of the Litchfield National Park in the NT. Born in Darwin J-MILLA’s life started hard from the get-go; yet he managed to find a way to stand outside the intergenerational trauma pathway that affects so many Aboriginal families. Losing himself in music and storytelling was what got him through and it was this part of his culture that he clung to. When he noticed the power of narrative and its influence on those around him; mainly his brothers and sister – J-MILLA’s passion for writing lyrics and telling his own stories began. J-MILLA used this passion like a weapon to maintain a healthy mental state for himself and his sibling. His lyrical content swings between deep societal commentary and bangin’ club vibes. At the age of 12 Jay’s mother applied and won a scholarship for him to Scotch College in Adelaide to give her eldest son a better chance at life. Jay moved to Adelaide where he now is a proud resident and calls the place home

Jordane
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Jordane

Jordane
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Perth singer-songwriter Jordane was brought up in a South Asian household surrounded by country, blues and soul music. She began exploring her own soulful vocals at church eventuating to finding her own R&B sound. Jordane uses her own songwriting to reflect genuine confidence, adding to her artistic depth. Understanding her sound gained her global recognition from BBC Radio 1 as well as being name International Act of the Year by UK independent radio. With ongoing attraction from the likes of Ones to Watch, Triple J, Fbi radio and many more Jordane undeniably is set for a huge 2024. 

Josef
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Josef

Josef
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Josef is a storyteller in the purest form, His experiences growing up in housing commissions all over the west and south-west suburbs of Sydney and his connection to family and community has been his biggest influence and driving force behind his music.

Juwan
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Juwan

Juwan
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Born in Logan, Queensland and raised on the Gold Coast, Juwan’s unique sound is influenced by local hero Sir T and artists like J Cole and Nipsey Hussle. His early freestyles, brimming with heart and conviction, established him as a fresh MC to watch. Through mixtapes, singles like “Preach” and “Home,” and reconnections with his heritage in Australia and New Zealand, Juwan has evolved his craft. His 2022 mixtape “Let the Story Begin…” produced by SOLLYY, nods to the golden era of mixtapes, and was followed by a slew of potent tracks in 2023, including “Vent,” showcasing his refined lyricism and storytelling. Recently, Juwan captivated a sold-out crowd while opening for ChillinIt, proving his mettle and hinting at greater things to come in what’s being dubbed ‘Juwan season.’

Khi’leb
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Khi’leb

Khi’leb
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Khi’leb is a child of music, experimenting with melody and lyrics from an early age, he was recording before he hit double digits. Only 21 years young, the Brisbane rapper has been dropping music for a minute. Khi’leb has sparked tour opps with the likes of Tkay Maidza B Wise and Baker Boy, bunkered down in the studio with Ziggy Ramo and i.amsolo (ONEFOUR, Becca Hatch) and continued building with artists like Creed Tha Kid from the hometown. His debut EP, ‘Project in the Suburbs’ reflects his journey coming up in the suburbs of Meanjin as a young Ghanian boy. It speaks volumes to where he is at today.

King Ivy
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King Ivy

King Ivy
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King Ivy is the 21-year old alternative R&B/Indie artist out of Brisbane/Meanjin. With his emotionally-charged music and distinct sound, King Ivy is a rising star who will transport you through to the nostalgic feelings of the innocence and pureness of coming-of-age years.

Bursting onto the scene in 2022 with his debut EP, Brown, King Ivy quickly caught the attention of fans around Australia and the world, garnering the support from triple j, Acclaim, Spotify, Apple Music, Radio One NZ, BBC Radio 1 Xtra and many more. King Ivy is one to watch and is a bonafide rockstar and heartthrob in the making.

Lamira
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Lamira

Lamira
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At just 20 years old, Lamira is already making waves in the global music scene with her captivating blend of Caribbean rhythms and infectious Reggaeton beats. Hailing from the sun-kissed shores born amidst the Caribbean waters, this talented Venezuelan artist brings the soulful essence of her roots to the vibrant city of Sydney, Australia. Born and raised in the heart of San Fernando de Apure in Venezuela, Lamira was immersed in a rich tapestry of diverse musical influences from an early age including reggaeton, salsa, joropo, bachata. It was within the vibrant culture of her homeland that she discovered her passion for music and began honing her craft. Drawing inspiration from the pulsating beats of Reggaeton, she infused her unique sound with elements that resonate with the hearts of whoever listens to her music. Moving to Sydney, Australia, Lamira embarked on a new chapter in her musical journey. In this melting pot of cultures, she found the perfect canvas to paint her artistic vision. Embracing her heritage while embracing the modernity of her new surroundings. Lamira’s music is more than just dance-inducing rhythms; it’s a vehicle for storytelling and empowerment. Through her powerful lyrics, she addresses topics close to her heart, from love and identity to social issues and the celebration of life. Each track is a testament to her authentic voice and deep connection to her roots.

