Australia has produced some A-grade musicians, and in 2018 our local music scene is sounding stronger than ever. Be ahead of the curve and add these breakthrough artists to your playlists before they hit it big time.
Kwame is easily one of the most exciting names in Australian hip hop right now, but don’t expect the likes of 360 or Bliss ‘n’ Eso. With lyrics that shoutout Opal cards and music videos that feature the humble Hills Hoist, Kwame is representing his Western Sydney origins through his music. The 21 year old has been writing and producing his own tunes since he was 16, and is set to be the next big thing. A game-changing moment came in 2015 when he was picked out of a crowd during an ASAP Ferg concert two years ago and pulled onstage to deliver a fire performance, earning Ferg’s praises and the screaming approval of the crowd.
His track “WOW” dropped in February to wide acclaim, now boasting nearly 2 million plays on Spotify with its playful, trappy beat and clever lyrics. It was followed two months later by a full length EP, Endless Conversations. His release proved popular enough to earn him an invitation to Splendour in the Grass 2018, representing Triple J Unearthed. He’s just made waves at Brisbane’s BIGSOUND festival ahead of a national tour with fellow Aussie hip hop artist TKay Maidza. Now we’re just waiting for a solo tour announcement from this up and comer.
If you enjoy the likes of M.I.A or Santigold, give this gal a listen because no one does cool like Clypso. Hailing from the burbs of Sydney’s Inner West, this producer is a Triple J unearthed winner. She describes her musical style as “troppo-chilli-flakes”: think tropical-infused electronica with heavy bass and afrobeat vibes that will, without a doubt, make you want to dance. With only a selection of songs released, Clypso is already set to be one of Australia’s big electronica names.
See her alongside the likes of Joey Bada$$ and PNAU at this year’s Lost Paradise festival, or opening for What So Not on his upcoming tour. Her Instagram is a treat as well – check it out for a glimpse of the sleekest bob you ever did see.
With his easy, breezy alt-pop beats, Yeo is one musician to watch. He’s been quietly hanging around the Brisbane music scene since 2006, but, following a five year musical hiatus, garnered attention for his single ‘Quiet Achiever’ at the end of 2016. Since then, he’s released two albums and been featured by Spotify in some of its top-ranking Australian playlists. After studying music technology at university, Yeo has proved himself to be a master of all aspects of production, and has worked with the likes of Hermitude and Asta. He plays each and every instrument heard on his most recent album, Desire Path, and demonstrates an impressive versatility in singing his lead and backing vocals. Yeo describes songwriting as ‘cathartic’ and his lyrics explore his frustrations with the music industry, and struggles faced in his personal life.
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Better For You is out in the world today! Thanks @spotifyaunz for adding it to #NewMusicFriday and @applemusic for #BestoftheWeek !! ❤️ Link in bio. Huge thank you to my incredible friend/producer @fracturestunes and also @davehammerwashere @aphir_ @chelseasinnott @robcarroll @god1649 for everything you do. Artwork: @wa_ll_ace Image: @sheisaphrodite
I saw Essie Holt as a support act for LANKS in a tiny bar in Canberra and was blown away by the magnitude of her stage presence. The Melbourne-born indie-pop singer songwriter has already been signed to Fourtone Artists with only three singles released. Her pure voice and gentle lyrics make for a dreamy listening experience. Give ‘Better For You‘ a listen or go see her at her debut tour this September.
Who are some other Australian artists we should be listening to? Tell us your suggestions in the comments.