Lara Andallo
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Lara Andallo

Lara Andallo
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Lara Andallo is a frontrunner in Australia’s swelling R&B renaissance and is well on her way to becoming one of the country’s most engaging vocalists. At 20 years old, Lara released her debut mixtape ‘For Her’, which was shown love internationally from the likes of Jungwoo of Korean supergroup NCT, who shouted out For Her single ‘Trophy’ from the project, which subsequently trended on Melon. She went on to release her debut EP ‘DIAMONDS & DEJAVU’ in 2023, and the project confirms her allegiance to the sounds of classic R&B and pop while incorporating futuristic electronica and harder hip-hop/trap production.

After swiftly following up her debut EP with her Summer banger ‘OBSESSED’, Lara toured across AU & NZ, plus Asia with American R&B star Kiana Lede, and has racked up over 6 million views on TikTok from her performance videos from this tour alone.

Now back in Australia, Lara released her first single of the year, “NOT RN!”, right before she joined the stellar line-up of Souled Out Festival, including Summer Walker, Bryson Tiller, and PARTYNEXTDOOR, for the Australian tour. She was notably the only Australian female act to garner a place on this line-up, cementing her leading role in the future of Australian R&B/Pop.

Lara’s no stranger to the stage, as she’s also supported and toured with international artists like Blxst, Joel Corry, Thuy, Tinashe, and PARTYNEXTDOOR, to name a few. In the past few months, Lara has gained fans in the likes of superstar Troye Sivan and Ebenezer, whom she has been collaborating with in the studio for her next era of music.

MAMMOTH.
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MAMMOTH.

MAMMOTH.
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Hailing from Melbourne Australia’s West, MAMMOTH. has taken the Underground Hip-Hop scene by storm as of late. The razor-tongued rapper has turned heads with his watery flows, dynamic punch lines and poetic approach to his own brand of Rap. He shies away from the equivocal rapper label, preferring to be seen as a writer – one who is in deep reflection about his upbringing, strengths and flaws. A face of collective Picked Last, a fast-rising assembly of talented creatives, MAMMOTH.’s growth has coincided with that of the label. His sound personifies him and the collective he works with. A name that has been on the tip of the tongue of many “in the know” listeners, his sound and talent will soon be undeniable. Though still in the infancy of his career, MAMMOTH.’s matured sound, distinct flow and unmatched lyricism proves he is one to watch. The sky is truly the limit for this wordsmith.

Miss Kaninna
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Miss Kaninna

Miss Kaninna
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Bursting onto the scene with her debut single ‘Blak Britney’, Miss Kaninna has made her arrival well and truly known. The proud Yorta Yorta, Djadja Wurrung, Kalkadoon and Yirendali woman has emerged as a voice of punk and power, captivating audiences with her ferocious charisma. ‘Blak Britney’ arrived in May 2023 to critical acclaim – An anti-establishment anthem written to amplify the voices of Blak women, the single landed full rotation and within a fortnight was the #1 most-played song on triple j. The impact of her potent live energy began to spread, and she was swiftly booked across some of the country’s premier summer music festivals including a coveted spot on the national 2024 Laneway tour. Her follow-up single ‘Pinnacle Bitch’ arrived as a club-ready call-to-arms, celebrating subversion and the freedom to be your genuine self. Following its release, she received the inaugural Justin Crosby “Best Emerging Artist” award at SXSW Sydney and was crowned “Unearthed Artist of The Year” at 2023’s J Awards.

Floating effortlessly between Hip Hop, Neo-soul and R&B, Miss Kaninna arrives to claim BLAK POP in so-called Australia.

 

Raf Receipt
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Raf Receipt

Raf Receipt
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Born in an Ethiopian household that holds deep roots of Rastafari/Reggae culture -singer, songwriter & rapper, Raf Receipt possesses his versatility between authentic Afro Swing/Beats to today’s modern-day melodic style rap. As a youngster, he grew up listening to various genres which include R&B/ Pop & Dancehall music with major influences from the likes of Michael Jackson, Chris Brown, Wiz Kid & Rihanna. Off the back of a very successful solo performance/pop-up party, acquiring over 50K streams across all digital platforms, linking on a feature with his fellow African Australian brother DSP – he continues to represent the Habesha community and motivates ever-growing Western Sydney music scene, the young Afro Aussie artist is on some real hot momentum to start 2024. 

Sidney Phillips
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Sidney Phillips

Sidney Phillips
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Sidney Phillips is a young, transfeminine, independent artist and a member of the Australian rap group stealthyn00b. With a diverse sound and discography, her work has ranged from traditional Hip Hop to an original Australian spin on ‘internet rap’ genres like PluggnB, Digicore and everything in between. Sidney currently lives and works on Gubbi Gubbi Land (QLD).

Soli
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Soli

Soli
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Hailing from Melbourne, Ethiopian artist Soli emerges as one of the city’s most compelling R&B talents. Her velvety, soulful tones have mesmerised audiences for years, leaving an indelible mark each time she graces stages with her emotive lyrics and storytelling abilities. Her debut EP, ‘Daily Thoughts,’ showcases standout tracks like ‘Blessed,’ ‘Temporary Low,’ and ‘Pray,’ earning widespread acclaim. Soli recently toured with Masego, opened for Yussef Days and also works closely with Australian icon Tones & I. Committed to sharing her heart through music, Soli’s ambition extends beyond Australia, aiming to resonate with audiences globally.

T Breezy
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T Breezy

T Breezy
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Born and raised in the semi-rural Inverell, for young Gamilaraay rapper T Breezy the distraction of music growing up serves a unique sound full of both hope and aggression, spinning lyrics that speak to his hometown community, the pursuit of hustle and ambition – “I made something out of nothing” (No Discussion). His forward-thinking debut EP 2360 (released 2020) produced by Utility, with the cult classic lead single ‘Posted’ is a hard-hitting and unique Australian rap record praised by media and radio for expressing an unfiltered picture of his upbringing in Inverell. The release was a springboard for lyrics that exhibit both a clever sense of humour and a deep sense of sincerity. 2360 confirmed the start of his come-up – T Breezy is set to be a pioneer of his generation.

VOLDY
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VOLDY

VOLDY
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Hailing from South Africa, VOLDY emerged in 2022 with his debut EP ‘Solplay Vol. 1’. The project boasted major support from Spotify and Apple Music (NMF, The Hybrid, The Drip etc.), radio play (Triple J, CADA, FBi etc), and was nominated by Music Victoria in 2023 for Best Hip Hop Work. VOLDY has continued to show his versatility as both a singer and rapper, blending genres and releasing records with IJALE, Mali Jose, JAAL, OX4ORD and Big Skeez. His creativity and sense of style has been highlighted in brand campaigns with Football Australia, Puma and Neverland. VOLDY also has excelled as a live act, performing at Howler, Workers Club, Section 8, Summer Jam, Ego Expo and co-headlining Sorbae Sundays Festival at Sidney Myer Bowl.

VV-Ace
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VV-Ace

VV-Ace
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Elevating Melbourne’s rap and hip-hop scene, VV-Ace has been making waves for the past few years, and his momentum shows no signs of slowing down in 2024. With each release, VV-Ace unveils a new layer of his remarkable versatility, showcasing a diverse range of talents in lyricism, intricate rhymes, and captivating wordplay. His music resonates with authenticity, drawing listeners into his world with raw emotion and undeniable skill.  In his latest EP, ‘No Man’s Land’, VV-Ace delves into the fabric of his Australian upbringing, weaving together core memories from his youth to create a nostalgic tapestry of sound. This deeply personal journey not only reflects his roots but also serves as a testament to his growth as an artist. As VV-Ace continues to ascend to new heights with each release, his reach extends far beyond Melbourne, captivating audiences globally. With an unwavering dedication to his craft and an unyielding passion for storytelling, VV-Ace is poised to leave an indelible mark on the Australian music scene and beyond.

Yawdoesitall
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Yawdoesitall

Yawdoesitall
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Yawdoesitall will not stop winning. Following a few massive years the rising Ghanian-Australian rapper/producer has built a strong fan-base for his hard-hitting, unique style of hip-hop. Yaw’s latest feature on ‘SAINTS’ alongside US rap legend Rick Ross follows on a few milestone moments from the Western Sydney MC; making a huge impression on triple J’s Bars Of Steel less than a month ago, receiving his first rotation spot on triple J for ‘Love Jones’ (2023), a nomination for Best Hiphop/Rap Album at the 2023 AIR awards, making an appearance at last years BIGSOUND festival, and sharing stages with the likes of Redveil (US), Baker Boy, and JK-47.

Zia Jade
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Zia Jade

Zia Jade
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Emerging as a strong new voice in Australian R&B, Newcastle’s Zia Jade is a definitive breath of fresh air. Soulful, confident and vibrant, Zia Jade’s music represents a smart and refreshed blend of sonic influences, as well as a strong vision of where her sound is set to head next. Brandishing a core sound built upon a wide range of inspiration and aesthetics, Zia’s music effortlessly moves between the forward-thinking worlds of traditional and modern R&B. Growing up around music, the importance of it as an artform was imprinted on Zia from a young age. Whether it was discovering artists like Rihanna for the first time, or becoming exposed to music closer to home courtesy of the musicians in her family and, as she got older, the local Newcastle music community, Zia Jade’s own drive to become a musical artist was buoyed on by seeing how the craft could manifest in so many different ways. When she first started songwriting, Zia Jade felt a love for R&B and pop-influenced music. She gravitated towards compositions focused on ideas of love, friends, and exploration of relationships. As such experiences have taken real-life form for Zia Jade in many ways in adulthood, the music she creates now retains the purity of those early efforts, with added wisdom and strength.

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